HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of DEWA
Climate change has become the most pressing issue for the global community today. Its widespread effects and consequences are already being seen in our lifetime. Changing weather patterns threaten food production, rising water levels increase the risk of catastrophic floods or irreversible changes in major ecosystems. They may also affect health, agriculture, economy, society, biodiversity among others. The UAE has played an important role in the negotiations that led to an agreement to combat climate change, at the International Conference of the Parties in 2015 (COP21), in Paris, where countries pledged their commitment to reduce emissions and combat climate change. This highlights UAE’s commitment in combating climate change, and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, to mobilise efforts to eradicate poverty, combat inequality, address climate change and develop vital and strategic sectors. Highlighted the importance of environmental preservation, reflecting the priority the UAE gives to protecting the environment. The UAE was one of the first countries to support the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, to curb GHG emissions in industrialised countries, in addition to being the first country in the region to sign the Copenhagen Agreement, during the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties, to support the long-term agreement towards reducing emissions. Dubai is moving forward in the fields of renewable energy, sustainability and the environment and enhancing its efficiency. The Supreme Council of Energy has set a strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 16%, equivalent to reducing 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2021. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to transform the Emirate into a global hub for clean energy and green economy by providing 7% of Dubai’s energy from clean energy sources by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) strives to support national efforts to promote sustainability and transition to a green economy through the launch of green projects, initiatives and programmes to increase reliance on clean energy and improving the efficiency of energy and water production and consumption. The projects include the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar project in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It will produce 5,000 MW by 2030, with a total investment of AED 50 billion. When completed, the project will achieve a reduction of approximately 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. DEWA launched Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO), to provide promising investment opportunities to companies specialising in energy efficiency. DEWA is working to retrofit over 30,000 buildings to ensure energy efficiency. In adherence with the Demand Side Management strategy, the project will reduce energy consumption by 30% by 2030. We are cooperating with Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (EMPOWER), the world’s largest district cooling system provider in the world, to highlight the benefits of district cooling for public and private sectors on an international level. Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence works to develop a green economy, by developing new operational standards to reduce carbon emissions in daily activities. The United Nation Framework on Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) announced the launch of the UAE Solar Power Programme, in cooperation with the Dubai Carbon Centre for Excellence (Dubai Carbon), to enhance the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in all ongoing solar projects. The impacts of climate change will require serious action from governments and countries. They are expected to take comprehensive action to reduce carbon footprint, reduce emissions and conserve natural resources for a bright future for our future generations, with a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.