Sheikh Khalifa's granddaughter commits to continuing sustainability legacy

Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan aims to tackle climate change by pushing for a circular economy

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The granddaughter of the late UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa, says she is committed to continuing the sustainability legacy started by her grandfather.

Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan is the founder and chief executive of the Alliances for Global Sustainability and will be speaking at an international event focused on sustainability that starts today in Rome.

She will speak via a pre-recorded message that was filmed before the news of Sheikh Khalifa's death was announced on Friday.

Quoting her great-grandfather and UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in the video released on Wednesday, she said: "We paid the utmost care and attention to our environment for it is an integral part of the country, our history and our heritage."

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Today, the Mena region has emerged as a pioneer of innovation in sustainability
Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan, chief executive, Alliances for Global Sustainability

Sheikha Shamma's message, which will be broadcast at the summit at the European Institute of Innovation for Sustainability, said that her goal is an economy that keeps resources — such as products, materials, and energy — in use for as long as possible through reuse and recycling. This is known as a circular economy.

"Our mission at AGS has always been to tackle climate change by building resilience and driving a shift towards a circular economy," said Sheikha Shamma.

"This has ranged from identifying clean energy sources, investing in infrastructure to enable food and water security and exploring new waste-management solutions with the efforts of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the UAE Circular Economy Council."

The UAE has made progress over the years in moving towards a more environmentally friendly way of operating.

The establishment of the renewable energy company Masdar, in Abu Dhabi in 2006, paved the way for the building of solar power plants, further diversifying the energy mix. And last year, the UAE became the first country in the Middle East to announce a net-zero by 2050 strategy as the country committed to supporting international efforts to combat global warming.

"Our nation is forging ahead and promoting environmental health, enabling the adoption of clean production methods and reducing natural environmental stress aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

"The UAE has pledged to leave no one behind as we build a green economy and pave the way towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050," she said.

The granddaughter of the late Sheikh Khalifa said the UAE is "more committed than ever" in working with the private sector, and hopes that "groundbreaking partnerships" will develop as a result.

Sheikha Shamma wants to continue her family's work to enable women's advancement in many fields, including sustainability.

In November, 2021, the UAE was chosen as the host of Cop28, and two months ago Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, led the first meeting of the Supreme National Committee, formed to prepare for the summit.

Next winter, Abu Dhabi will host the gathering, known in full as Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Sheikha Shamma said that the sustainability summits this year and next year show confidence in the region.

"Today, the Mena region has emerged as a pioneer of innovation in sustainability.

"The upcoming conferences to be held in Egypt later this year, and in Abu Dhabi in 2023 are testament to the growing prominence of the region within the sphere," she said.

Updated: May 19, 2022, 4:57 AM
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