Dubai: As part of its strategy for optimal use of resources and energy, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has carried out 74 projects in the field of green economy, environmental sustainability and power efficiency.
The ultimate objective of this drive is to use sustainable options in line with the UAE Green Growth Strategy launched in 2012 under the theme ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development’.
The strategy is based on six drivers; Green Economy, Government Policies, Green Urban Planning, Tackling the Effects of Climatic Change, Rational Use of Natural Resources, and Green Technology.
“The RTA attaches top priority to a green economy and sustainable environment, which is encapsulated in its 5th Strategic Goal (Safety and Environmental Sustainability),” said Nada Jasem, Director of Safety, Risk, Regulation and Planning, at the RTA’s Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector. “In this regard, it has accomplished 74 initiatives aligned with the strategic drive of the UAE and Dubai Government,” she added.
“Initiatives undertaken include UAE Energy Strategy 2050, National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 2017–2050, UAE Vision 2021, Dubai Plan 2021, Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021, Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, Dubai Self-Driving Transport Strategy, and Smart Dubai Strategy among others.
“The RTA’s pioneering efforts in green economy are on the go. Accordingly, it had become the first entity in the region to obtain ISO 50001 Certification for Energy Management System in 2013, and it was the first in the region to have a dedicated award for green economy projects and initiatives in 2014. The RTA was also the first regional entity to develop integrated green economy structures in 2016, and an integrated sustainability structure in 2019.
“Initiatives undertaken in 2018 spread across all operational sectors and agencies covering the efficient use of energy, fuel and water, renewable energy, waste management, and low carbon footprint in Dubai. Such initiatives contributed to saving 100 million litres of water, 33 million KW of electricity, 19 million litres of fuel, besides reducing carbon footprint by 70 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent.
“Initiatives covered green mobility means, such as electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles as well as electric/hybrid abras powered by solar energy. The number of electric vehicles in Dubai Taxi fleet amounted to 89 vehicles by the end of 2018 and is set to jump to 200 vehicles by the end of this year 2019. The number of hybrid vehicles in Dubai Taxi reached 1,461 vehicles by the end of 2018 and is set to account for 50 per cent of the fleet by 2021. Public buses are fitted with Euro 5 low-emission diesel engines, and plans are under way to deploy buses with Euro 6 engines gradually in the service.
“Initiatives also include expanding the use of clean energy through the installation of solar cells in RTA buildings and facilities, and a roadmap for this trend had already been charted out. A 300KW solar system had been installed in the parking building at the RTA headquarters, and a 10kw solar system had been installed in the parking attached to Al Ghusais Station as well as in traffic lights and Salik gates. The RTA also expanded the use of energy-saving LED lights in lighting streets, traffic signals, tram and metro stations, and other facilities of the RTA.
“The RTA is very much focused on the responsible use of water in all services provided,” added Jasem. “Examples of initiatives rolled out include the treatment and recycling of water used in washing taxis and public buses, and the installation of a closed cycle enabling the recycling of 90-100 per cent of water resulting from these processes.
“The RTA contributes to reducing the carbon footprint in Dubai by increasing the number of public transport users (Dubai Metro, Tram and public buses). Using public transportation, instead of private vehicles, saved 642,000 tons of CO2 emissions in 2018. RTA also takes the initiative in developing plans and strategies that support the local and federal policies to push the profile of Dubai as a global leader and contribute to the achievement of UAE Centennial 2071,” she added.