Shift to circular economy opens up sustainable economic opportunities; UAE Minister

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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UAE’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi has stated that the transition to a circular economy by optimizing the use of resources and reducing waste will enable the country to unlock new sustainable economic opportunities that will help the nation to become stronger, more resilient, and more productive.

The Minister further spoke on the Cabinet approval of the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031, which aims to adopt the concept of circular economy in four priority areas of Green Infrastructure, Sustainable Transport, Sustainable Production, Sustainable Food Production, and Consumption.

Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi
Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi
Minister of Climate Change & Environment

“The shift to a circular economy will require a concerted effort from national and local government, the private sector, and the general public. Therefore, the UAE Circular Economy Policy 2021-2031 is also a call to action for all stakeholders across the board to consider how they can think and act in a more circular way to support the transition that aligns with the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071.”

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) developed the policy in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and the Office of the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.

Its goals include developing a sustainable economy, encouraging the efficient use of natural resources, promoting the private sector to transition to cleaner industrial production methods that include the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies, and adopting sustainable consumption and production patterns that reduce environmental stress while meeting the basic needs of the population.

The policy outlines supporting steps for a smooth and successful switch to a circular economy. These include setting specific guidelines for the implementation of circular economy principles, collecting, sharing, monitoring, and analyzing relevant information, conducting field R&D, increasing awareness, creating partnerships and collaboration platforms, offering access to sustainable finance, developing and implementing circular public procurement policies and enhancing waste management.

The transition will bring many economic, environmental, and social benefits, such as higher disposable income through lower product and service prices and higher productivity, lower demand for raw materials, lower CO2 emissions, and increased jobs. Furthermore, it improves the quality of life by promoting access to goods and services and improves health by reducing emissions and improving the availability of safe, more nutritious food.