UAE discusses sustainability initiatives and COP28


Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri presented an open invitation to all entities to join a dedicated team to develop the UAE’s sustainable circular economy landscape…reports Asian Lite News

The UAE Circular Economy Council convened its meeting, presided over by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment to discuss ‘Year of Sustainability’ initiatives and COP28.

The meeting was attended by Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability; Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, along with other officials.

“The first meeting of the UAE Circular Economy Council in 2023 was particularly significant as we embark on the Year of Sustainability and advance our path to COP28,” said Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President & CEO of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators.

“Convening key representatives from the public and private sector, the discussion highlighted the need for cross-industry collaboration, transparency, and access to information, in order to ensure the success of several waste management and decarburisation initiatives that are currently underway. The UICCA is committed to creating open dialogue between government entities and businesses, while providing structured policy recommendations that will be fundamental in the transition to the green economy.”

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri said that President Sheikh Mohamed’s announcement that 2023 will be the “Year of Sustainability” came to confirm our role as a council to highlight the UAE extensive efforts to promote sustainable circularity ahead of COP28, and to showcase the country’s commitment towards fostering a global collaboration in seeking innovative solutions to challenges, such as energy, climate change and other pressing issues related to sustainability.”

“As the UAE will host COP28 later this year, the conference success depends on the ability of all of us to present and position the UAE as a role model in sustainable and climate friendly fast developing nation. One of the priority items that needs to be demonstrated towards a successful COP28 is our ability to adopt circular approaches and innovations to reduce our GHG emissions. Our commitment to global climate action, and the UAE’s adoption of the National Net Zero by 2050 Pathway, presents our long-term emissions reduction targets as we aim to achieve 18 percent emission reduction compared to 2019 baseline by 2030,” she added.

The Minister highlighted the UAE’s achievements in climate action and sustainability, and indicated that one of the priority elements that must be emphasised in 2023 for a successful COP28 is the country’s ability to adopt innovative approaches in circular economy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

For this purpose, she presented an open invitation to all entities to join a dedicated team to develop the UAE’s sustainable circular economy landscape.

She also provided an overview of the results of a new joint report by the Ministry and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) on the state of the circular economy pathway in the UAE.

The report identifies relevant historic and recent trends, compares the UAE’s performance to that of other countries, and offers scenario projections for a greener and more circular UAE. Topics under the spotlight include waste generation, GHG emissions, natural capital, and the use and trade of secondary raw materials. The study also examines the consumption of materials, water, and energy, as well as the reuse and recycling of materials, nutrients, and water.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Head of the Council’s Circular Economy Policies Committee, noted that the Committee recently held intensive workshops and meetings with the government and private sectors, as well as international partners.

The workshops were designed to support the implementation of the UAE Circular Economy Policy in four key sectors – manufacturing, green infrastructure, transportation, and food production and consumption – as well as the 23 new policies issued to drive the UAE’s overall transition to a circular economy.

These policies will contribute to addressing all challenges the private sector is facing in its shift to a circular economy and support the country’s green development drive.

The initiatives align with the directives of our wise leadership to fast-track the country’s transition to a circular economy as one of the sustainability, flexibility, and growth drivers of the new economic model as per the Principles of the 50.

He added: “The Committee continues its efforts to implement the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 through programmes and projects that are set to attract investments to this field and expand its infrastructure. Efforts are also being exerted to establish a circular economy database, in addition to offering incentives to encourage the private sector to shift towards clean production methods, thereby enhancing the UAE’s competitiveness as one of the leading circular economies regionally and globally.”

Approved in January 2021, the UAE Circular Economy Policy identifies the optimal approach to the country’s transition to a circular economy.

Its objectives include building a sustainable economy, promoting efficient use of natural resources, encouraging the private sector to shift to cleaner industrial production methods that involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other 4IR technologies, and adopting sustainable consumption and production patterns that reduce environmental stress while meeting the basic needs of the population.

The UAE Circular Economy Council comprises 17 representatives of relevant federal and local government entities, private sector businesses, and international organisations.

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