With sustainability at the heart of the country’s agenda, cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will have to obtain all of their power from renewable sources by 2050. This is being done in order to address climate change. Experts from the Masdar Institute made this statement on 30th October.
The world is leaving behind a lot of carbon footprints. This has been degrading the environment since years. The pace of degradation has multiplied by many times through the last few years and it is still increasing.
Globally, the move towards low carbon economies and non-carbon emitting sources has transformed social and political discourse. Across the value chain, national and international policy developments and commitments are transforming how we think about natural resources and our personal consumption.
A study by the Masdar Institute showed that the world should stop burning fossil fuels in the atmosphere by 2060 if it is to stay within the 2°C mark by 2100.
The fossil fuels that are existing today need to be invested today for building the renewable energy infrastructure in the future. Dr Sgouridis said, “Today we have about 160 gigawatts installed a year.” He had even talked about following this trajectory. Also, he stated the estimates that by 2035, they will have to install renewable capacity of about 5 to 7 terawatts. As per Dr Sgouridis, t is a very significant jump because it is, “50 times more than what we’ve installed today.”
UAE has some of the highest electricity and water consumption rates in the world, said The National, quoting to a report by the Emirates Wildlife Society and World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF). Businesses must put to use more and more efficient technologies to reduce the consumption of energy and water.
In the UAE, there is an overall lack of energy and water efficient technologies. “As electricity and water tariffs rise the investment in more efficient products will pay back more quickly, and make it more attractive for consumers to become more energy efficient,” said Tanzeed Alam, climate and energy director of EWS-WWF.
Masdar is a regional leader and a major international player in the areas of renewable energy and sustainable urban development. It is a company with headquarters in the UAE. The company is a developer of clean energy power projects, sustainable urban planning and development. The company aims to be a model of sustainability for other companies. It also seeks to make UAE the model of sustainability for the Middle east region.
The Masdar City has set an example of a carbon-neutral and waste-free city. The city has a 100 per cent water re-use system and all power is generated by renewable sources.
This example needs to be followed by every city in the region if the country wishes to meet its 2-degree Celsius goal. This goal is in reference to the Paris Accord, where signatories in 2015 pledged to keep climate change only 2°C above that of the pre-industrial era.
According to Dr Sgouridis, a smart city is the city which is aware of its use of material and energy resources. Also, it should continuously be striving for the improvement of its efficiency.