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UAE drives environmental sustainability and climate action through national dialogue initiatives

He National Dialogue for Climate Ambition (NDCA) initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change have provided a platform to manage constructive discussions and exchange ideas and perspectives between stakeholders and partners from both the government and the private sector on ways to improve environmental sustainability and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

During the recent period, the ministry organized the NDCA and the National Dialogue for Food Security, resulting in a set of initiatives, solutions and commitments that support the country’s goals for comprehensive and sustainable economic development. In addition, the ministry announced the launch of the first National Veterinary Medicine Dialogue under the theme “Improving the Capacities of Veterinary Services in the Country.”

Climate ambitions

He Ministry of Climate Change and Environment launched the NCDC initiative with the aim of raising ambitions across all sectors and enhancing their participation in achieving the goals of the UAE Strategic Initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The meetings within the dialogue aimed to identify expectations for sustainability and climate action at the sector level, focusing on innovative technologies and solutions that contribute to accelerating the pace of work, and identifying key actors in each sector, especially private institutions.

The dialogue identified 4 proposed initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in the cement industry sector in the country, including an initiative to reduce dependence on limestone in cement production and rely on other environment-friendly alternatives like calcite. It also included an initiative to enable the use of renewable energy in factories, an initiative to use RDF alternative fuels and energy recovery systems, as well as an initiative to promote the use and employment of carbon capture, storage and reuse technologies. .

The dialogue discussed the global energy outlook and the local sector outlook, shedding light on emerging solutions that help build a climate-neutral energy system, such as clean hydrogen.

The dialogue explored global sustainable financing trends, reviewing its local implementation to identify the tools and mechanisms needed to support the UAE’s journey towards climate neutrality.

In its fourth session, the dialogue witnessed the launch of the Ministry of Climate Change and EnvironmentThe UAE’s “Climately Responsible Companies Pledge” aimed to enhance the participation of private sector institutions in the country’s emissions reduction goals, aligning with the objectives of the UAE’s strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 .

The dialogue dedicated a session to exploring the role of the insurance sector in improving adaptive capacities to climate change. Another session discussed harnessing green finance to enhance national climate action ambitions. The dialogue focused on accelerating carbon sequestration through nature-based solutions, discussing the UAE’s efforts to benefit from blue carbon ecosystems, such as mangrove forests, wetlands and seagrass areas, to address the challenge of climate change.

Five opportunities were identified in the construction and building sector to mitigate its impact on climate change. These include ensuring the adoption of green purchasing practices by implementing standards that promote partnerships with suppliers of low-carbon products, updating building systems for new construction, renovating existing buildings to improve energy efficiency, emphasizing the use of energy solar thermal and efficient energy. cooling systems in residential areas and, ultimately, reduce waste generation while promoting the recycling of construction and demolition waste.

In its tenth session, the dialogue focused on the industrial sector to enhance its participation in reducing carbon emissions in the UAE. The eleventh session aimed to discuss ways to improve the sustainability of the transportation sector and its contribution to reducing emissions in partnership with federal and various government entities, as well as the country’s private sector.

In the twelfth session, discussions focused on the National Carbon Registry, with the objective of serving as a platform for the registration, transfer and monitoring of carbon balances resulting from projects and companies in the country. The thirteenth session, titled “Transitioning towards responsible consumer behavior in retail”, explored improving sustainability in the retail sector, integrating it into all activities, driving towards climate neutrality and empowering consumers to play a positive role in this process.

Food safety

In March 2023, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment launched the first cycle of the “National Dialogue for Food Security.” The initiative aimed to discuss various challenges and issues that contribute to improving food security in the UAE. This involved facilitating constructive dialogue between various stakeholders and partners from both the government and the private sector.

The first cycle discussed the importance of sustainable agriculture, the role of food supply companies in sustaining national farms, the promotion of food sustainability, innovation in the agricultural sector and the commercialization of local agricultural products in the context of sustainability.

The ministry highlighted the details of the “National Farm Sustainability”Initiative during the event. The initiative aims to make citizens’ farms a primary source of various agricultural crops and food products for major food supply companies operating in the UAE.

The initiative involves creating a sustainable market for domestic farms across the country by contracting with government and semi-government entities to meet their annual needs for food and agricultural products in three stages. These stages include raising the percentage of purchases by contracted government entities to 50 percent of local production by 2023, increasing that percentage to 70 percent by 2025 and reaching 100 percent by 2030.

The second cycle of the National Dialogue for Food Security, with the theme “The Poultry Industry in the United Arab Emirates: Challenges and Promising Opportunities”, addressed the challenges facing the poultry industry in the country. It revealed various data and analyzes on the state of the industry in the Emirates, including key legislations regulating imports and exports of birds and animals, animal and bird health regulations, animal welfare legislation, wildlife regulation laws and food safety regulations.

The third cycle of “National Dialogue for Food Security” took place in June 2023 and focused on the theme “Transition to sustainable dietary patterns”. Discussions focused on the requirements for the transition to healthy and sustainable dietary systems as well as food innovation.

The fourth cycle of the National Dialogue for Food Security, held in November 2023, revealed the roadmap for Ne’ma, the National Initiative on Food Loss and Waste. Ne’ma is a comprehensive action plan that aims to reduce food loss and waste in the country by 50 percent by 2030.

Discussions focused on identifying challenges and solutions, mapping food loss and waste hotspots, addressing comprehensive gaps, and promoting best practices. The emphasis was on mobilizing efforts from both the government and the private sector, as well as the community as a whole, to change current consumption habits.

The event featured a presentation on the “Zero food to landfill“initiative, which highlights the process of segregating all food materials and reusing or recycling them to ultimately return them to nature.

News source: Emirates News Agency

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