How the UAE is addressing sustainability
We look at how private and public industries are gearing up to address sustainability and reduce their respective carbon footprints
This year the Dubai Government announced the bold objective of transforming Dubai into a smart city, with a green economy that aims to be the most sustainable in the world by 2021. According to the 2015 UAE State Energy report, 22% of Dubai’s carbon emissions in 2010 could be accredited to the transportation industry.
To help tackle the issue, in January 2011 the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) established the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE), with the mission of facilitating Dubai’s fast track transformation to a low carbon economy. The DCCE is a think tank designed to innovate, create and develop new technologies for resource efficiency.
In line with the vision of the DCCE, the RTA launched the Green Bus Project, which saw them gradually introduce a fleet of buses that run on biofuels derived from cooking oil. As reported by Gulf News, the fleet under project will utilise solar energy for the interior lighting and come equipped with LED light bulbs, with the potential emission savings being closely monitored.
“Around 78% reduction of carbon emissions is expected from the Green Bus compared to the normal buses. The use of bio-diesels helps cut fuel cost by 2% and the use of solar powered LED lamps further reduces overall operation costs,” commented Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossary, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.
In international transport, the Aviation Industry has been identified as a big contributor toward the global carbon footprint. Dubai International Airport carried 70.5mn passengers in 2014 making it one of the biggest hubs on the planet.
As such, Dubai Airports has begun an aggressive campaign to reduce its carbon footprint.
The installation of energy saving lamps, occupancy sensors and a reduction in the number of aircraft waiting for take-off on the runway with engines running, make up a few of Dubai Airports initiatives, which have proven to be energy efficient and cost-effective.
“We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and as we step up efforts to limit our footprint, it is becoming increasingly clear that green business is good business,” explained Paul Griffiths, CEO at Dubai Airports.
“Our ultimate goal is to contribute to the development of a clean, sustainable future in which airports, aircraft and all ancillary services are carbon neutral.”
With one car for every two people residing in Dubai, the private transport industry must take equally considerable steps for carbon neutrality to quickly become a reality. One such company, GreenParking, intends to play a fundamental role in assisting the city’s residents in making their contribution toward a green Dubai.
As a environmental friendly parking management company in the Middle East, GreenParking has spearheaded a number of carbon footprint reducing initiatives.
“In our parking facilities, aside from the installation of long life and energy saving LED lighting, movement activated lighting and paperless Parkchips, we have also implemented our smart parking guidance system,” said Sam Alawiye, CEO of GreenParking.
“Everyday a single driver cruises 400 meters on average to find a parking space, that’s 12 kilometres per month, per car. We operate the most advanced single space guidance system in the world, allowing the driver to be channelled directly to the nearest available parking slot. A simple but effective measure that dramatically reduces carbon emissions and increases customer satisfaction.”
Following DEWA’s announcement on the installation of 100 electric vehicles (EV) chargers to be strategically placed across the emirate, GreenParking was brought on as the official provider of charging machines. As the government implements importation regulations, many believe that EV are the future for Dubai’s transport field.
Michal Ayat, CEO of Arabian Automobile, commented during an Electric Vehicle Conference in Dubai, that EVs are the key to making Dubai green.
“We recognise the fact that electric vehicles represent the next phase of automotive technology and with exciting electric vehicles present in our line up, we aim to support Dubai in achieving the highest standards of energy efficiency,” commented Ayat.
With the infrastructure in place and the vehicles available for purchase, a number of incentives have been submitted, designed to further encourage the residents of Dubai to choose the green auto option.
Proposed financial and social incentives include discounts on utility bills, dedicated parking spaces in malls, free Salik, subsidised rates on car purchase and a reduction in customs duty.
In a comment shared with Gulf News, DEWA CEO & MD HE Mohammed Al Tayer, said: “the executive council of Dubai is studying various proposals to encourage people to use eco-friendly vehicles.”
In full alignment with the green vision, GreenParking intend to further encourage the purchase of EV chargers by ensuring that owning and running an EV is simple and convenient.
“We believe that the people of Dubai will further embrace electric and hybrid vehicles as managing and running them becomes effortless,” added,” added GreenParking’s Alawiye.
“We intend to install charging points in shopping malls, private homes and car parks across the region, making access easy. Additionally, we are also planning on building a green EV and hybrid vehicle car park in which every element has an environmental benefit and the car owners will be able to charge their vehicle for free.”
The combination of the extensive ventures of the public transport sector and the private auto industry indicates that a dramatic drop in carbon emissions is imminent. Such strategies and unparalleled to a green economy is sure to place Dubai at the top of the global leader board for carbon neutrality by 2021.