UAE Council for Climate Change and Environment holds first meeting of 2022

The UAE Council for Climate Change and Environment held its first meeting of 2022, with Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, presiding.

The minister said, “Over its three decades of climate action, the UAE, owing to the vision of its wise leadership, has presented a leading model of tackling climate change through mitigation and adaptation. Just last year, we hit a significant milestone with the launch of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.”

She added, “As part of the endeavours of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and strategic partners from the public and private sectors, the UAE Council for Climate Change and Environment meets to review the progress of the implementation of climate initiatives in the UAE in line with the Principles of the 50 that seek to promote sustainable economic development and build a better future for the current and next generations.”

The meeting participants provided an overview of the council’s objectives, tasks, and achievements over its first cycle between 2016 and 2019 and the second cycle between 2020 and 2022 and its current organizational structure. They discussed the council’s new structure proposal that involves forming the UAE Council for Climate Action and the UAE Council for Environmental and Municipal Work. The new model aims to increase focus on topics of shared interest among concerned entities in the UAE, such as climate neutrality, environmental protection, and municipal work, to align efforts and enhance efficiency in implementing national strategies and plans, and define roles and responsibilities as per current and future developments.

Moreover, members of the council reviewed the progress of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, launched in October 2021. They explored the mechanism for developing an implementation strategy, including a status quo assessment and analysis of emissions and their sources, the required legislative framework, evaluation of potential threats due to climate change and relevant mitigation measures, and national emission reduction plans that support sustainable economic development.

The meeting also featured updates on the national drive to plant 100 million mangroves by 2030, announced at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in a bid to boost climate change mitigation and adaptation capacities, safeguard the marine environment, and conserve natural resources and biodiversity in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The participants were briefed on the implementation plan of the mangrove planting target that will be carried out in collaboration between federal government authorities, local environmental entities, the private sector, public welfare associations, and academia. The multi-phased plan comprises an evaluation of the current state of the mangrove cover, identifying areas and number of trees per site, and execution of seedling planting programmes.

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