United Arab Emirates has a Green Vision

The UAE will be the best country to live in, if its Vision 2021 is a success. During Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group’s (ADSG) Hiwar session that took place on Monday in the Capital, three government officials came along to discuss the UAE’s Vision 2021, green growth strategy and the link between them.

“The key role for Vision 2021 is to align the work of federal government entities, but also to work together with the private sector to arrive at the level of sustainable development,” said project manager of UAE Vision 2021 Ahmad Lootah at the Prime Minister’s office.

“Our plan to make the UAE a world leader is ambitious, but possible. We already have world class achievements, such as the infrastructure,” he added.

Vision 2021, a date that coincides with the UAE’s 50th anniversary, advocates a diverse economy that can only grow in a sustainable manner.

In the past years, the government has already made significant changes towards a green growth, such as investment in clean energy and eco-friendly development projects.

“If someone will come to me six years ago and say that DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) will build a green building, I would laugh,” pointed out Lootah.

Yet, with ever more projects to embrace water and energy efficiency as well as environmental growth, sustainable development is reachable.

“We still face major economic and environmental challenges,” said directorate of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sameer Assaf.

“UAE has one of the highest carbon dioxide footprint per capita and the highest water consumption per person in the world. Also, UAE has one of the highest population rates, increasing by 300 per cent in the past 20 years, and shortage in gas. All these are pushing us to go for green growth,” he stressed.

According to Aisha Al Abdooli, supervisor at the Green Growth Strategy Follow Up Office (Ministry of Environment and Water), green growth is the tool to obtain a sustainable economy.

Her office, which was established in January 2012, has identified seven economic sectors in the UAE, oil and gas and transport included, and is now working to find means to transform these sectors into green, sustainable industries and economies.

“By the end of September 2013 we will have an action plan for each of these seven sectors, which we will submit to the Cabinet for approval. Once approved, all stakeholders of these sectors will have to implement the new strategies,” she announced.

Currently, the Green Growth Office is working with representatives of the seven UAE industrial and economic sectors to make sure the green switch is achievable.

By: Silvia Radan/khaleejtimes