Sustainability: action needed

HE Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Government Sector Development has stressed that more action is needed to address the issues of sustainability in the Middle East.

NEWS, MEP
Al Mansouri: saving energy is a grave issue.
Al Mansouri: saving energy is a grave issue.

HE Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Government Sector Development has stressed that more action is needed to address the issues of sustainability in the Middle East.

"Saving energy is a grave issue...you have many alternatives available, unfortunately so far we have not made realistic steps towards addressing these issues," stated Al Mansouri.

"We have a lot of people [in the UAE] who have great ideas on how to solve or minimise the kinds of issues that we have here, from solar energy to wind energy, but we need to take action, we need to be active in this and we need to be organised," he added.

Al Mansouri was speaking in December at the 1st Sustainable energy seminar dedicated to green Dubai, which was hosted by Dubai Quality Group and Renewed Solutions.

He welcomed the recent directive from HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai that is set to come into force in January 2008.

Under the directive, new buildings must be constructed as per international green building standards. Al Mansouri predicts that this will be the first of many initiatives to be taken in the region: "This is a good start, something positive has been started here...My expectation is that we will see a lot of other neighbouring countries trying to establish an initiative."

He stressed that the issue of sustainability can be achieved through a balance between the region's economic growth, environmental needs and community needs.

"In the region we have a big challenge, the environment is one side of it and how we harness the new technologies in order to strike a balance between these three things.

The challenge is how to be more creative in sustainbility of building in the UAE and the world in general," he concluded.

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