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Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi releases the findings of its GHG Emissions Inventory for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, 8th December, 2021 (WAM) — On a virtual event, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) today released the findings of its fourth Green House Gas (GHG) emissions inventory, using 2018 GHG data and future forecasts until 2030. Two emission scenarios were used, including a Business-As-Usual scenario, as per the state of emissions and implemented mitigation measures in the year 2016 (BAU2016); and a "Mitigation Path" scenario, as per the state of actual emissions in 2018 and the partners’ announced plans and initiatives to mitigate emissions.

The findings were released as part of a comprehensive report containing an executive summary of achievements and key results of the fourth cycle of the GHG emissions inventory and emission projections. These were compiled in close cooperation with the relevant local authorities using the best available data, standard methods, and best practices in compliance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines.

Findings showed that anthropogenic GHG emissions in Abu Dhabi have been driven largely by economic and population growth and the increasing demand for water and energy. The emirate’s GHG baseline (2010) and update inventories for 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 have shown that total direct GHG emissions increased by 21.5%, from 99,101 Gg CO2-eq in the year 2010 to 120,405 Gg CO2-eq in 2018.

The trend of emissions (2.8 % average annual growth) was in line with the trend of the emirate’s population (4 %) and GDP (4 %, constant 2007 prices). GHG emissions have shown good correlations with both the population and the GDP.

Compared with the emissions level in 2016, the 2018 emissions decreased by11%, mainly due to the lower fuel quantities used in operation of the transport, oil and gas activities, and due to the improved emission factors in aluminum production processes. Across the different activities in energy, industrial processes, agriculture, land-use change and forestry (LUCF) and waste, the energy sector was the dominant contributor (75.9%) of the emirate’s GHG emissions in 2018.

The key category analysis of GHG emissions in the emirate showed that the CO2 emissions attributed to energy industries (oil, gas, and power, combined with water desalination), manufacturing, road transport and metal industrial processes require particular attention in mitigation plans.

In 2018, between 4,236 to 5,240 Gg of CO2 emissions (≤5.5 % of the emirate’s total CO2 emissions) were sequestered by the extensive natural system of forests, perennial croplands, and mangrove plantations throughout the emirate.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) supplement for wetlands, the added value of Abu Dhabi’s wetlands (mangroves and seagrass meadows) is in holding of around 61,324 Gg of CO2, where carbon is stored in the soil and biomass of the plants. This maximum potential of emissions may be released if the wetlands are extracted or drained.

As for the indirect GHG emissions, the IPCC estimation method showed that the main source of NOx and CO was fuel combustion activities, while the main source of NMVOCs was mineral products (asphalt), and the main source of SOx was oil and gas activities.

For black carbon (BC) emissions as potent climate-warming, the estimates showed 6,045 tons were released in 2018 in Abu Dhabi. Diesel fuel combustion was the dominant source of BC emissions. About 1% of BC emissions came from non-fuel combustion activities.

Considering the amount of emitted GHG gases in the emirate and their global warming potential, , CO2 was the major gas mainly emitted from fuel combustion, constituting 89.8 % of the total GHG emissions. Other GHG gases such as methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and the F-gases (PFCs, HFCs, SF6) contributed less: 7.9%, 1.4 %, and 0.9% respectively.

Mariam bint Mohammed Hareb Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said in her opening speech: "Thanks to the vision and directives of our wise leadership, and particularly in the past two decades, the UAE has made an important stride in addressing the climate change issue at the local and global levels, and has made important achievements. For example, the country has decided to adopt clean energy, including solar, nuclear, wave power, hydrogen and waste-to-energy, to maintain our position as a major player in both the global energy sector and climate action.

She added "I would also like to refer to the set of policies and strategies that we have adopted to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects. These include the UAE Energy Strategy, the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE, the General Environmental Policy, the National Policy for Circular Economy, the Climate Adaptation Program, emissions management, and sustainable financing, among others. As a culmination of all these efforts, we have recently launched the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, through which we will work to establish high values and standards in climate action locally and globally to raise the level of ambitions. There is no doubt that the fourth greenhouse gas emissions report in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi constitutes an important contribution to our endeavors to achieve our climate goals in general, and the goals of the carbon neutrality initiative in particular".

