In January 2012, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Green Economy initiative – a national initiative that aims to make the UAE one of the leaders of sustainable development. With the aim of maintaining a sustainable environment for economic growth and developing green technologies, the initiative aims to build a greener UAE for both its current and future residents. The initiative takes on an overwhelmingly vast number of topics in order to make this Green Dubai a reality, here are a few ways it’s being undertaken:
Making more sustainable, less wasteful cities
Megacities such as New York City and Tokyo are infamous for producing tons and tons of waste. With the Sustainable City, Dubai has built a sustainable housing development that recycles its water and waste. It also houses an impressive solar installation that produces more energy than it consumes.
Dubai’s Sustainable City is only one among the growing number of Dubai’s urban developments that builds on the ideas of the Green Initiative.
Making a gradual move to more sustainable energy sources
Dubai has two key initiatives that aim to diversify sources of energy and eventually move away from fossil fuels: Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 and Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. The former was launched in 2011 with the purpose of diversifying energy sources and increasing the share of clean energy to 29% by 2030. The latter, together with the Dubai Net Zero Emissions Strategy 2050, aims to provide 75% of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.
One of the things the UAE has in abundance is sunlight. Out in the desert, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world with a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030. The solar park aims not only to be pro-environment but also to be pro-economy and pro-social development.
Developing urban planning policies that are pro-environment
In the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan development plan, there is a great focus on building more sustainable developments and neighbourhoods in the emirate. Some of the key outcomes include
- Doubling the size of green and recreational areas
- Increasing the percentage allotment of land to nature reserves and natural areas
- Increasing the length of public beaches by 400%
- Establishing green corridors to link service areas, residential areas, and workplaces
- Facilitating the movement of pedestrians, bicycles, and sustainability means
With this, Dubai will have greener neighbourhoods and cleaner air. It will also encourage the use of public commute and more sustainable transportation.
Promoting more sustainable transportation
The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy aims to make 25% of Dubai’s transportation autonomous by 2030. The strategy aims to reduce environmental pollution by 12%, cut transportation costs by 44%, and generate AED 18 billion in annual economic returns through the increase of efficiency of the transportation sector.
It also aims to reduce traffic accidents, increase productivity by saving hours on transportation trips, and reduce the area allocated for parking spaces.
Addressing climate change issues
Climate change is a rapidly growing problem globally. One solution that countries and nations all over the world need to prioritize is to have a net zero target. Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. With UAE Net Zero 2050, the UAE aims to have net zero by 2050. Through this initiative, efforts are coordinated to ensure collaboration at a national level. This means that key sectors such as energy, economy, transport, waste, and agriculture are to update relevant strategies and policies in order to achieve this common goal by 2050.