Emirati eco champion launches app to track public's carbon footprint

The government-backed UAE Environmental Identity platform was developed by National Experts Programme fellow Abdulla Al Remeithi

Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, with Abdulla Al Remeithi and other officials at the launch of the UAE Environmental Identity app in Dubai on Sunday. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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An enterprising Emirati who was part of a UAE programme shaping the nation's leaders of tomorrow has won government backing for a green project aimed at driving down the public's carbon footprint.

The UAE Environmental Identity app is the brainchild of National Experts Programme fellow Abdulla Al Remeithi, who is on a mission to help residents make more sustainable choices for the good of the planet.

The cutting-edge tool has been launched by the National Experts Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.

It was unveiled on Sunday at an event attended by Mariam Al Mheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, at the Cop28 climate summit being held at Expo City Dubai.

Ms Al Mheiri also acts as a mentor for the National Experts initiative.

Mr Al Remeithi, who serves as director for environmental policy, regulation and climate change at the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and is a sustainability ambassador for the UAE, said the app would be linked to the UAE Pass online platform and would monitor day-to-day activities that generate greenhouse gases.

Users will also be able to examine their impact on the environment in order to adopt greener behaviours.

“We will be calculating the personal carbon footprint of every individual – their water consumption, electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions of their vehicles. This will manage emissions and support projects that reduce carbon footprint," he said.

“We want to introduce incentives that will promote the reduction of water, gas and energy consumption. Incentives will come in the form of green points.”

Mr Al Remeithi developed the concept while participating in the National Experts Programme, which was established in January 2019 by President Sheikh Mohammed, in his previous capacity as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, to tap into the country's existing knowledge base to support the next generation of decision-makers.

“The aim is for this to be a global model. Our planet is in a climate crisis and we need effective solutions today,” he said.

“This national project is a crucial cornerstone in our country's journey towards a sustainable future. We are halfway between the Paris Agreement of 2015 and the vision set for 2030.

"There is an urgent need to deliver deep, rapid and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. The call is for everyone – from the global leaders assembled at Cop28 to the millions of individuals making daily choices in the UAE and beyond.

"To deliver this promise to action, we needed to develop new innovative methods and tools, and the UAE EI Initiative is an example of this. From a simple idea developed within the National Experts Programme, a nationwide initiative has taken root.”

Early sign-up for the online platform is available on the project's website.

When fully rolled-out, the application will feature a rewards system in which users who reduce their carbon footprint will receive green points which can be redeemed through a range of loyalty programmes.

The Cop28 conference is due to conclude on Tuesday, with negotiations now intensifying to secure an international agreement on key issues such as limiting global warming and phasing out or phasing down fossil fuels.

Updated: December 11, 2023, 12:23 PM