Dubai reaffirms commitment to improving air quality alongside 34 global leading cities

Dubai reaffirms commitment to improving air quality alongside 34 global leading cities
Published: 20 October 2019 - 8 a.m.
By: Carla Sertin

As part of the UAE’s 2021 Sustainability Agenda, Dubai has signed the Air Quality Declaration alongside 34 cities at the C40 World Mayors Summit 2019. Dubai is also working with the international cities to develop plans that correspond to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030, particularly those that are related to good health and well-being, responsible consumption and production, affordable renewable energy, and climate action.

"As a representative of our fellow Asian and East Asian cities in the C40 Steering Committee, we are confident that uniting our efforts through numerous collaborations will drastically contribute to tackling climate change," said Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, secretary general of the Executive Council of Dubai and vice president of the Asian and East Asian cities in the C40 Steering Committee. "As part of Dubai’s important participation at the C40 summit, we have also reaffirmed our strong ties with cities from all over the world, and we look forward to working alongside these strong regional and global players to secure a brighter and sustainable future for many generations to come."

Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, director general of Dubai Health Authority, said: “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues affecting the global community today, and taking part in the Air Quality Declaration is a significant step towards unifying global efforts in reducing climate change’s effects on the environment. The emirate is well established and positioned to address these environmental concerns and is leveraging its experience and knowledge to play a prominent and global role in achieving a cleaner environment by 2030.”

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with a projected production capacity of 5000 MW by 2030, is the world's largest single-site solar project, with a total investment of up to AED 50 billion. Once completed, the park will contribute to reducing more than 6.5mn tons of carbon emissions annually. Dubai is also working on launching various initiatives that have the potential to enhance energy efficiency, rationalize consumption, reduce carbon emission, promote solar energy, use electric vehicles and effectively reducing our carbon footprint and transition towards a greener local economy.

"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," said DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer. "It has also exceeded the Carbon Emissions Strategy’s target to reduce emissions by 16% by 2021. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), awarded Dubai with the Platinum Rating in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Cities certification, making the Emirate the first city in the Arab world and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to receive this prestigious accolade."

Dawood Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: “Dubai Municipality seeks to achieve a balance between developmental and environmental needs. 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. 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," Al Hajri concluded.

The Air Quality Improvement Declaration obliges cities to set ambitious targets to reduce pollution; implement policies to raise air quality by 2030; and publish periodic reports on progress - based on the agreement of city mayors that breathing fresh air is a human right. Participating cities in the C40 Summit are committed to work together to shape a global alliance in the aim of improving air quality. They have agreed on a range of policies and programs to achieve that goal, including: encouraging public transport; low or zero carbon emissions; encouraging alternative modes of transportation such as walking and cycling; and motivating the involvement of private and public entities to create a better future.

The Air Quality Declaration includes the following cities: London, Los Angeles, Washington, Berlin, Austin, Bangalore, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Amman, Delhi, Durban, Guadalajara, Heidelberg, Houston, Jakarta, Lima, Lisbon, Madrid, Medellin, Mexico City, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Portland, Quezon, Quito, Rotterdam, Seoul, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, and Warsaw.

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