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‘How is The UAE becoming a Global Leader in Shaping a Sustainable Future’

The global community is recognizing the UAE's efforts and constant commitment to tackle climate change, one of the world’s most pressing issues.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2022 is setting the stage for the business sector to accelerate global collaboration and sustainability around the world and to further climate initiatives.

To tackle the global challenges we are currently facing, we need cohesion and dialogue, immediate and systemic action. This year Davos Agenda will address the main risks that humanity will face in the next 10 years, identified in the Global Risks Report 2022, recently published. Climate failure, biodiversity loss, and extreme weather are ranked in the top three most severe risks, and so alarming realities require urgent action.

Nearly 200 countries have already declared their targets for climate action at Cop26 in Glasgow, but the effort to reach the target will not be easy for any country.

The challenge will be much greater for the nations of the Middle East. However, the United Arab Emirates has made efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by the Paris Agreement - to limit global warming to well below 2 ° C - and aims at 1.5 ° C as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, its Minister of Defence, as well as the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, said, that the country would play a global role in combating climate change.

The fact that next year the United Arab Emirates will host the Cop-28 will accelerate the development of practical solutions and make important progress in terms of climate action in the region. UAE announced an ambitious initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 2050. The plan is to invest Dh600 billion in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.

Significant changes in attitude towards green infrastructure, social welfare, and sustainable finance are taking place in the UAE region. Recent studies show that COVID-19 has spurred the region toward greater business engagement with environmental and social issues. The investors are shifting towards sustainable investment, financing renewable energies, launching green bonds, and other green financing initiatives.

The UAE is working to accelerate the pace of implementation of circular economic standards, which ensures the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To support the adoption and implementation of the new direction, the UAE Circular Economy Council was formed. In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alone, the circular economy is expected to save up to $138 billion by 2030. In January 2021, the UAE Cabinet approved the UAE Circular Economy Policy which is a comprehensive framework for determining the country’s approach to achieving sustainable governance and the ideal use of natural resources and for identifying the priorities in terms of the circular economy: infrastructure, sustainable transportation, sustainable manufacturing, sustainable food production, and consumption.

UAE is increasing its efforts to achieve the vision of its leadership by adopting new models and initiatives to support the transition to a more sustainable economy that is based on advanced knowledge and technology, noting that the Scale 360 initiative is in partnership with the World Economic Forum. The initiative aims to adopt the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to accelerate the transformation of a circular economy, reduce dependence on natural resources, and reduce pollution to tackle climate change.

The Abu Dhabi government has incorporated long-term impact into its strategic vision, promoting a sustainable business ecosystem and environmentally conscious society. Today, Abu Dhabi is one of the first cities in the world to incorporate ESG requirements in its governance and business models. Under the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, the emirate has deployed extensive efforts towards advancing sustainability in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): ADGM’s Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration calls for collective action to create a thriving sustainable finance industry, backed by 40 financial institutions. ADX has published disclosure guidance to support the voluntary disclosure of ESG information by listed companies

As a complement to the region's ongoing efforts, this week will see one of the world's leading sustainability gatherings, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2022, with more than 45,000 participants from 170 countries. The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2022 takes the climate dialogue further to discuss and support climate action and commitments to net zero for the business sector.

The global community is witnessing an unprecedented transformation of the UAE. The leaders have committed to a vision that is embedding sustainability into the core of the post-covid economic and social recovery strategy, involving all stakeholders, that of companies and the public at large. Here in the UAE, the future is undoubtedly sustainable.


Nicoleta Talpes is an entrepreneur, strategic communications expert with a 14+ year track record of advising companies and startups. European Climate Pact Ambassador with strong expertise in communication for sustainable development, developing projects in order to inform, inspire and support climate action. Starting January 2022 she has joined The Private Investment Group team with a mission to mobilize capital for building a more global sustainable business environment and to make a positive impact on global society through the private sector.


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