Press Release

United Arab Emirates Announces Plan to Develop National Strategy on Green Growth

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, January 15, 2013 – H.E. Dr. Rashid Ahmed Mohammed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water of the United Arab Emirates, announced the nation’s plans to develop the National Strategy on Green Growth at the opening of the World Future Energy Summit, a global conference on green energy, held today in Abu Dhabi.

Under Minister Bin Fahad’s leadership, the National Strategy will be developed by a steering group, consisting of members of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

The National Strategy will be developed over the next nine months with the support of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an international organization dedicated to green growth in developing and emerging countries. The National Strategy will identify low carbon green growth opportunities in key sectors of the UAE economy including oil and gas, water and electricity, industry, transport, building, waste.  It will also cover land use and biodiversity. Additionally, the National Strategy will develop specific roadmaps for implementation, project roles and responsibilities, as well as institutional requirements.

To introduce and present the project plan to stakeholders and to discuss ways to construct a new framework for cooperation on green growth, PMO, MoEW, MoFA and GGGI jointly organized a side event on the sidelines of the Future Energy Summit.

The side event commenced with a joint declaration by the three ministries of the steering group, followed by a presentation by MoEW on a detailed business plan for the green growth strategy. GGGI also showcased its technical and analytical support, drawing on its know-how and experience in developing and emerging economies including Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, China, India, Mongolia, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, and Vietnam.

In support of the green growth strategy, GGGI performed two initial studies, including a situation analysis that reviewed existing federal/emirate institutional mandates and capacities, policy approaches, reports and data as well as a benchmark study that detailed best practices for green growth on a global level, extracting objectives and policy options.

The UAE recognizes the realities of climate change and is embracing efforts to improve energy access and security.  The country is also heavily invested in accelerating the adoption of renewable energy sources through instruments such as the Masdar Initiative. As a result, the UAE is now responsible for 68 percent of the Gulf’s renewable energy capacity and is drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions through adopting aggressive policy tools such as a zero-gas-flaring policy. In pursuit of a sustainable green economy, the UAE seeks to share its green growth opportunities and clean energy leadership through close participation and collaboration with GGGI.

The National Strategy on Green Growth aims to integrate existing national policies and measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation and align them with economic development objectives of the UAE. The completed strategy will contain specific policy objectives, directions, recommendations and measures that are tailored for the UAE, and adequately reflect the strengths and weaknesses associated with implementing green growth. Through this initiative, the UAE aims to become a world leader in sustainable economic development, a hub for green products and technologies, and a pioneer in maintaining a sustainable environment to support long-term economic growth.

I hope that, as a ‘first mover’ among hydrocarbon-based economies, the UAEwill become an important test ground to incubate innovative and implementation oriented policy and business models applicable to MENA as well as developing and emerging countries in other regions of the world,” said Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Chairman of the GGGI Council.

This National Strategy on Green Growth builds on key federal initiatives of the UAE, in particular the ‘UAE Vision 2021’ launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai in February 2010.

As part of the Vision, the UAE seeks a unified approach for both the private and public sectors to achieve sustainable development while incorporating human development as a key pillar. On January 16 2012, Sheikh Mohammed announced the launch of a long-term national initiative to build a Green Economy in the UAE under the slogan “A green economy for sustainable development.”

“Recent efforts to the global climate response center for a system of building for collective action, which requires actions from developing countries, especially from those who have greatest growth potential. The MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) has been increasingly in the spotlight as an incubator for low carbon development models that do not inhibit the growth aspirations of developing countries. GGGI will support the UAE to identify future growth engines for new generations and to develop an implementation oriented Green Growth Model applicable for MENA and other developing and emerging countries,” noted Dr. Chanho Park, Director of GGGI Abu Dhabi Office.