Almheiri said "In conclusion, I take this opportunity to emphasize that the UAE’s commitment to actively participate in global efforts to address the climate change issue is solid and genuine, and we will endeavor during our hosting of the Conference of the Parties "COP28", in 2023, to strengthen this commitment and push international efforts to take serious and bold steps towards a better future for mankind".

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), commended the efforts of EAD for the greenhouse gas inventories of the Abu Dhabi which will help further strengthen the base of knowledge needed to address climate change in the context of Abu Dhabi’s diverse and rapidly growing economy, and help the emirate fulfil its commitments to the UNFCCC.

Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of EAD, said: "Climate change is already being felt globally. Effects include higher air and water temperatures; lower precipitation levels; and a rise in sea level, seawater acidity and salinity. Acidity levels in the Arabian Gulf are increasing at a faster rate than most other oceanic waters around the world. Abu Dhabi’s marine biodiversity is impacted by a variety of stressors, including coastal development, over-exploitation, habitat fragmentation and pollution."

She pointed out: "Air quality and climate change in Abu Dhabi have been the focus of EAD and other stakeholders for decades. In line with its strategic priority to secure the resilience of Abu Dhabi through mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and protection of air and marine water, EAD was pro-active in commencing biennial GHG inventories, as part of its comprehensive plan for monitoring atmospheric emissions in the emirate. Abu Dhabi’s diverse and rapidly growing economy calls for conducting a comprehensive GHG inventory to ensure a proper basis upon which to form policy and make decisions."

"There is no doubt that the cooperation of all our partners, in public and private sectors, is one of the most important factors for the success of the Agency’s initiative to compile greenhouse gas emissions in the Emirate. Partnerships with more than twenty stakeholders, and the involvement of all stakeholders from the public and private sectors in the process of greenhouse gas inventories has led to successful, accurate and timely inventories. We are keen to promote consultation, interaction and teamwork. We are proud to be part of the process of improving and building a comprehensive understanding and knowledge transfer of greenhouse gases." Al Dhaheri added.

She added that existing plans and partner initiatives ensure that Abu Dhabi will achieve significant GHG reductions in the mid-term. The Emirate has undertaken several measures to reduce emissions, including clean energy, production efficiency improvement, demand management, low-carbon transportation and other awareness and knowledge programmes. However, the potential for change should not be underestimated and adaptation to the impacts of climate change should be emphasized in the future development plans.

"Abu Dhabi’s first GHG inventory was established for the baseline year 2010. The later cycles of GHG inventories included significant data of the emissions inventories up to 2018 and established emission projections for 2030." said Faisal Al Hammadi, EAD’s Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Quality Sector.

"Those inventories were instrumental in laying a foundation of knowledge regarding the baseline emissions and projections in the emirate, in all sectors and in strengthening the capacity of local entities for efficiently tracking and reporting their sectors’ emissions. The emirate level GHG inventories enable development of emirate-level climate policies and support the federal government in fulfilling its commitments to the UNFCCC by enhancing the robustness of the UAE’s National GHG Inventory and National Communication Reports according to the highest international standards and requirements", he added.

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi will circulate the inventory results among partners, researchers and decision-makers and ensure that they are used in support of the National Climate Change Plan in the United Arab Emirates and local policies. The Agency will also continue cooperation and coordination with its partners in order to develop and implement effective environmental measures, and enhance priority areas for climate action, such as knowledge and community awareness, the regulatory framework for mitigation and adaptation, technical capacity and competitiveness at regional and international levels.

The comprehensive work performed in the fourth GHG inventory cycle demonstrates an improvement of understanding of the relationship between GHG emissions and anthropogenic activities over time and represents a step forward in the inventory compilation process. The extended scope and analysis of the inventory, as well as the increased interaction with the local stakeholders, contributed to the enhanced quality and reliability of the outcomes.

This inventory revealed success stories of Abu Dhabi in applying the latest international standards and best practices in the process of tracking greenhouse gases from all sources and sinks at the emirate level, and the building of a comprehensive and constantly updated database that is relied upon in policy-making and decision-making. Additionally, adopting the leading proactive approach in building knowledge, capacity strengthening and partnerships in the field of emissions measurement, reporting and verification.

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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