Sheikh Mohammed sets out new UAE sustainability drive

Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai unveils plans for electric cars, sustainable aviation fuel and the protection of biodiversity at UAE Cabinet meeting

Powered by automated translation

The UAE on Sunday set out a green-powered action plan aimed at driving efforts to achieve new environmental goals.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, set out the sustainability strategy at a meeting of the UAE Cabinet at Expo City Dubai, which is hosting the key Cop28 climate conference.

He said 10 initiatives and decisions were approved during the ministerial gathering, including the adoption of a framework for the Biodiversity Strategy 2031.

The scheme will monitor and protect natural ecosystems and bolster sustainability, with the aim of rehabilitating and restoring 80 per cent of degraded land and marine areas, preserving at least 21 per cent of land and marine ecosystems and improving the status of endangered native species by 10 per cent.

The UAE pledged to join more than 60 countries in signing up to the "global cooling pledge' to reduce emissions from the cooling sector, announced at Cop28 earlier this week.

The UAE Cabinet also agreed to support a global drive to remove carbon from the waste sector and set up a national registry of carbon credits, which would enable government and private institutions to evaluate and document their contributions to reducing emissions.

"We also approved the country’s fifth national communication report to be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention, which documents the success of national efforts in reducing carbon emissions in various sectors," Sheikh Mohammed wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

He said the Cabinet had approved the release of a first report on the nation's long-term, low-carbon development strategy.

Ministers agreed to establish a company to run electrical vehicle charging stations and the launch of a policy for sustainable aviation fuel and smart construction.

The Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Company will be responsible for developing an efficient infrastructure for the charging of electric vehicles and devising a price strategy for services.

The sustainable aviation fuel policy aims to ensure at least 1 per cent of the total fuel supplied at UAE airports to national airlines in 2031 will be sustainable and produced domestically.

A key objective of the plan will be to produce 700 million litres of sustainable aviation fuel annually by 2030.

The UAE has made significant strides in climate action and continues its efforts towards sustainability," Sheikh Mohammed said, in comments shared by the UAE Media Office.

"Our efforts in this field are aligned with our commitment to economic development.”

Sheikh Mohammed said the Emirates in 2023 had "issued more than 60 policies, initiatives and decisions to promote the UAE’s efforts to combat climate change and its impact”.

Cop28 is due to conclude on Tuesday, with crucial negotiations on efforts to phase out or phase down fossil fuels and limit global temperature rises viewed as key to its success.

UAE approves green projects

Ministers approved a number of initiatives during the meeting:

*The framework of the National Biodiversity Strategy 2031

*The Global Initiative to Decarbonise Waste, called 'Waste to Zero'

*The National Carbon Credits Registration System

*The UAE's fifth National Communication Report, to be submitted to the UN

*Report on Low-carbon Development Strategy and Long-term Emission Reduction

*The UAE's accession to the global cooling pledge

*The establishment of the UAE Electric Vehicle Charging Station Company

*The Guideline on Sustainable Aviation Fuel

*The National Guide for Smart Construction

Laws updated and projects launched

During the meeting, the Cabinet approved federal regulations regarding juvenile crimes and those at risk of committing offences.

The Cabinet also adopted the National Grant Initiative for Culture and Creativity, which will honour distinguished figures in culture and creativity.

A number of updates in government services related to health insurance for tourist visa holders and car insurance for imported vehicles were also given the go ahead.

Further details on the new legislation were not disclosed.

Updated: December 10, 2023, 11:36 AM