Dubai has signed the Air Quality Declaration – which obliges cities to set targets to reduce pollution; implement policies to raise air quality by 2030; and publish periodic reports on progress – joining 34 other cities around the globe in the battle against climate change at the C40 World Mayors Summit 2019.
Dubai will work with cities around the world to develop plans for sustainable construction, responsible production, affordable renewable energy, climate action, public and alternative transport, low or zero carbon emissions, and good health and well-being, which correspond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 initiative.
Cities that have co-signed the declaration include: London, Los Angeles, Washington, Berlin, Austin, Bangalore, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Amman, Delhi, Durban, Guadalajara, Heidelberg, Houston, and Jakarta, in addition to Lima, Lisbon, Madrid, Medellin, Mexico City, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Portland, Quezon, Quito, Rotterdam, Seoul, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, and Warsaw.
Commenting on the sustainability initiative, secretary of The Executive Council of Dubai and vice president of the Asian and East Asian cities in the C40 Steering Committee, HE Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, said: “Through sustainable construction, and with sustainability at its core, the upcoming Dubai World Expo 2020 is on track to becoming one of the world’s most sustainable expositions in history, and we are excited to share our innovative and impactful climate change solutions with the rest of the world.”
Dubai is already working on harnessing clean energy with the construction of the $13.6bn (AED50bn) Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park) – the world’s largest single-site solar project based on the independent power producer (IPP) model – which is expected to reach a production capacity of 5000MW by 2030, and reduce more than 6.5m tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
Commenting on Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (Dewa) efforts in promoting sustainability, vice chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and managing director and chief executive officer of Dewa, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, said: “DEWA’s efforts, along with other government and private entities in Dubai have reduced the net carbon emissions of the emirate by 19%, two years ahead of the target date. It has also exceeded the Carbon Emissions Strategy’s target to reduce emissions by 16% by 2021.”
Talking about the role of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in implementing sustainability projects, director general and chairman of the RTA’s board of directors, HE Mattar Al Tayer, said: “Through the implementation of various sustainability projects and initiatives, such as strengthening the public transport system in Dubai, we have contributed to increasing the number of people who use public transport from 163m in 2006 to more than 589m in 2018.”
Mattar Al Tayer added: “Our ongoing initiatives consist of implementing a plan to divert 50% of Dubai's taxi fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles by 2021; installing energy-efficient road lighting (LED); replacing the public transport bus fleet with new buses conforming to European standards for low carbon emissions, including “Euro 5” and “Euro 6” buses, the first of their kind in the Middle East and North Africa; along with the electronic and intelligent transformation of the various services we provide to our customers.”
Commenting on the projects implemented by the Dubai Municipality (DM) to achieve better air quality, director general of DM, Dawood Al Hajri, said: We’ve implemented a number of strategic projects in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Executive Council, including the Air Quality Strategy 2017-2021, which we launched in 2017.”
Al Hajri added: “Our city will achieve the national target of 90% clean air by 2021. The strategy aims to reduce air pollutants resulting from the operational and manufacturing operations of sectors including transport; energy production; and energy and industrials. We will monitor these areas and aim to effectively reduce carbon emissions – contributing to the emirate’s air quality index.”