Sustainability report sets out UAE goals

Sustainability and energy efficiency are some of the key issues the UAE is set to work on to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations by 2030, according to a government report released on Wednesday.

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DUBAI // The Government on Wednesday issued a report on progress towards the 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) set out by the United Nations for 2030.

The State of Sustainability report highlighted cutting-edge technnology in use across the UAE to keep it on track to reach 2030’s goals.

“The report will showcase the foundation that the UAE has built in the past years, the enablers that are already existing and it will help us in achieving the SDG,” said Najla Al Kaabi, undersecretary assistant for international cooperation at the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development.

“It’s important because it’s a global consensus. If you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it, and the UAE is always engaged internationally and would love to play that global role.”

Compiled in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority and Dubai Carbon over eight months, the report included data from organisations concerned with water, education, health, governance and environment, among others.

“In the past three days, there has been an interesting dicussion on how countries should work together and set a national framework to start reporting for the SDGs and how to finance [them].”

The report stated that the switch from 8,000 traditional lights to LED at Dubai Silicon Oasis contributed to reducing power use by 1,178 megawatts, or 23 per cent of total consumption. Another milestone was placing sensors in buildings to manage electricity consumption.

Weather monitors integrated with sub-surface irrigation measure temperature and humidity to accurately supply a park with the water it needs, cutting use of irrigation water in different areas of the premises by 55 per cent.

“We don’t look at this as just reporting for the sake of reporting,” said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, director of energy and climate change at Mofa.

“We look at it as an opportunity to improve our local policy. It will be a tool to pursue what we are doing locally and a mechanism for us to enhance our work within the Government.”

In the past six years, the UAE committed more than US$840 million (Dh3.1 billion) to renewable energy in more than 30 countries.

“Today, we are talking about renewables and it is a reality,” said Waleed Salman, chairman of Dubai Carbon.

“We have a solar park, we’re talking about electric vehicles, there are many things today on the ground in the UAE and we share them with our friends around the world, but it needs to be showcased.

“We need to show the world the UAE’s model and this is the know-how we can share.

“From this platform, we can report on the progress from now until 2021 and 2030 and we will make this a knowledge product.”