Dubai: While the rest of the world ‘talks’ about adopting a green economy, Dubai is already leading by example and acting on its strategies, a UN representative said.
“In Dubai, for example, around 30,000 buildings will be retrofitted. There’s action there, in the UAE in general. So in a way, Dubai leads by example and it’s a place of action. It’s a not just a place of ‘talk’,” Syed Aqa, UN Resident Coordinator at the UN Development Programme, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the launch of the second World Green Economy Summit 2015 (WGES 2015) on Wednesday.
Adopting a green economy results in a sustainable economy in that all energy requirements of a city or country are sourced from renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydro, among others. By doing so, carbon emissions are reduced to zero, lessening negative impacts on the environment. It involves a massive overhaul of a carbon-intensive, fossil fuel-dependent economy.
While Dubai has not achieved this yet, it is well on the way to its Clean Energy targets of reducing gas use to 71 per cent, and diversifying its energy mix using renewable energy over the next 16 years, according to expert opinion at yesterday’s Forum. It is also “greening” many old buildings in the emirate by retrofitting them with green solutions. A decree on regulating rooftop solar panels for households is also in the works.
Aqa said the whole world is still at the very first stages of establishing a green economy so all countries are at a level playing field. But Dubai has distinct advantages, he said.
“One, there’s political leadership commitment. The leaders have declared the green goals strategy of the country while in other countries, there’s still debate on whether they will go green or not. In Dubai, the political commitment is clear. Number two, Dubai has the finances to back it,” he said.
All these strategies and actions taken will be included in The State of the Green Economy Report, to be published by WGES, supported by Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). The report will be launched at the Road to Paris 2015 in preparation for the WGES 2015 that will be held in Dubai on April 22 to 23, 2015.
“WGES 2015 will be held next year under the theme of “Global partnerships, sustainable future”, establishing Dubai’s global position and its pivotal role in achieving the UAE Vision 2021, to build a sustainable and competitive economy and to strengthen its commitment to becoming the capital of the Green Economy,” Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dewa, said.