Dubai joins global efforts to curb rise in temperature

Wednesday 09 December 2015

Dubai - MENA Herald: For the first time, the Earth is expected to experience a temperature increase of one degree centigrade in 2015. This makes it higher than the registered rates before the industrial period, for the first time, according to the Meteorological Office of the Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK. Temperatures around the world have averaged 1.02C, above the 1850-1900 period, between January and September of this year. This new data requires immediate action in step with the growing momentum of efforts to address climate change as the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) approaches.

The projected one-degree increase is a concerning development, considering how as the world draws closer to a two-degree rise, the chances of the earth’s major ecosystems being unbalanced becomes greater, according to the Meteorological Office of the Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services. The World Meteorological Organisation reports that the two most critical greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide and methane, both of which reached record highs last year.

Scientists warn that beyond 2030, the Earth’s ability to adapt to unabated climate change will be limited. The Emissions Gap Report, an authoritative assessment undertaken by a team of leading scientists and modelling experts from around the world, presented a review of the 119 Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The UAE has submitted its INDCs together with 145 other countries, demonstrating its strong commitment to tackle the issue of climate change. The UAE seeks to adopt best practices and environmental stewardship in energy through various strategies, action plans and initiatives. Dubai in particular has established ambitious clean energy goals, with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) doing its part by increasing its renewable energy targets, better managing energy demand, and further reducing carbon footprint in accordance with the comprehensive strategic guidelines established by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

The specific national contributions are intended to reduce emissions to slow the pace of rising temperatures. While they alone are not enough to limit the rise to the recommended level of 2°C this century, the INDCs assessed in the Emissions Gap report represent a historic step towards decarbonising economies. To close the gap and limit global temperature increases to at most 2°C by 2100, it is essential that a new universal climate agreement be adopted by governments at COP 21. The delegation from the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy will present its updated Green Economy Report during this conference.

“Our Carbon Abatement Strategy is the first of its kind in the region. It supports the UAE Vision 2021 to transform the UAE into one of the best countries in the world by 2021. It also support the long-term National Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative to enhance the competitiveness and economic sustainability of the UAE. It will make the country a global role model of sustainability and green initiatives,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of DEWA.

“Financing the transition to a low-carbon world requires smart government policies implemented in a specific and timely manner. While the international climate agreement expected to be signed in Paris will smoothen the path for organisations and companies, getting a head-start in the movement towards a low-carbon economy will most definitely provide a long-term competitive advantage, with partnerships to act as essential tools for achieving this goal,” added Al Tayer.

“Companies can now determine how much emissions to cut to support the global goal of avoiding the 2°C increase in the Earth’s temperature. This is achieved using methods based on the latest scientific climatic knowledge. For its part, the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence has intensified its efforts to work with major corporations to establish a green economy through its issuance of the State of Green Economy Report 2016. As one of the commitments made during the Dubai Declaration of 2014, the report offers a platform for local and international experts to share research, tools, and replicable initiatives,” added Waleed Salman, Chairman of the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence.

“These INDCs reflect the commitment of the global community to begin a new era of reduced global warming. Governments from all corners of the globe have signified through their INDCs that they are determined to play their part to achieve this end,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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