Green growth strategy: Case of UAE

By: Vikhram Seshadri

The UN adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, the same year as the Paris Climate Agreement to lay the foundation for a future that would eradicate inequality and poverty while encouraging sustainable development worldwide. Implementing practices that will help achieve these goals at a global level is complicated when LDCs are taken into play. While globalization has opened opportunities for these countries it has also promoted unequal development in multiple sectors. Moreover, relatively weaker economies and the disproportionate responsibility they have to take is a challenge. Modifications in the energy and agriculture sector need policies that resolve the economic discrepancy. These require significant capital and public support, both of which may be considerable milestones for these countries to achieve. Policy changes that are exponentially more inclusive and considerate to these countries are the pivotal need of the hour.

UAE has touched the majority of the significant spheres of sustainable development goals. They’ve implemented The Green Growth Strategy from 2012 which aims to create an economy that revolves around green investment. The UAE succeeded and drastically reducing their ecological footprint from 11.68 hectares to 7.75 hectares (2006-2014). In addition, the proactive UAE ministry of climate change and environment issued Ministerial Decree No.471 (2016) on regulating surface fishing. This reflects the ministry’s aim to preserve, develop and ensure the sustainability of fish stocks. In 2010 the UAE cabinet took a huge leap forward approving the Green Building and Sustainable Building standards to be applied across the country. The project is estimated to save AED 10 billion by 2030 and decrease 30% of the carbon emissions. The ministry has set standards to ensure lighting product imports are energy-efficient, especially for the housing sector, which represents 57 per cent of the country’s ecological footprint. The UAE has set aside a huge part of its budget towards developing the education sector. In the year 2016, the education sector received the majority of the cut and was allotted 21.2 % of the federal budget which is amounted to AED 10.28 billion. As for the sphere of jobs, the MOHRE(Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation) has ensured increased job opportunities for all, and a fair market.

Emiratisation is implemented in almost all sectors in the UAE where every company with more than 100 employees is obliged to recruit a stipulated number of UAE nationals. The nation has an instrumental tie-up with Tasheels, therefore companies registered with them with more than 1000 employees are necessitated to employ Emirati citizenship holders for the data entry position.

In 2010, the United Arab Emirates’ Government launched the UAE Vision 2021, which sets the theme for economic and social development. In November 2013, the UAE was nominated to host the World Expo 2020. The Expo is estimated to create 275,000 jobs and cater various sectors including tourism, aviation and infrastructure. A renewable energy company, named Masdar. They have signed a strategic partnership with Beah to improvise UAE’s waste to energy sector. This is an instrumental partnership as it contributes to the UAE government’s vision 2021. One of the goals revolves around diverting waste from landfills by 75% by 2021. By the second quarter of 2020 Dubai will have the largest plant in the middle east to convert waste to energy, in addition the UAE are aiming to increase and generate power from clean energy to 30% by 2030. In 2012 UAE launched the green economy initiative if successful places UAE as the global pioneers in green economy,products and technologies. This would be the pinnacle of sustainable development if achieved by 2021. Dubai has created a lucrative project of creating the world’s largest concentrated solar power project on a single site with a capacity of 1000 MW. The cherry on top for the UAE is their investments which have crossed more than 1 million in the sphere of alternative energy.

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