UAE builds green communities with government and private sector support – News

While there is still a long way to go to realize the green agenda for the urban real estate and housing sector, it needs the collective collaboration of industry, government and the entire supply chain. ‘supply.

By Yousif Ahmed Al Mutawa

Published: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:27 PM

As the United Arab Emirates embarks on a new 50-year growth cycle to make the Emirates the most dynamic economy in the world, the Net Zero strategy by 2050 of the United Arab Emirates – the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions – will be a key enabler of this vision.

The UAE’s ambitious vision for a path to net zero lays out a promising roadmap to a future full of abundant opportunity and game-changing innovation. This greatly increases opportunities for more sustainable developments across the country to protect the national economy and further strengthens the UAE’s global position as a future-ready investment destination.

The projected investment of over $160 billion announced by the UAE to achieve net zero by 2050 is certainly an ambitious goal. But with the World Economic Forum (WEF) estimating $23 trillion in reduced annual global economic output as a direct result of rising emissions, tackling climate change is a collective responsibility. shared between the public and private sectors.

The UAE’s efforts are being led by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, which is leading collaborations with all industries and government stakeholders to introduce measures to reduce emissions and instill a culture of sustainability in projects and communities.

These initiatives include energy projects that aim to increase the contribution of clean energy in the UAE’s total energy production from 25% to 50% by 2050 and reduce the carbon footprint of electricity production by 70% . There is also water desalination, particularly through the use of reverse osmosis desalination plants, with investments in desalination plants across the UAE valued at around $2 billion.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects aim to mitigate climate change by capturing carbon dioxide from sources such as power plants and storing it underground. Finally, major investments are made in sustainable transport and clean mobility such as electric and hydrogen vehicles.

But it is the infrastructure and real estate sector that will have a major impact on the UAE’s pursuit of net zero emissions. According to an assessment by Norton Rose Fulbright, regulatory and legislative support for the Net-Zero 2050 plan will be key to its success, and the UAE has taken several steps to improve the regulatory landscape in the infrastructure sector.

Dubai, for example, has approved regulations such as the Green Building and Sustainable Building Standards to ensure developers adhere to sustainable development practices. Abu Dhabi launched the Estidama Pearl rating system in 2010, which is used to assess sustainable building development practices and minimize water, energy consumption and waste generation.

This is why sustainable projects such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, and communities such as Sharjah Sustainable City have already made their mark on the national net zero landscape.

Sharjah Sustainable City – a joint venture between the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Diamond Developers – represents an environmental leap forward for the sector in the UAE, with villas powered by rooftop solar panels , a biogas plant for energy recovery from waste, electric shuttles for internal mobility and the possibility of growing your own vegetables and vegetables through vertical farming. As the first fully integrated and sustainable development in the emirate, Sharjah Sustainable City aims to create a net zero community with a reduced carbon footprint and significant savings on energy consumption and bills.

By combining the best of sustainable architecture and building materials, sustainable engineering and construction, low-carbon agricultural technologies, clean mobility and renewable energy, Sharjah Sustainable City has established a new benchmark for sustainable communities and is poised to drive industry growth in pursuit of net zero travel. But this journey is not without its challenges.

Net zero could certainly become more commercially viable through a combination of industry incentives and policies and the introduction of standardized measurement frameworks. Developers, for example, cannot achieve net zero alone. A report by the World Green Building Council revealed that there are currently only 500 net zero commercial buildings and 2,000 net zero homes in the world.

That’s why entrepreneurs, governments and other stakeholders need to develop and integrate solutions that make industry greener: suppliers and vendors need to make net zero materials a priority. Governments can support the economy with infrastructure and a mandate for green building, clean mobility and renewable energy such as green hydrogen – as in the case of the United Arab Emirates.

While there is a long way to go to realize the green agenda for the urban real estate and housing sector, it needs the collective collaboration of industry, government and the entire supply chain. ‘supply. As projects such as the Sustainable City of Sharjah demonstrate, it is worth making the effort to come together to build a sustainable environment for future generations.

– Yousif Ahmed Al Mutawa is Managing Director of Sharjah Sustainable City

Jennifer C. Burleigh