25 February 2018

Lab Chat

After years of fast growth and development, the UAE is now become increasingly concerned with the environment. Whether it’s sustainable tourism or ecological protection, the environment is now high on the list for the Emirates. And that’s highlighted more than ever on February 4th, which is the UAE National Environment Day. Read on as we look at how the Emirates marked the occasion in 2018.

Car free UAE

On 2018’s National Environment Day, residents across Dubai left their vehicles at home and instead took their commute on public transport. This is the ninth annual Car Free Day, with numbers increasing every year.

In 2017 nearly 60,000 cars were left at home, with organisations and businesses also taking part in the scheme. It’s a significant increase from its first year in practice, reflecting just how many people are becoming aware of the cause. It was even bigger in 2018. The Dubai Municipality initiative extended to Al Ain, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE.

Ministers on the metro

It wasn’t just members of the public who took part in helping the environment. This year, government and private sectors participated too. Officials, ministers, department heads and members of civic bodies all jumped on the Metro to celebrate the UAE National Environment Day.

Putting his best foot forward was the Minister of Climate Change himself, who opted for public transport. With local and federal government officials acknowledging this important day, it recognises the environmental concerns surrounding the excessive use of personal vehicles.

The effects on the environment

This significant shift towards environmental protection shows that the UAE are working on finding sustainable and positive solutions. One major concern is air pollution, especially from vehicle emissions.

Director General of the Dubai Municipality, Hussain Nasser Lootah, has said that this campaign hopes to contribute to the objective of UAE National Agenda 2021, which aims to reduce carbon footprints and improve air quality.

Looking at the bigger picture

On National Environment Day, Lootah also launched a mobile air quality monitoring station at regional level and sustainability guides for industrial organisations. The bigger picture shows that the UAE are focused on diminishing their contribution to carbon emissions.

But, even more broadly these emissions are a global problem. Climate change is a significant environmental issue, and with the ever-growing emissions gap, global action is needed. Maybe we’ll start to see more car-free days in the future.

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