DAA Daily

What is the UAE doing to help our Earth?

By: Andreea Dibo, Health & Environment, The Pawprint

In the Middle East, the UAE is taking a brave stand against climate change.

The UAE said it would invest $163 billion in clean and renewable energy as well as important technologies in order to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050.

The COP28 United Nations Climate Change Conference will take place in the UAE in November 2023. In March 2023, a Clean Tech Trade Mission will visit Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

In 2015, the UAE was the first nation in the Gulf to ratify and sign the Paris Agreement. The UAE has implemented policies and plans to mitigate the effects of climate change, enhance air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, increase water and food security, and protect the UAE’s natural resources.

The UAE’s Vision 2021 sets ambitious ambitions for the nation to become a global model and leader in sustainability under the “Green Economy for Sustainable Development” project.

By increasing the proportion of renewable, clean, and alternative energy sources in its energy mix, establishing robust recycling and waste management industries, including several waste-to-energy facilities, building sizable reverse osmosis seawater desalination plants to replace older, energy-intensive thermal plants, increasing water efficiency through “reduce and reuse” programs, and enacting green standards, the UAE hopes to become more competitive globally.

Waste to Energy

Waste – to – energy projects are being developed in the UAE. To reduce garbage going to landfills and CO2 emissions, the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center (Tadweer) and the Emirates Water & Electricity Company (EWEC) announced plans to build two of the largest waste-to-energy generating plants in the area in January 2021. Up to 900,000 metric tons of garbage might be processed annually at the proposed EWEC facility in Abu Dhabi, which would provide electricity for about 22,500 houses.

The first waste-to-energy facility in the United Arab Emirates was built in Sharjah by the Emirates Waste to Energy Company, a joint venture between MASDAR and Bee’ah, in April 2022.

The facility will prevent about 450,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions from being released while generating enough electricity to power 28,000 homes and divert 300,000 metric tons of garbage from landfills each year.

Water Treatment

In order to guarantee sustainability and continued access to water both in regular circumstances and during emergencies, the UAE created the Water Security Strategy 2036. This plan was created to manage water resources, raise water usage efficiency in all industries, improve water quality by lowering pollution, and promote recycling and the secure reuse of treated water.

The UAE confronts difficulties with wastewater management and is anticipated to increase water reuse as well as collect and treat wastewater outside of metropolitan regions. Similar to waste management, each emirate’s local governments and municipalities oversee and coordinate the management of wastewater.

The government is looking for new technology to improve wastewater treatment and recycle wastewater. The country’s industrial and agricultural needs are currently met by treated wastewater. In the attempt to manage limited water resources, developing and expanding wastewater collection and treatment networks is essential. The Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Program (STEP), one of the vital initiatives carried out by Abu Dhabi’s Sewerage and Services Company (ADSSC), collects and treats wastewater discharged from residential, commercial, and industrial buildings in Abu Dhabi to increase the capacity for wastewater collection and treatment.

Recycling waste

The UAE has struggled with waste management because there are holes in its systems, infrastructure, and policies. Each emirate’s local governments and municipalities work together to coordinate waste management.

The UAE aspires to attain a 75% recovery rate of processed municipal solid trash as part of its Green Development Strategy.

Federal Law No. 12 of 2018 focuses on developing an integrated system to manage trash and was released to increase private sector engagement and coordinate actions to reduce serious environmental impacts. Waste separation, collection, transportation, storage, reusing, recycling, treatment, and disposal are all covered by the legislation.

The ban on single-use plastic bags was declared in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and took effect on June 1, 2022. The action is a part of broader environmental activities, which involve reducing total plastic usage to help with trash management in the Emirates.

Air Pollution

Because of the flying sand and dust from the surrounding desert, the air quality in UAE cities can range from mediocre to poor.

The National Air Quality Platform monitoring program and associated UAE Air Quality Index (AQI) smartapp are run by MoCCAE and a number of emirate-level environmental bodies in addition to creating and executing regulations to control industrial emissions. The public in the UAE can access real-time air quality data compiled from monitoring stations located all throughout the nation using these technologies.

In order to inform future air quality regulations and serve as a starting point for targeted reduction of major air pollutants, MoCCAE produced the first National Air Emissions Inventory Report for the UAE in 2019.

The UAE has made great strides in recent years to manage air quality and will construct the first fully regulated carbon trading exchange and clearing house in the world in the capital. The agreement was announced in 2022 and will be called the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and AirCarbon Exchange (ACX).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: