He has made impressive leaps forward for the emirate during his 10-year reign as ruler of Dubai.
And now HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has won the praise of the United Nations’ Secretary-General for his ambitious vision.
HE Ban Ki-Moon commended the royal for his focus on sustainability, after the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) was launched with its permanent headquarters in Dubai.
The WGEO is an initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed himself earlier this year, and will act as a think tank for tackling climate change.
The organisation – which has the UAE is its first member and will partner with the United Nations Development Programme – aims to open within the next two years.
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Ki-Moon visited the HQ this week, where he met with WGEO’s chairman, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, and was briefed on the development between the UN and WGEO.
“WGEO will support the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate, and increase global awareness on climate change to enhance the shift towards a green economy,” said Al Tayer in a statement.
“It will provide technical assistance to countries which can benefit from the UAE’s and the other countries green economy model, as well as cooperating with other countries whose economies require development and diverse green strategies for the future.”
The chairman revealed to Ki-Moon that Dubai aims to run on 7 per cent of clean energy by 2020, 20 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050 – a plan in line with Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for the UAE to be among the best countries in the world by 2021.
So what’s being done?
Well, there’s a Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in the works, which will be the largest single-site solar park in the world when it opens in 2017.
It’s expected to produce 5,000 megawatts of energy by 2030.
Dubai is also focusing on cutting carbon emissions – expecting a 16 per cent reduction by 2021.
The emirate, in line with Sheikh Mohammed’s vision, aims to have the lowest carbon fingerprint worldwide while also reducing demand to 30 per cent by 2030.
Dubai is also installing 100 electric vehicle charging stations across the city, building a new DEWA HQ which uses 66 per cent less energy than a normal office, and is also working on a sewerage tunnels project .
According to WAM “when completed in 2020, [there will be] 121 sewerage pumping stations located across the city. The tunnels are sustainable that can last for up to 100 years, slash carbon emissions and help energy saving by 30 per cent.”