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UAE makes sustainable living worth it

Filed on January 13, 2020

When a country rich in oil wealth decides to step out of its comfort zone and embraces greener resources to power its future, the world sits up and takes notice. The annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that began in the capital on Monday brings together leaders, inventors, corporations, and policy-makers to provide clean, simple and workable solutions across all sectors of the economy. Sustainability should be a lifestyle, and the UAE wants to be at the forefront of this shift that puts less stress on earth's resources. From simple steps to using less power and water, to larger strategic initiatives like solar and wind power, the movement that begins from Abu Dhabi covers both individual and collective efforts by the community and the global community.

In the UAE, there is a lot of thought and effort is being put into sustainable living and projects and it goes beyond conferences and awareness campaigns. This is truly the centre of what could be a remarkable change in the way we as humans live and do business. What the UAE is showing to the world is that the dry, desert conditions cannot deter the country's march towards a green economy, one which will thrive long-term and does not depend on fossil fuels. It has even built a sustainable city, Masdar. Future cities could look like this, and we are just beginning in what could be a long and exciting journey that is healthy and less polluting. At the economic policy level, that change is happening through what is being termed diversification, when oil will not be the country's biggest export resource or its source of revenue. The leadership is inviting ideas and talent to power its green plans. But the challenge is to take the sustainability movement to the grassroots. It is working at the policy level without a doubt. The process must be speeded up and that is what this week's summit intends to do. According to Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, commercial projects worth $11 billion were announced last year to encourage companies to get on the bandwagon. The UAE is a nation in a hurry to do its bit for the environment. Solar plans are coming up in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Meanwhile, the country is encouraging other nations to join the movement which is all about less consumption while using natural resources wisely. The future of the planet depends on us acting now.

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