Following the three-day C40 Steering Committee meeting in San Francisco, USA, Abdulla Mohammad Al Basti, Secretary-General of the Executive Council of Dubai, reaffirmed that Dubai continues to expend efforts in dealing with climate change issues and minimising waste and green-house gas emissions by innovating solutions that forestall future challenges.
This comes in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, which aim to create a sustainable environment that provides happiness and prosperity to UAE nationals, residents and visitors, and preserves the right of future generations to lead healthy and safe lives.
Al Basti also confirmed that tackling climate change issues tops the priorities of the government and is reflected in Dubai’s development plans and future strategies, such as the Dubai Plan 2021, Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy, Climate Change Adaptation Plan, as well as Dubai’s Autonomous Transportation Strategy.
"Our leadership recognises the impact of climate change on the quality of life and calls for consolidating national efforts in taking preventative measures to mitigate its risks and minimise its ramifications on our ecosystem," he said, adding that Dubai’s efforts build on the UAE's commitment to the Paris Agreement and the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021 to promote sustainability, rely on clean energy sources, protect natural resources and tackle climate change issues.
"This is reflected in emirate’s ambitious initiatives and development projects, which were launched to achieve economic growth while maintaining sustainability and preserving a clean environment," Al Basti continued.
Members of the C40 Steering Committee discussed the most significant achievements during the second quarter of 2018 and talked about future plans of the network. They also addressed the proposed commitments for cities to make including waste, renewable energy, zero-emission transport and making buildings net zero carbon.
The committee also addressed the goals of the network and the initiatives that have been launched to achieve them, such as the participation of city mayors and representatives in climate change adaptation programmes. Similarly, the committee touched upon supporting cities in developing plans and goals for dealing with climate change and accelerating their success; through creating dual partnerships, eradicating obstacles and activating the role of the network on a global scale.
Off the back of the conference, and during a panel discussion, Al Basti stressed the efforts of Dubai in adapting to climate change and reducing green-house gas emissions in line with the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021 to promote sustainability, use of clean energy sources and protection of natural resources.
Additionally, Al Basti provided an overview of Dubai’s recent efforts in using behavioural science to strengthen environmental sustainability. He explained that the government of Dubai launched several programmes designed to enhance behavioural efficiencies, in line with the emirate’s plans to reduce energy and water demand by 30 percent by the year 2030. Namely, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, has launched a new programme, ‘My Sustainable Living’, that aims to motivate Dubai residents to improve their energy usage behaviours, Al Basti noted.
Al Basti also touched upon Dubai’s Autonomous Transportation Strategy, launched by the Road and Transport Authority, which aims to transform 25 percent of Dubai’s total transportation solutions to autonomous transportation by 2030.
In 2015, Dubai joined the elite group of cities in the C40 Cities network for addressing climate change challenges. In 2017, Dubai nominated a representative from the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai for a membership in the Steering Committee of the C40 Cities network, which constitutes of 17 members representing different geographical areas.
Dubai represents 11 cities across South and West Asia, leading the efforts in tackling challenges that are taking over the world and affecting climate change. Since joining the C40, Dubai has participated in several global workshops, conferences and forums to convey its experiences and success stories in the field of sustainable infrastructure, climate change, waste reduction and green-house gas emissions.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2018.