Al Mubarak launched the global "Race to Zero" and "Race to Resilience" programmes.
DUBAI: Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, stated that the UAE has always been keen on adopting policies and initiatives that support and foster climate action, viewing them as a strategic priority in driving sustainable socioeconomic development.
"The Policies Committee of the UAE Circular Economy Council continues its efforts, in collaboration with its partners in the government and private sectors, to accelerate the full implementation of the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2031." These comprise 22 initiatives centred on four important sectors: sustainable transport, manufacturing, food, and green infrastructure, all of which will boost the national economy's growth and competitiveness in line with the 50's goals," he added.
This occurred at the "Road to COP28: Driving Collective Action in the UAE" event, organised by Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, in partnership with Dubai Chamber, and aimed at investigating climate mitigation, adaptation, resilience, and finance. The High-Level Champions and the Dubai Chamber hosted the event, which was backed by the COP28 Presidency, and brought together key segments of society to activate efforts for inclusive climate progress ahead of the UAE-hosted climate summit.
"COP28, which the UAE will host this year, will serve as a global platform that supports collective action to tackle climate change, reduce carbon footprint, achieve sustainable and comprehensive development, and create a better future for current and future generations," Al Marri added. The event will also help to promote the UAE's attractiveness to local and international investors in new economic sectors such as advanced technology, infrastructure, renewable energy, and climate change."
"Faced with an increasingly precarious future due to climate change and nature loss, it is the role of the High-Level Champions to underscore, on a global level, that comprehensive climate action is an all-of-society mandate," Razan Al Mubarak said in her opening session speech. As COP28 hosts, the UAE has a unique opportunity to bring our community together in pursuit of a net-zero, climate-resilient, and nature-positive future."
Al Mubarak announced the "Race to Zero" and "Race to Resilience" global initiatives, as well as the 2030 solution pathways and accessible projects as part of the Sharm El Sheikh Adaptation Agenda supported by the COP27 Presidency. The "Road to COP28" event provided a forum for local businesses to learn how they may set a good example by devoting money, skills, and resources to mitigation and adaptation efforts.
The High-Level Champions, for their part, are collaborating closely with regional leaders to drive ambitious climate action, particularly in areas where it is most needed and where adaptation to the effects of climate change, such as droughts, floods, rising sea levels, and extreme heat, is becoming more common.
The UAE is expanding its protected areas, encouraging sustainable agriculture practices, improving environmental quality, and implementing new nature-based solutions. This pledge will contribute to the UAE's environmental prosperity and sustainability for future generations. The High-Level Champions emphasised the significance of climate action, notably in difficult-to-address sectors like the built environment, which is especially important for quickly developing countries like the UAE.
"We recognise the critical role businesses play in combating climate change, and we remain committed to supporting local companies in achieving their environmental and climate goals," said Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers. Our priority is to promote sustainable business practices, green innovation, and the creation of a competitive, low-carbon economy. We will continue to support the effort to develop Dubai as a leading example of a net-zero, climate-resilient business community that contributes to a brighter tomorrow through our actions."
As the UAE moves towards a more sustainable future, its businesses, from startups to major corporations, are making substantial strides towards net-zero emissions. The event showcased how local organisations are implementing new and ambitious solutions to lower carbon footprints and demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability and climate resilience.
Across the board, industries are excitedly reinventing operations, investing in renewable energy, and implementing sustainable practices, thereby setting a regional precedent. This proactive strategy not only proves the viability of a net-zero future, but it also emphasises the economic benefits that this green transition may provide.