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UAE businesses boost green economy

March 28, 2021
finance & economy

Emirates Nature-WWF is bringing together millions of people, businesses, and leaders from around the world to focus on the urgent need to address nature loss and climate change

The UAE’s policy to build a sustainable nation is evident in the initiatives it has taken in the recent past as it joins several nations to support Earth Hour on Saturday.

On Saturday, 27 March at 8:30 p.m. UAE time, Emirates Nature-WWF is inviting the UAE community to virtually participate in Earth Hour, one of the largest global grassroots movements for the environment, which will bring together millions of people, businesses, and leaders from around the world to shine a spotlight on the urgent need to address nature loss and climate change.

Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, Director General at Emirates Nature-WWF, said: “Earth Hour 2021 gives us a golden opportunity to join hand-in-hand and drive change together, as an active civil society, towards a green recovery for the UAE.”

Earth Hour is a critical moment for individuals, leaders, and environmentalists to unite and call for urgent action to reverse nature loss and secure a nature-positive world by 2030. “Healthy natural ecosystems are the cornerstone of thriving, equitable, and sustainable societies. Our current socio-economic models are leading to the devastating destruction of nature, which is increasing our vulnerability to pandemics, accelerating climate change, and placing livelihoods at risk,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International.

The UAE seeks to reduce the carbon footprint through the implementation of the Energy Strategy 2050, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide in the country by 70 percent. Hitachi ABB Power Grids which has many large-scale projects in UAE and Middle East has pledged its support for sustainable development.

Dr Mostafa AlGuezeri, managing director of Hitachi ABB Power Grids, said: “We at Hitachi ABB Power Grids truly believe sustainable development is a non-negotiable commitment. We indeed have contributed towards adding values to social, environmental, and economic growth with our business based on our innovative and pioneering technologies. I will be switching off the lights at home for an hour at 8:30pm on March 27 in an effort to contribute towards a greener earth. Let’s together contribute to a sustainable society!”

“Sustainable development is a non-negotiable commitment for us and we indeed have paved the way to increase the social, environmental, and economic value of our business with the help of innovative and pioneering technologies. In fact, our focus on sustainable digital solutions is one element of our transformative strategy. Increasingly, we are also rooting for greener power grids as we switch to more renewable energy sources,” added AlGuezeri.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy has urged all entities and individuals in Abu Dhabi and the UAE to observe Earth Hour counting on them to turn energy saving behaviours into a cultural and social norm to preserve natural resources for future generations.

Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), said: “Earth Hour is an opportunity to raise awareness about energy consumption and environmental protection. Guided by the directives of its wise leadership, Abu Dhabi and the UAE now play a leading global role in driving sustainability by investing in peaceful nuclear energy and solar power, in addition to promoting the use of advanced technologies and solutions to reduce carbon emissions and reverse the effects of climate change.”

The Department has launched several programmes and initiatives to support that goal. These include the Abu Dhabi Integrated Energy Model, the Policy for Energy Production from Waste, and the Abu Dhabi Demand Side Management and Energy Rationalisation Strategy 2030, which has Building Retrofits as one of its core programmes, which aims to make buildings in the emirate more energy efficient.

Mohammad bin Jarsh Al Falasi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, stated that Earth Hour is an important occasion that reflects the growing international concern with protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development.

“Energy is vital for the prosperity of mankind, but it all boils down to the efficiency of energy systems and increasing the reliance on clean and renewable energy sources,” he said.

Sharjah Sustainable City has applied passive and active design techniques to the entire project to massively reduce its projected total energy demands. For example, the residential villas are positioned to avoid the sun and maximize shading, and all south-facing facades are closed to reduce heat gains. Plus, highly insulated UV reflective walls, roofs, and windows reduce air-conditioning loads and electricity consumption. Energy-efficient HVAC, electrical fittings, and appliances reduce energy consumption, and solar PV cells are installed on all villa rooftops and built-up areas to achieve an offset of up to 50 per cent on energy usage, reducing carbon emissions and achieving utility savings for residents.

Yousif Ahmed Al-Mutawa, chief executive officer of Sharjah Sustainable City, said: “Today, people across the world will observe Earth Hour, a commendable global initiative raising awareness around the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and the devastating effects of climate change around the world. From 8.30pm to 9.30pm (UAE time), people the world over will switch off lights and appliances to reduce our global energy consumption.”

Dubai-based Dake Rechsand’s innovative and transformative solutions are proactively contributing to the creation of a more sustainable and abundant world. The company’s breakthrough breathable sand technology utilises low-value desert aeolian sand, to create a constantly evolving portfolio of high-value products.

Chandra Dake, executive chairman and Group CEO of the Dake Group, said: “Developers and commercial real estate businesses can use solutions to add to the sustainability of their projects, and entire new segments of entrepreneurship can thrive, through investment in desert farming and organic farming.”

Abu Dhabi has recently announced that it will be allowing 100 per cent FDI in agriculture. This will apply to the production of grains, vegetables, and fruits; activities related to crop and livestock production; and seed processing.

“We see this as a major boost for the UAE agricultural sector, and the breathable sand technology can reinforce sustainable harvesting and use of water, for this strategic push. Several other government initiatives can be empowered such as smart city, food and water security, and desert re-greening projects. Corporates can contribute by leveraging the technology as part of their CSR initiatives, as well as for the landscaping of their campuses,” concluded Dake.

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