March - 2022
The Earth is our past, present and future. There is no Planet B.
Industrialisation has brought us a long way to where we are today, but it can also take us to where we do not want to be tomorrow. Our needs have negatively impacted the environment and almost come to a point of no return unless we act now.
Sustainability is not an option, but a priority. A priority to prioritise the planet. As global governments develop new ways to create sustainable business options, we also must watch our steps that impact the environment.
Inside this issue:
Save the Earth
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is alarming. UN scientists deliver a stark warning, saying that ecosystem collapse, species extinction, deadly heatwaves, and floods are among the “unavoidable multiple climate hazards” the world will face over the next two decades due to global warming. Unless we act NOW.
A closer look within the GCC nation is testimony to the UAE Rulers’ commitment to sustainable development and counteract climate change is not new. The principle of sustainable development underpins the plans of the seven emirates and the UAE’s Vision 2021, which, often supersede those of the Global Agenda 2030.
For more than a decade now, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) has been a key driver in the UAE’s positioning as a regional and global leader in sustainability and climate action. Last October, the UAE announced its Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the first such initiative in the MENA region.
The UAE was also the first Arab country to set voluntary clean energy targets, and the first Gulf state to sign the Paris Agreement. The ADSW 2022 is acting as a global catalyst for COP27 in Egypt this year, and COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE next year.
As the private sector is the engine of the UAE economy, its leaders’ support is critical in ensuring that the UAE succeeds in implementing the SDGs. Implementing sustainable initiatives into business processes will help drive the UAE’s progress and raise awareness in a way that will support sustainability among smaller market players.
Let’s take a look at some of the domains of the private sector that will play an invaluable role.
Across the globe, we have created more plastic waste in one decade than during the previous century combined. Particularly, plastic water bottles are the safest drinking water option in the UAE. But it’s also a highly dangerous one. To combat this ‘essential’ hazard-causing commodity, this is where the initiative by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Dubai Can plays a decisive factor (link).
The movement aims to reduce single-use plastic water bottles by setting up refill stations across the city. Supporting SDG 6, this cause provides access to free and safe drinking water through the installation and use of water stations across the Emirate.
Are you dependent on plastic bags every single time you shop in Dubai?
Well, things are going to turn unfavorable for you in a good way. Starting July 1, 2022, single-use bags will cost 25 fils at stores across the Emirate (link). A total ban will be implemented in two years.
The Legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai
The Museum of the Future
Museums are the cultural bridge between generations. They can use their monumental influence on artists and collectors to have positive environmental and social impacts. With the arrival of eco-conscious artists and connoisseurs, there is a new opportunity to optimize the use of natural resources to minimize the impact on the environment. Artists can play the role of social entrepreneur, community leader, and asset builder to encourage the growth of a creative economy. Many financiers and funders are increasingly aligning their investment mission with sustainability for long-term support to people, the planet, and the global economy. Museums should take up the role of just not a preservatory, but also a conservatory.
Dubai’s latest architectural marvel – The Museum of the Future is as “a beacon of hope” and a platform for people to put down their commitment to a more sustainable future. Through its exhibitions, publications, public events, and films, the museum will showcase how current problems can, in turn, provide solutions towards a better world.
While not technically a museum, Terra, the Sustainability Pavilion (link), at Expo 2020 Dubai helps visitors to explore the ecology, sustainable technologies, and design through the use of immersive experiences and exhibits. It plays a key role at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Environment, energy, and water nexus are crucial to a sustainable future and we can design our future collectively. With the momentum growing, sustainability takes an essential and holistic approach that considers ecological, social, and economic dimensions, recognizing that all must be considered together to find lasting prosperity. Today, more than ever, the movement has gained traction among businesses and individuals but it cannot be a success in isolation. For us to embrace sustainability professionally, we must be willing to adopt it individually in our daily lives.