Paris – MENA Herald: In the presence of Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has launched the State of Green Economy Report 2016 in the World Climate Summit 2015 in Hotel Potocki, Paris. Al Tayer handed a copy of the report to the President of Iceland. The Report demonstrates the commitment of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai to develop and implement green initiatives across all sectors, making a strong case for a green transition to a robust low-carbon economy that is strongly aligned to the UN Climate Agreement 2015.

To mobilise the UAEs transformation into a green economy, The State of the Green Economy Report 2016 provides an overview of initiatives that promote innovation and policy tools that help accelerate the process. The UAE wants to become a model of transformation into a green economy, demonstrating that growing without eroding natural resources is feasible.

The report underlines the efforts made to encourage and enable different sectors to participate in the transition towards a green economy. The report serves as a roadmap to establish new, impact-based and market-driven paradigms to decarbonise the power sector and stimulate the market for energy efficiency. The report emphasises that knowledge leads to lasting impact and helps refine strategies. It provides cutting-edge information to both policymakers and practitioners.

I am honoured to address you today. We are here together, united in our desire to make a positive impact for the betterment of our planet and nations. To add our support to this important cause, I would like to share with you our success story in the development of a sustainable green economy. Like many of you here today, we believe in collaborating to facilitate a binding agreement in Paris 2015, to achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all,said Al Tayer.

“Thanks to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates is working to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 to become one of the best countries in the world by 2021. The UAE has named 2015 as the Year of Innovation, with a dedicated National Innovation Strategy and a budget of USD 2.2 billion for innovation, of which 50% is for research and development. Last month, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to make Dubai a global centre for clean energy and green economy. The Strategy has a target of 75% of all Dubais total power output being sourced from clean energy by 2050,he added.

A strategy with ambitious goals and clear pillars, Dubai Clean Energy Strategy aims to provide 7% of Dubais energy from clean energy sources by 2020. This target will increase to 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050. It consists of five main pillars. The first, Infrastructure, includes initiatives such as the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site project to generate electricity from solar energy in the world, with a planned capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030, and total investment of USD 13.6 billion (AED 50 billion). The remaining pillars cover legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, and an environmentally-friendly energy mix. The Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum demonstrates our commitment to a greener tomorrow.

While many around the world talk about adopting a green economy, Dubai is among the first to have joined with the world to curb its carbon footprint and combat climate change, and is already leading by example. Our strategy involves moving from a carbon-intensive economy to a greener one, by the Dubai Green Fund, which is worth USD 27 billion, encouraging green investment and green growth. We are here today, to reinforce our commitment to forming a combined declaration, calling for commitment to a series of concrete actions within the framework of the Road to Paris 2015. Dubai remains firmly committed to these actions and that of the UAE to provide real value to the world. In 2011 we launched Dubais Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which focuses on energy security by diversifying the energy mix, to decrease our dependence on natural gas. The strategy also focuses on reducing electricity and water demand by 30% by 2030, with a dedicated Demand Side Management Strategy, and the regions first dedicated Carbon Abatement Strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 16% by 2021. The UAE is one of the first countries to have endorsed the extension of the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, to limit greenhouse gas emissions in industrialised countries. We are the first in the Arabian Gulf to sign the Copenhagen Accord at COP15, to support a long-term agreement to reduce emissions. In the same year, we established The Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme. Dubai Carbon specialises in the Clean Development Mechanism, and applying best practices in reducing emissions in the Emirate of Dubai.

We need to encourage collaboration between the public and private sectors to achieve a green economy, while mobilising new strategies and innovative solutions to achieve our goal of sustaining green growth. Public-Private Partnerships are key to this, as is the goal to make Dubai a global hub for Green Finance, to accelerate green projects by using public and private capital. Reiterating our commitment to Sustainable Development goals, The UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia) was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2015, to help millions of underprivileged people, who are in desperate need of drinkable water around the world. This initiative also has an annual US$1 million global award to find sustainable solutions to water scarcity around the world,added Al Tayer.

“Today, I am pleased to launch the State of the Green Economy Report 2016 which reflects our vision to build a green future for generations to come. This report is the first knowledge product which was developed to collate best practices that will contribute to knowledge sharing for the global good. The subjects in this report are likely to be discussed at the World Green Economy Summit (WGES) on the 5th and 6th of October 2016 as well as at the Water, Energy Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2016) on the 4th to the 6th of October in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and I would like to take the opportunity to invite everyone to attend these important events as well. The UAE is contributing to a future that is closer than we think. We envision a better, brighter future. We are all working to realise this brighter world that our children can be both proud of and love to live in. All these efforts are towards that goal and the vision of our leadership. Our promises for tomorrow are based on our actions today.

The UNDP, as part of its global efforts to attain sustainable development and a green economy, is proud of its enduring and fruitful partnership with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence, as demonstrated by todays launch of the 2nd edition of the State of Green Economy Report which showcases the vital role of innovation in all areas of the green economy,said Frode Mooring, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the UAE.

We are honoured to be partners in the production and launch of this report in Dubai, a city pioneering the global transition to a green economy as a result of its commitment, clear vision, and innovative approach to development,added Mauring.