DEWA’s UN SDGs commitment pays off as Dubai’s CO2 emission lowers

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is the first government organization to include sustainability in its strategic plan for achieving long-term sustainability goals and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

DEWA promotes the UAE’s efforts to achieve its global climate change commitments by strengthening the capacity of clean and renewable energy in Dubai’s energy mix. One of DEWA’s primary projects toward this goal is the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It’s the world’s largest single-site solar park built on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model.

By 2030, the solar park will have a capacity of 5,000MW and will reduce carbon emissions by over 6.5 million tons per year. The solar park is part of Dubai’s Renewable Energy Strategy 2050, which intends to supply clean energy sources for 75 percent of Dubai’s total power capacity by 2050.

DEWA initiatives contributed to a significant reduction in carbon emissions in Dubai. Dubai’s net carbon dioxide emissions fell by 22 percent in 2019, two years ahead of the Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021 target of a 16 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2021.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

“As members of United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), we support the substantial role played by the UN in encouraging sustainable progress and SDGs by aligning our work plans, initiatives, programs, and projects with them. During this period, there is an urgent need to mobilize global efforts to contain the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, enhance efforts to overcome poverty and inequality as well as address climate change and develop strategic and vital sectors.” 

The organization outperformed the global average for companies in the Sustainability Culture Indicator, scoring 91.2 percent in 2020. The indicator is based on multiple pillars, including leadership in attaining sustainability, strategic commitment to sustainability, innovation, training effectiveness, and promoting sustainability awareness.

To prepare future leaders, DEWA has collaborated with the Ministry of Education, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and other public and private entities with a vision for sustainable development.

The Research and Development (R&D) Centre of DEWA continues to make major contributions to the development and localization of knowledge and experiences in its areas of work. These include solar power generation and sustainable energy technologies like smart grids integration, energy efficiency, water, and R&D applications for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

DEWA’s efforts in achieving the UN SDGs have been crowned with several major international awards. These include the European Foundation Quality Management (EFQM) UN SDGs Challenge 2021 and also Mr. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer received the 3G Personality of the Year for good governance and sustainability in the Global Good Governance (3G) Awards 2020 from Cambridge IFA in the UK. DEWA has received the 2021 USGBC Regional Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Related: DEWA’s SDME urges use of latest technology for sustainable smart housing projects