Today, the UAE celebrates World Environment Day, and it stems from its firm international commitment to promoting sustainability and developing new and innovative solutions to address growing environmental problems. In the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change “COP 28”, which will be held between November 30 and December 12 of this year, which is the most important and largest international conference on climate action, with the participation of world leaders and leaders, while this consolidates the UAE’s leadership and the world’s appreciation for its efforts in this regard. .
COP 28 comes to be a global platform for reviewing the country’s initiatives, environmental laws, strategic initiatives and plans, and its international environmental agreements that contribute to combating climate change. The ministers decided to form the “Supreme Committee for the Environment,” which was assigned the responsibility of coordinating among the seven emirates with regard to environmental issues, representing the country in scientific conferences and arranging its accession to international agreements.
These efforts continued until the current year, as the UAE declared 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, under the slogan “Today for Tomorrow”, which includes various initiatives, events and activities that highlight the country’s rich heritage in sustainable practices, since the era of the late founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, in addition to spreading awareness about environmental sustainability issues, encouraging community participation in achieving sustainable development, and supporting national strategies in this field.
At the level of environmental legal legislation, the state has continued to issue them continuously to keep pace with the ongoing challenges throughout these past years. In 1993, a federal law was issued to establish the Federal Environment Authority, in confirmation of the state’s keenness to promote and support plans aimed at protecting the environment, while the Ministry of Environment was created. and water in 2006, before adding the climate change file to the ministry in 2016.
This legal protection of the environment in the country culminated in the issuance of the Federal Law in the matter of environmental protection and development, through which the existing legislations in many developed countries were re-benefited in this field. This law aims to protect the environment and preserve its quality, combat pollution in its various forms, and avoid Any immediate or long-term damages or effects as a result of economic, agricultural, urban development plans or programs, or others.
As part of its efforts to achieve sustainability and diversify energy sources, the UAE has adopted the Federal Law regulating the connection of distributed renewable energy production units to the electrical grid, aimed at enabling people to produce electric energy from renewable energy sources, and achieving the state’s goals by promoting diversification of energy sources and optimal utilization of natural resources. To ensure a reduction in emissions and access to climate neutrality.
The state issued the National Building Regulation, which includes sustainability guides for buildings, roads, and federal housing, and the National Guide for Building Sustainability for the two axes of operation and maintenance, while in order to protect the air from pollution, many legislations were issued, as well as integrated waste management laws and their executive regulations to organize the waste management process and standardize Mechanisms and methods of proper disposal in order to protect the environment and reduce harm to human health.
Biodiversity received great attention in the Emirates, where many legislations were issued to protect its biodiversity, while the country continued its efforts to promote the principle of environmental sustainability at the federal and local levels, as the ministerial decision regarding regulating the use of single-use products in the country’s markets was one of the measures aimed at To protect the environment from pollution resulting from the consumption of such products, the decision limits the consumption of plastic bags, regulates the production, circulation and use of single-use products, and prohibits the import, production or circulation of single-use plastic shopping bags as of January 1, 2024 at the federal level.
Since its accession to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1989 and the “Montreal Protocol” in 1990, the UAE has put in place a package of measures to fulfill its obligations in the Convention, the Protocol, its amendments, and the decisions of the Conferences of the States Parties. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in cooperation with the authorities and concerned authorities in the country, issued a regulatory decision aimed at phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), according to the rates and timeframes specified in the decision of the Nineteenth Meeting of the Parties, leading to the date of their total ban in 2040.
On the other hand, the UAE is keen to organize and host international conferences and events that highlight the country’s rich heritage in the field of sustainable practices, spread awareness about environmental sustainability issues, accelerate the pace of transition towards clean energy, and highlight the UAE’s efforts to enhance international collective action to address climate change issues, and its role in Searching for innovative solutions that benefit everyone on the international scene, especially in the areas of sustainability and climate change.
The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in its twenty-eighth session, “COP 28”, represents a new impetus for the current global efforts to confront climate change issues. It also constitutes a major turning point towards strengthening and activating partnerships, and an important opportunity to review the UAE’s achievements and pioneering initiatives in climate action. , which it has always adhered to and is working on its continuity, and its communication in a way that benefits the local and international communities, in order to protect the planet.