The UAE Promotes Low-Carbon Emissions in Dubai

Promoting_Low_Carbon_in_Dubai
VICE PRESIDENT AND PRIME MINISTER OF THE UAE SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM AND UN SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON WITNESSING THE SIGNATURE OF THE JOINT PROJECT BETWEEN UNDP AND DUBAI'S SUPREME COUNCIL OF ENERGY. (PHOTO BY: Eskinder Debebe)

 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government has identified energy diversification and climate change as being strategic priorities, despite the fact that, the UAE economy remains both energy and carbon-intensive, even by the standards of the region. Energy intensity is 20.2 MJ/$GDP, compared with 16 MJ/$GDP for Saudi Arabia and 10.8 MJ/$GDP for Kuwait, respectively.
 
With a population of over 8 million, many of whom are urban-based, and the third-highest population growth rate in the world — currently standing at 3.6% — the UAE’s demand for modern energy services is constantly growing. This means that their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are expected to continue to grow commensurately in the absence of future government intervention.
 
UNDP created this new project with an aim of improving Dubai’s capacity to access global carbon markets whilst simultaneously lowering its carbon emissions.
 
The Reasons for Success

One of the project's major success factors is due to its creative approach in attracting investment for new renewable energy projects. Mobilising support for a concept that is not well-understood and is perceived to be a high-risk investment is always challenging, but UNDP were able to offset the difficulties by successfully presenting key evidence, projections and  support that allowed access to hitherto unaccessed resources.
 
Thanks to close collaboration between the UAE UNDP country Country Office, the Environment and Energy Group and the MDG Carbon Office, there were strong, measurable results — partly due to the efficient deployment of expertise and training and that the UAE Government, both at national and local level, was strongly committed to ensuring full ownership and sustainability regarding the project.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon witnessed the signing of the Project Document in person with the UAE Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohamad Bin Rashed al Maktoum. This high-profile support has encouraged the very highest level of cooperation, and has helped assure the project’s success.
 
At the beginning of the project, a full capacity assessment was undertaken by all the stakeholders, and was followed by a carefully-planned programme of intensive training, delivered by UNDP environment and energy experts. This vigorous stakeholder consultation was an integral part of the assessment programme, and led directly to the development of an implementation plan designed and run by project team members in order to ensure it was not only suitable, but was carried out with excellence in mind.
 
With the close support and cooperation of the UAE authorities, UNDP was able to register five Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in the United Arab Emirates. This places the UAE second only to Egypt in the Arab region in the number of its registered CDM projects.
 
These CDM projects, include a range of industrial and commercial sectors and involve innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions. They now act to serve as beacon initiatives, as Dubai, under the leadership of the Supreme Energy Council, pursues a new and highly ambitious low-carbon development strategy.

Highlights

•    The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has marked out energy diversification and climate change as being key current strategic priorities.

•    Thanks to close collaboration between the UAE UNDP Country Office, the Environment and Energy Group and the MDG Carbon Office, there were strong, measurable results.
    
•    Vigorous stakeholder consultation was an integral part of the assessment programme, and led directly to the development of an implementation plan designed and run by project team members.
    
•    UNDP was able to register five Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in the United Arab Emirates.

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