Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan announces 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability’

The UAE will launch a number of initiatives that will be overseen by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

2023 has been announced as the ‘Year of Sustainability’ by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In line with the announcement, the UAE will launch several initiatives, activities and events that will draw upon the UAE’s deep-rooted values of sustainability and the legacy of its founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a report by WAM stated.

The year will focus on environmental sustainability by inspiring collective action through a nationwide commitment towards sustainable practices, in line with the UAE’s national strategy, bringing together everyone who calls the UAE home to work towards a prosperous future. The UAE will also showcase its commitment towards fostering global collaboration in seeking innovative solutions to challenges, such as energy, climate change and other pressing issues related to sustainability, the statement explained.

HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; and HH Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will oversee the year-long initiatives.

“Sustainability has been a fundamental principle in the United Arab Emirates since its unification. The nation continues to serve as an exceptional model for environmental conservation and resource management. The late Sheikh Zayed was a global leader in environmental and climate action, leaving behind a legacy that we continue to follow today,” said Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

In early November 2022, Masdar, Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities signed a MoU to develop a 10GW wind farm in Egypt and, later in the month, Abu Dhabi environment and energy agencies unveiled a 60% clean electricity plan for the emirate by 2035.

His Highness added, “Today for tomorrow embodies the UAE’s approach and commitment to sustainability and its responsibility to protect the future. By working, making efforts and initiating actions today, we are ensuring that we leave behind a legacy of stewardship for future generations, just as our ancestors did for us.”

Sheikh Mohamed emphasised that the Year of Sustainability has particular significance, as the UAE prepares to host the 28th United Nations Climate Change Summit, Conference of Parties (COP28). He pointed out that the UAE is determined for COP28 to set a precedent in the collective global efforts to address climate change.

His Highness invited community members and institutions to engage with the initiatives and activities of the Year of Sustainability, and come together in collective efforts that lead the nation towards a more sustainable future.

According to the WAM report, the Year of Sustainability solidifies the UAE’s commitment to addressing current challenges and promoting sustainable practices at an individual and community level. Notable examples include the Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, which outlines the UAE’s commitment to promote environmental protection, and its efforts to create thriving communities ideal for living and working.

In late November 2022, MOCCAE, EAD and ENWWF inked a deal to scale up Nature-based Solutions in a bid to address climate change and, in early December 2022, Louise Collins, Head of Engineering & Energy, MENA at JLL shared her thoughts and takeaways from COP27 exclusively with Middle East Construction News.

The announcement follows the conclusion of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023, which is said to have drawn the participation of numerous state leaders and officials worldwide. The event is said to have further cemented the UAE’s position as a leader in promoting sustainability awareness domestically and internationally, and reinforces its commitment to tackling the challenges associated with it.

In mid January 2023, Drees & Sommer’s Stephan Degenhart told MECN that COP28 has the potential to have a significant impact on the built environment in the region. Later in the month, AESG’s Katarina Uherova Hasbani detailed three considerations to help businesses create practical sustainability strategies.

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