KHALEEJ TIMES, Sunday, Jun 28, 2020 | Zul Qaadah 07, 1441
Economic stimulus measures should also address climate change, DFF report says
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has led to a notable reduction in
greenhouse gas emissions around the world, and has presented global
economies with an opportunity to ramp up their sustainability drives and
initiatives in the post-Covid-19 recovery period.
In its 'Life After Covid-19: Climate Change' report, the Dubai Future Foundation
(DFF) noted that the lowering greenhouse gas emissions around the world are a
result of the decline in industrial production and the contraction of economies.
Governments around the world have announced that they are pouring trillions of
dollars in stimulus measures into their economies to keep them afloat. The UAE
is providing $34.4 billion in economic stimulus to overcome the impact of
Covid-19. The report noted that these funds can be directed towards initiatives
that not only rescue economies, but also address climate change.
In the future, the report recommends that governments should promote a green
recovery from the global crisis through directing economic stimulus packages
towards initiatives that simultaneously rescue economies and address climate
change. In addition to reducing emissions, it urges countries to focus on
adopting carbon removal technologies, and invite the brightest entrepreneurs and
innovators to pitch unconventional approaches to removing the buildup of carbon
Speaking at a recent event, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of
Climate Change and Environment, said that the escalating impacts of climate
change and the dedication of the GCC region to sustainable development make it
imperative for everyone to join forces and fast-track the shift to a green
economy across all sectors, including building and construction. "The transition
towards green buildings is a much-needed move, as the building and construction
sector is the largest contributor to energy-related greenhouse gas emissions
worldwide at 39 per cent, while accounting for 36 per cent of global energy
Dr Al Zeyoudi also noted that the UAE is on track to meet the 15th Sustainable
Development Goal (SDG) set by the United Nations that focuses on land
restoration and biodiversity conservation.
Highlighting the importance of new technologies in this regard, he said:
"Agricultural technologies have helped us address the many challenges we face
while growing crops, such as water scarcity and lack of arable land. In addition
to the growing number of hydroponics and vertical farms, we are currently
exploring the potential of using renewable energy to power climate-controlled
agricultural facilities and to desalinate water for irrigation."
According to a global Ipsos poll conducted to mark World Environment Day, three
in four people in 16 major countries expect their government to make protection
of the environment a priority when planning a recovery from the coronavirus
pandemic. Ipsos' data also showed that 68 per cent of the public globally agreed
that if their governments do not act now to combat climate change, they will be
failing their citizens.