President Sheikh Mohamed marked the 27th National Environment Day on Sunday by declaring that the UAE’s Year of Sustainability will continue throughout 2024.
The UAE leader said the decision underlined the country’s efforts to “protect and preserve the environment for the benefit of future generations”.
Sheikh Mohamed announced the themed Year of Sustainability on January 20 last year.
It proved to be a pivotal 12 months in an international drive to protect the planet and turn back the tide on the climate change crisis.
في "يوم البيئة الوطني" نعلن تمديد عام الاستدامة ليشمل 2024. وفي هذه المناسبة نؤكد أن حماية البيئة وصيانة الموارد أولوية أساسية ضمن نهج الاستدامة الراسخ في الإمارات، ومسؤولية جماعية لكل أفراد المجتمع. ونجدد عزمنا على مواصلة العمل مع مختلف دول العالم لمواجهة المخاطر التي تواجه…
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) February 4, 2024
The UAE successfully hosted the Cop28 climate conference from November 30 to December 12, in which crucial progress was made in developing an action plan for a greener future.
“On the occasion of National Environment Day, we announce that the Year of Sustainability is extended into 2024, reflecting our ongoing collective commitment to protect and preserve the environment for the benefit of future generations,” Sheikh Mohamed wrote on X.
“Building on the UAE Consensus achieved at Cop28, we will continue to work hand in hand with the global community to pursue a more sustainable future for all.”
The world came together at the summit to sign up for the UAE Consensus, which called for nations to start cutting back on fossil fuels to achieve net-zero goals by 2050.
The agreement was adopted after about two weeks of talks and built on early success that gave the summit initial momentum, such as the launch of the loss and damage fund on November 30, and the galvanising of more than $80 billion in climate finance.
In 2021, the UAE unveiled its Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative, a Dh600 billion ($163.37 billion) plan to invest in clean and renewable energy sources over the next three decades.
It was the first Gulf country to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Emirates is also investing heavily in the transition to clean energy through several major infrastructure projects.
The fourth and final unit of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant completed the process of loading fuel assemblies in December.
The next step for the reactor unit will be the start-up phase, followed by connection to the national grid. and the commencement of full commercial operations.
Once ready, Unit 4 will generate 25 per cent of the country’s electricity needs for the next 60 years, according to state news agency Wam.
In December, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the world’s largest concentrated solar park project in Dubai.
The project is part of the Dh15.78 billion fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which covers an area of 44 square kilometres and has a capacity of 950 megawatts.
The fourth phase will provide about 320,000 houses with clean energy and reduce carbon emissions by about 1.6 million tonnes annually.