DUBAI, 18th January, 2022 (WAM) -- The UAE Circular Economy Council convened its first meeting for 2022, which was presided over by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment.
The event drew the participation of Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy and Head of the Council's Circular Economy Policy Committee, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability.
In her welcoming remarks, Almheiri highlighted the UAE's achievements on the climate action and sustainability front in 2021 that culminated in the country's selection as the host of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in 2023.
She said, "As we prepare the ground for 2022 with renewed hope and resolve, we need to lay the foundation to successfully implement the UAE Circular Economy Policy and reduce emissions to ultimately achieve our net-zero ambition by 2050. Meeting our goals is a challenging task that needs greater collaboration and coordination within the UAE and with other countries."
The Minister added, "As we work together to drive the transition to a circular economy, I am confident that the newly formed Circular Economy Policy Committee will make a significant contribution to achieving our national priority to establish the UAE as the most dynamic sustainable economy in the world."
Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri reviewed the roadmap adopted by the Committee in its inaugural meeting. This roadmap is an extension of the collaboration between the public and private sectors and various international entities. The implementation of this plan is divided into three phases in accordance with specific programs and timelines for each phase, he clarified, noting that the plan supports the UAE's efforts to fully implement its Circular Economic Policy. He also noted that work is currently underway through extensive efforts of collaboration between the Ministry of Economy, various local and international partners, and national and international economic institutions to employ their full capacities in the implementation of the Council's policy.
Bin Touq said, "Through this new roadmap developed by the Policy Committee and under the supervision of the Circular Economy Council, concerted efforts will be exerted on the implementation of programs to attract foreign direct investments to the UAE. These efforts and programs are set to significantly support the UAE private sector's transformation towards the Circular Economy model. These Such developments are of great importance since the prospects of the Circular Economy are the chief drivers of sustainability and flexibility as set forth by the 'Principles of the 50.' They will be achieved through research and development (R&D), remanufacturing, the establishment of the Circular Economy database. All of these aspects enhance the competitiveness of the UAE's economy as one of the pioneering Circular Economic model both regionally and globally."
Approved in January 2021, the UAE Circular Economy Policy is a framework that identifies the optimal approach to the transition to a circular economy. Its objectives include building a sustainable economy, promoting efficient use of natural resources, encouraging the private sector to shift to cleaner industrial production methods that involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, and adopting sustainable consumption and production patterns that reduce environmental stress while meeting the basic needs of the population.
After a brief on the progress of current circular economy projects in the UAE, Council members provided an overview of the results of a new joint study by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), titled 'Driving the Transition to Circular Economy', that maps the status of the circular economy in the country. The document identifies relevant historic and recent trends, compares the UAE's performance to that of other countries, and offers business-as-usual (BAU) and scenario projections for a more circular UAE. Topics under the spotlight include waste generation, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, natural capital, and the use and trade of secondary raw materials. The study also examines the consumption of materials, water, and energy, as well as the reuse and recycling of materials, nutrients, and water.