Frode Mauring, UNDP Resident Representative, keynote speech at the launch event of the State of Green Economy Report 2018

Jan 11, 2018

Did you know that the transport sector is making 25% of global carbon dioxide emissions?

That tourism accounts for one in 11 jobs worldwide?

That 63% of Saudi and Emirati entrepreneurs with personal wealth of 250,000 USD or more are under 35?

and did you know that Dubai plans to develop into a global green economy hub by 2050?

These are just a few of the many interesting facts and figures stated in the State of Green Economy Report 2017.

That’s why It is pleasing and indeed exciting to witness the launch of the State of Green Economy Report 2018, a significant document composed in Dubai and disseminated all over the world.

Allow me to begin by thanking H.E. Saeed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), for his inspiring steps in the path of sustainability in general and green economy in particular, leading  the world by example.  As Al Tayer said in an opinion in The National a couple of days ago: Concerted global efforts are needed to protect our planets from negative impact of global warming and to ensure a sustainable future.  He certainly demonstrates that UAE is committed to leading by example.

I also want to commend the work of Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, the result of a fruitful partnership between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).   Under Ivano’s leadership of Dubai Carbon I see continued commitment for common goals.

If I started to name all the respectable partners, dedicated organisers and content makers you see in the report, I would exceed the time allocated for the welcome words. In my capacity as a UN & UNDP official, I would like to thank you all for the sincere cooperation.

In a region rich with oil, gas and other non-renewable sources of energy, the UAE is taking the lead towards a greener diversified fuel mix, to achieve sustainable development and reduce vulnerability to supply shocks.

While unfortunately this year will see new records in the stock of climate gases, on the positive side 2018 is believed to be a new milestone in the pathway of green economy.

Cheap solar and wind power are crushing coal in the US, while environmental regulations and low-priced gas imports are pushing coal out of Europe as well.  India decided last year to shelve its plans for new coal fired power plants, in favour of renewables that are now increasingly competitive.

Nuclear power is a no-carbon alternative plan and has a strategic role in several countries with technology-related costs remaining high. Renewable energy, particularly solar, has made impressive progress in the UAE, with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) in the lead. 

2017 was a big year for electric vehicles (EV) as well, with the ambitious EV manufacturer (TESLA) taking huge steps in the consumer markets, putting more pressure on businesses to develop credible carbon-cutting plans.

So, what does 2018 carry for the green economy?

It carries hope and lots of potential, in addition to challenges that can be overcome.

This year’s report has focused on the contributions of young men and women in the green economy arena.

As they represent a significant portion of the population, their engagement determines the prospects for sustainable development.

The path to a green economy will not be possible without innovation and technology. UAE youth are already visibly contributing as political actors, innovators and entrepreneurs to creating a greener economy in their country.

We don't have a green economy crystal ball to stare into, but we do have a group of dedicated editors who did their jobs very well and this (pointing to the report or screen) is the result of their genuine efforts.

We are confident that the achievements and initiatives highlighted in this report will serve as reference point both locally and internationally.

 

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