Energy and the environment are integrated ecosystems – the fact that actions in the energy sector will affect environmental sustainability outcomes is indisputable, and so we are committed to leading Abu Dhabi’s energy transition in a way that balances social, economic, and environmental development.
World Environment Day is marked this year with a global focus on conserving nature and biodiversity. Given the health and economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a timely theme. And as we rebuild from the crisis, we recognise more than ever that scaling up our transition to clean and renewable energy as well as investing in sustainable projects is key to the recovery of both our economies and the planet, making our systems more resilient to future challenges.
On that note, Abu Dhabi’s energy sector will continue the efforts to diversify its energy mix and meet the growing energy demands more from clean and renewable sources, to minimize the risks posed to nature, and to move us closer to meeting the targets of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050. For instance, we are accelerating our efforts to reduce overall demand for energy through demand side management and through energy efficiency measures that boost energy savings and positively influence consumer behaviour.
Meanwhile, our regulatory interventions and policy-making frameworks, such as the recycled water policy and the district cooling regulations, continue to support national water security strategies with a focus on managing reservoirs, effective water management and water treatment techniques, and conserving ground water which is valuable to biodiversity.
Another key initiative added to Abu Dhabi’s portfolio of solutions to minimize net environmental harm is waste-to-energy. Abu Dhabi recently announced plans to construct two major waste-to-energy plants, and at DoE we are in an advanced stage of working with the relevant stakeholders on a waste-to-energy policy to support the growth of this sustainable market in the emirate. Converting waste into cleaner energy sources will have a huge positive impact on the environment, and help the waste management sector, while also supporting the energy sector to meet demand for electricity.
Integrating energy and environmental efforts is fundamental to preserving nature, ensuring sustainable economic growth, and building a safe, healthy future for generations to come.