MOCCAE looks to waste management to accelerate the UAE’s transition to Net Zero

The MOCCAE is currently preparing the National Agenda for Integrated Waste Management

Waste management was in sharp focus at the seventh National Dialogue for Climate Ambition (NDCA), organised by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE). Convening 70 representatives of federal and local government entities, as well as private sector companies, the event highlighted national endeavors to implement best practices in waste management to accelerate the journey to Net Zero.

The session drew the participation of His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Ajman Municipality and Planning Department, His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Ajman Municipality and Planning Department, and Her Excellency Aseela Al Mualla, Director General of the Fujairah Environment Authority.

Hosted by Ajman Municipality and Planning Department under the theme ‘Innovation in waste management as an accelerator to achieve Net Zero targets’, the event took place at Ajman Accelerators (Ajman X) offices.

In late August 2022, the MOCCAE unveiled a pledge designed to boost the private sector’s contribution to the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 initiative.

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, emphasised the importance of promoting the adoption of integrated waste management principles through relevant legislation and strategies, and supporting economic activities that utilise waste as a resource.

“The waste sector is one of the key enablers of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction efforts. In line with our second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, we are working to reduce waste generation, expand waste treatment, and transform waste into a clean source of energy,” she commented.

She added that MOCCAE is preparing the National Agenda for Integrated Waste Management and added, “The comprehensive framework will focus on accelerating R&D and innovation to develop waste management technologies and solutions that align with the circular economy principles, and can balance GHG emission reduction and waste treatment in a climate-smart way.”

The ministry is executing several waste management projects in coordination with local government authorities in the UAE. These include the Emirates RDF plant in Umm Al Quwain, the first facility of its kind in the country, which treats municipal solid waste generated in the emirates of Ajman and Umm Al Quwain and turns it into refuse-derived fuel (RDF).

MOCCAE said it has also signed agreements with five leading cement factories to partially power their operations with alternative fuel generated by Emirates RDF instead of coal. This will divert more than 800t of waste per day from the landfill.

The event included keynote presentations by Emirates Nature-WWF, part of the UAE Alliance for Climate Action (UACA), Dustin Olson, CEO of PureCycle, on ‘Advancing sustainability with digital-first approach’, Vidya Ramnath, President of Emerson MEA, on ‘Innovation and technology as accelerators on net zero journey’, and John Grainger, COO for Environmental Solutions at Dulsco, on the company’s recycling and treatment facilities and carbon footprint offsetting plans, the MOCCAE said.

The NDCA session is said to have also witnessed the third round of signings of the UAE Climate-Responsible Companies Pledge that seeks to increase the engagement of the private sector in the country’s decarbonisation drive in line with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

In early September 2022, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment introduced the National Air Quality Agenda 2031.

14 companies including the Alserkal Group, Apparel UAE, Dulsco, Jones Lang LaSalle, Saint-Gobain, Siemens, Terrax, WSP, Xoom Volt, EnviroServe, ImpactGulf, Trane Technologies, Energy Management Services, and R-square RiskLab, joined 39 signatories to the pledge, bringing the total number to 53.

The companies committed to stepping up their efforts to combat climate change by measuring their carbon footprint and taking concrete steps to reduce it, and by integrating sustainability principles across their operations, the MOCCAE pointed out.

In late November 2022, MOCCAE, EAD and ENWWF inked a deal to scale up Nature-based Solutions in a bid to address climate change.


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