Commercial and residential properties in the United Arab Emirates are using 225% more energy than their European counterparts, recently revealed figures suggested.
“In fact, UAE’s per capita footprint of 9.5 hectares is four times more than the global per person 2.1 hectares availability,” said Alan Harpham, chairman, APMG-International, a global examination institute. He added that the UAE must step up management of its ecological footprint, in response to research which revealed the equivalent of 6.5 planets is needed to regenerate resources and absorb carbon emissions, if globally everyone lived like the average Middle Eastern resident.
“With international arrivals to the Middle East expected to reach 68.5 million by 2020, carbon footprint management is key in generating projects that create an effective presence within the UAE to ensure ecological, economic and social success,” he added.
Harpham insisted that developing ‘clean energy’ in the Middle East is imperative due to climate change and rapid consumption of dwindling natural resources.
“However, since then UAE-based projects like Emirates Wildlife Society’s (EWS-WWF) ‘Eco-School programme’, Abu Dhabi’s Estimada initiative and the UAE Strategy for Green Development have set out to contribute towards creating a greener living space for its residents,” he said.
Ivano Iannelli, CEO of Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE), agreed and said management professionals must work together to help reduce the nations’ carbon footprint.
“We are only a couple of concerted management steps away from creating a carbon-free UAE, and the UAE has already committed to reduce the carbon footprint of the country by 20% by 2015,” said Iannelli.
He encouraged dialogue with major organisations and government departments to raise awareness and encourage carbon changes.
“We must recognise that our ability to manage our resources is key to survival. The UAE as a whole needs to practice carbon footprint management and champion green corporate practices,” Harpham added.
These two experts will be speaking at a forthcoming APMG-International summit hosted by The British University in Dubai (BUiD).