Minister of Climate Change and Environment Affirms UAE’s Actions to Lower Carbon Emissions Voluntarily | WWF

Minister of Climate Change and Environment Affirms UAE’s Actions to Lower Carbon Emissions Voluntarily

Posted on
28 September 2016


  • Ecological Footprint Initiative Steering Committee approves the development of a UAE Vehicle Fuel Economy standard, led by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA).
  • The standard will play a key role in helping the UAE achieve its emission reduction targets and support the country’s sustainability agenda in line with UAE Vision 2021.
  • H.E. Razan Al Mubarak: UAE has positioned itself as a leader in sustainable development and EFI has been fundamental in providing focus and expertise.
     
(Abu Dhabi, UAE: 27 September 2016) - H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and, Chairman of the Ecological Footprint Initiative Steering Committee, renewed UAE’s commitment to lower the country’s carbon emissions under the aegis of the Ecological Footprint Initiative (EFI). The announcement was made at yesterday’s steering committee meeting of the EFI, which was chaired by H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, and attended by H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, Co-Chair and Sponsor of the EFI. 

The development of the Vehicle Fuel Economy standard, led by ESMA will ensure fuel efficient cars are available to UAE drivers. The standard is set to play a key role in helping the UAE achieve its emission reduction targets and support the country’s sustainability agenda in line with UAE Vision 2021.

When adopted by the UAE Cabinet, the proposed standard has the potential to deliver annual fuel savings to UAE households worth 9.5 billion AED – representing carbon savings equivalent to removing 4.5 million cars from the UAE’s roads by 2035. 

The initiative brings together high-level stakeholders from a wide range of federal and local entities working in the domains of transport, environment, water and energy. At yesterday’s meeting, H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi congratulated EFI partners for their commitment to reducing both UAE’s carbon emissions and contribution to climate change. 

Commenting on the importance of the initiative, H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and, Chairman of the Ecological Footprint Initiative steering committee said: “Since its creation in 2007, the EFI has supported the UAE’s progress towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future by developing innovative, science-based policies to reduce carbon emissions. This collaboration on improving vehicle fuel economy adds to the EFI’s impressive track record and is a firm indication of the UAE’s commitment to stronger action on climate change, in line with the UAE’s recent ratification of the Paris Agreement.” 

H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and Co-Chair and sponsor of the Ecological Footprint Initiative, commented: “The UAE has positioned itself as a leader in sustainable development and the work of the EFI has been fundamental in providing focus and expertise, in particular in our efforts to reduce the UAE’s contribution to climate change.  In the past the EFI has undertaken a robust verification of the data behind the UAE’s ecological footprint.  Since then, it has convened a number of key stakeholders who are all committed to reducing our ecological footprint.  Previous successful initiatives include the introduction of the UAE’s lighting standard. The latest initiative by EFI is to implement the Vehicle Fuel Economy standard, this is a significant step to help make the country’s vehicle fleet more fuel efficient, addressing one of the country’s main sources of greenhouse gas emissions and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy”.

The new standard, based on Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards in the United States, would also ensure that the country receives the most advanced vehicle technologies and profits from associated economic benefits. 

Explaining the objective of the standard, Abdullah Al Maeeni, Director General, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), commented: ‘The standard is designed to bring more efficient vehicles to the UAE. It will also build on regional initiatives such as the new GCC-wide car labelling system for light-duty vehicles which enables consumers to make informed decisions. According to our research, consumers will recover any additional costs of buying more fuel-efficient cars within one to four years and will then benefit from significant lifetime savings, ranging from $2,400 to $3,500 per vehicle.”   

Ida Tillisch, Director General of the Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF, which acts as the EFI secretariat and leads research efforts for the policy initiative, said: “The UAE needs well-designed, science-based policies to boost economic resilience and tackle climate change. This standard has the potential for major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and is a significant step towards realising the UAE’s commitment to limit our contribution to climate change. At the same time, it decreases consumption and yields significant savings for consumers.”

In addition to the vehicle fuel economy standard, the EFI steering committee discussed the data verification for the UAE Footprint Accounts of 2016, the communications plan for the initiative, and strategies to further consolidate the UAE’s efforts to tackle climate change.