UAE experts discuss 'Green Economy'
Dubai, October 25, 2012
Several high-profile UAE government officials and heads of government departments took part in a roundtable centering on the country's Green Economy Initiative held as part of the 'World Energy Forum 2012,' an exclusive world-renowned conference in Dubai.
The event, held under the slogan ‘A Forum for World Leaders,’ marks the first time that the global conference has been organized outside the headquarters of the United Nations in New York and further solidifies Dubai’s – and the UAE’s – status as a global hub for energy research and sustainability.
In fact, the United Nations designated 2012 as The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
Chaired by Dr Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad, the Minister of Environment and Water of the UAE, the roundtable shed light on the country’s overall green economy practices and tackled topics such as policy and legal frameworks, investments, urban planning, the environment, and technology.
Over the past three decades, countries around the world have witnessed significant economic growth thanks to cutting-edge – yet often pollution-intensive– technologies.
Today, as a result of rising carbon emissions and the increase in energy consumption, the world is facing ecological challenges and countries are forced to recognize their environmental debt and assume a greener, more sustainable economic approach.
In line with this, the UAE Vision 2021 charts the next stage in the UAE’s development phase, and its primary goal is to further drive the nation’s plans to foster a knowledge-based diversified economic model, where growth is stimulated by innovation and through investments in research, science and technology.
The initiative aims to spur job creation, preserve natural resources and place the Federation on the global map for sustainable living.
The first panel discussion at the roundtable, entitled ‘Legislations, Policy andInvestments Framework,’ emphasized the importance of the UAE’s regulatory framework and its ability to influence governance and implementation, as well as attract investors in green technologies.
The session also highlighted the UAE’s policies to drive energy efficiency, encourage renewable energy, attract major related investments and create jobs. Other topics discussed included issues pertaining to solar power plants, nuclear plants, biomass renewable energy, clean energy, sustainable green technology, and the government’s role in private investments.
Attendees included Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the vice chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the CEO of Masdar, Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director general of Dubai Muncipality, Waleed Salman, the member of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Hisham Abdulla Al Shirawi, the second vice chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“Sustainability has become the main concern worldwide due to the adverse impact of climate change,” said Al Tayer.
“The long-term national initiative to build a green economy in the UAE under the slogan ‘A Green Economy for Sustainable development,’ launched by Sheikh Mohammed aims to make the UAE one of the world leaders as well as a centre for the export and re-export of green products and technologies, and to maintain a sustainable environment to support long-term economic growth,” remarked Al Tayer.
“It is now five years since the launch of Dubai’s Sustainability drive. This initiative is rooted in the belief that resource efficiency in general, and energy and water in particular, is no longer an option. The Green Building Regulations and Specifications were issued in 2010,” he stated.
“Currently, the combined power generation and desalinated water production in Dubai are most efficiently produced using natural gas and Liquid Natural Gas as the primary fuel, being 99 per cent, and supplemented by liquid fuel as a secondary fuel, generating 1 per cent," he added.
In his speech, Dr Al Jaber stressed that the challenge was not choosing between economic growth and environmental conservation, but rather to combine economic growth with environmental conservation - creating a 'Green Economy.'
Al Jaber said Abu Dhabi had set a 7 per cent renewable energy target.
"Masdar has developed a 10MW solar station that will soon be delivering the 100MW Shams 1 CSP project, offsetting 175,000 tons of CO2 and powering 20,000 homes," he added.
The second panel discussion entitled ‘Integrated Urban Planning, Climate Change and Environment and Rationalized Use and Promotion of Green Technology’ centered on topics such as sustainable transportation, clean air, economic and environmental impacts and urbanized infrastructure in the UAE.
The session also covered integrated mass transportation and federal railways, as well as hybrid vehicles and alternative fuel choices to reduce carbon footprint, he added.-TradeArabia News Service