With a global climate change agreement that has been signed by 95% of the world’s governments, many companies are now thinking about how they can operate and continue to grow while cutting their environmental impacts in line with the new climate goals.
The United Arab Emirates has published its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) (click here to see the full document) The UAE’s actions are based on a strategy of economic diversification that will yield mitigation and adaptation co-benefits. To achieve these commitments, the UAE is dedicated to pursue a portfolio of actions, including an increase of clean energy to 24% of the total energy mix by 2021.
The UAE’s goals for national development are set in the Vision 2021, in alignment with the National Innovation Strategy, provides a roadmap for economic growth and social development rooted in sustainable initiatives and development supported by a knowledge-based competitive economy.
It is clear that the focus of business must now shift from awareness and good intentions to active implementation to support the Government, whether that includes funding for new product innovation or supporting the roll out for projects and plans for sustainable development.
Initiatives highlighted in the COP21 agreement, estimated to cost $16.5tn by 2030 by the International Energy Agency, may be a useful tool for companies by providing guidance for planning growth, assessing product portfolios, manage innovation development, redefine how companies measure their performance and review programs and processes needed to make the paradigm shift to a more sustainable future.
UAE Energy and Water Efficiency
The UAE has developed and continues to work on comprehensive policies to reduce energy and water consumption while promoting efficient use of resources through multiple channels, including:
Some of the key points that were raised throughout the COP21 from the private sector perspective included the following:
The impact of global warming
Naturally, when we consider any organisation, it will have a supply chain and that may well be directly impacted by climate change. This is an issue that needs to be addressed through scenario planning and an assessment of climate change impact on the suppliers' regions is required if business continues as usual or regulation intervenes.
The cost of climate change
Climate change impacts and mitigation highlight several potentail scenarios, including water scarcity, rise in temperatures and rise in sea level, all of which will have an economic impact. These financial costs will require new financing models to help address the challenges adequately. Awareness, knowledge and advance accounting for these costs will give companies a greater chance for success and allow for stability in an unpredictable future.
Importance of employee awareness about how climate change links to their company
Now, more than ever before, it is critical for employees to understand how their business has a direct impact on climate change and what role they can play to reduce impacts and drive positive change.
For support with sustainability strategies, processes, reporting and communications, contact us at Sustainability to Action to support you in making the shift to a more sustainable future: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sandra Anani is passionate about sustainability, with over 19 years’ experience. She has dedicated her career to sustainable development and communications.