UAE, the Hub of Green Economy

  • 19 April 2014

On 15-16 April 2014, the UAE hosted the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai, which is regarded the first of its kind event in the Middle East and North Africa region. The Summit reflects the great interest the UAE takes in green economy initiatives, which are primary components of the sustainable development strategies. A large number of decision-makers, officials, academics, researchers and businessmen from various countries participated in the Summit besides representatives from government departments and the UAE, Gulf and Arab business sectors. The Summit provided a platform for dialog on green economy initiatives and discussed the best ways to move to a safer, environment-friendly economy across the globe.

The UAE has been a pioneer in the field of green economy in the Middle East. Last year, it launched an initiative under the slogan ‘A Green Economy for Sustainable Development’, which was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The aim of this initiative is to make the UAE one of the world’s leading countries in the area of green economy as well as a hub for export of green products and technologies. It has expressed keenness to present a model that achieves the objectives of comprehensive development while maintaining a sustainable environment consistent with the UAE Vision 2021.

The UAE’s efforts in this domain have been based on striking a careful balance between sustainable growth and considerations of development both in terms of quality and quantity. Striking this balance has been the key to its development plans. Protecting the environment against immediate threats and safeguarding it in the wake of potential challenges have for decades been a preoccupation of decision-makers in the UAE. The matter has become more urgent with the rapid progress the country has made over the years leading to a rise in ‘per capita carbon emission index’ in which the UAE occupies high ranks globally. The concerns for the environment have raised the stakes for the country.

The urgency to protect the environment has prompted the UAE’s agencies and its federal and local governments to address the challenges and threats and take steps to protect its development gains. In order to address environmental risks and threats, the UAE has adopted a policy of economic diversification, which includes diversification of revenue, as well as that of energy and water sources. The idea behind all this is to maintain the ecological balance and to preserve balanced opportunities for a decent, safe and stable living for the present and the future. The UAE has achieved immense success in this arena and has become a model that can be emulated in the region and beyond.

Besides taking national initiatives, the UAE has also made consistent efforts at the international level to protect the environment and ensure sustainable development. Hosting the World Green Economy Summit and other such global events – such as the World Future Energy Summit and International Water Summit – is part of the country’s efforts for a unified global framework for addressing environment and water issues and balancing the progress in both. This is considered one of the most difficult tasks for all countries. This is why the UAE is keen to present a sustainable solution of development and promoting green investment and trade to achieve a prosperous and sustainable future, making it a truly regional and global hub of green economy.