UAE Heroes of Carbon Footprint Reduction
Recently, I learned The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the highest per capita ecological footprint in the world – if every person in the world lived and consumed natural resources like an average UAE resident, we would require 4.5 planets to sustain the consumption levels! More than 80% of its carbon footprint is due to carbon intensive goods and services, such as energy and water. The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company predicts that at current growth levels demand for energy and water, positions the Emirates to not be able to meet demand beyond 2012 due to fuel (especially gas) shortages.
Alarmed by this scenario, Emirates Wildlife Society, an affiliate of World Wide Fund for Nature, and the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), have launched its “Heroes of the UAE,” an awareness and education campaign to conserve energy and water.
A federal campaign, Heroes urge UAE citizens to adopt more sustainable lifestyles to help lower the UAE’s ecological footprint, avoid the looming energy crunch and help tackle climate change.
Government institutions are being urged to lead by example and demonstrate ways to drive sustainability. Over the course of 2010, the campaign will work closely with five UAE government institutions to implement simple energy and water conservation measures and demonstrate that environmental and economic savings can be complementary.
The campaign team is working closely with government counterparts and technical consultants to assess energy and water usage. They will then develop technological and behavioural solutions aimed at conserving energy and water. Case studies data will be used to inform policy makers and encourage other government departments to participate.
Case studies will also be developed for households, businesses and schools over 2010 to complement ongoing activities across the communities within the UAE. Applied Materials has joined forces with four organizations to sponsor energy and water audits and subsequent sustainability makeovers of government and school buildings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The first step — recognizing the need for change and identifying subsequent actions — has been started by the Heroes campaign. Applied Materials supports their vision and for the sake of the planet, hopes many such campaigns like these begin taking place around the world.