The “environmental footprint in the UAE” supports climate neutrality

The Ecological Footprint Initiative is one of the initiatives launched by the country to face the challenge of climate change.

The theme of “The Road to Achieving Climate Neutrality” highlights the UAE’s efforts to achieve the goals of climate neutrality, in line with the country’s national directions and strategic plans.

The UAE’s hosting of the “COP28” conference is in line with the essence of the environmental footprint initiative, which seeks creative solutions to rationalize consumption, increase resource efficiency, encourage sustainable production patterns, in order to preserve the planet, achieve comprehensive development plans, and reduce economic, environmental and social costs in the future.

The Dubai Expo City, which hosts COP28, is a model for cities that work to reduce their environmental footprint, as it presents a realistic Emirati vision regarding its concept of sustainability, achieving the best ways of living that guarantee the causes of well-being, and at the same time protecting the earth through the deliberate reduction of emissions in order to reach climate neutrality. Over the course of six months – the duration of the “Expo 2020 Dubai” – the world witnessed an advanced model of the shape of future cities that apply all methods of environmental protection.

The environmental footprint initiative launched by the UAE in 2007 – to be the first country in the region and the third in the world after Switzerland and Japan to launch such initiatives – embodies the UAE’s endeavor to achieve harmony between economic and social development, and to better manage available natural resources, without exceeding the limits of sustainability.

The initiative is one of the important tools that measure the rates of depletion of natural resources by individuals, and provides measurement results for officials and decision-makers to develop policies and plans. Investment, which ensures the efficient use of natural resources, to serve the present and future generations.

In 2008-2009, the initiative identified the main sectors driving the environmental footprint of the UAE, represented by household appliances, which are the largest contributors to the environmental footprint of the country, as they contribute 57% of the environmental footprint, followed by the business/industry sector and the government sector, as they contribute 30%. % and 12%, respectively, which indicates the importance of the individual’s contribution to reducing the environmental footprint.

The initiative is an important means of building advanced databases that provide modern and reliable information in various fields, which has also achieved a high level of transparency between official authorities and the public, in addition to being a national project based on the principle of effective partnership between official and unofficial community institutions, and prestigious international organizations. This principle has become an important pillar of national action.

The rate of environmental footprint is a measure of the sustainability of countries, as it compares the use of natural resources per capita expressed by the use of the vital productive unit of land (global hectare).

The environmental footprint began its first phase at the state level by collecting data related to the availability of resources and consumption patterns in the country in various sectors, such as energy, trade, fishing, agriculture, water and urban planning.

In its second phase, the initiative developed environmental policies based on science to help reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions and reduce the per capita environmental footprint, through a two-stage process represented in developing energy efficiency standards for indoor lighting in the Emirates, and conducting a social and economic assessment of the approved policies. In the environmental footprint scenario model, the water and energy sectors in the UAE are targeted.

In the process of measuring the environmental footprint, it relies on the use of a simple equation based on monitoring the total net consumption, by decreasing the value of exports from the total production and import.

• 80% of the environmental footprint in the UAE… as a result of energy consumption.

• 57% of home appliances’ contribution to the environmental footprint.

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