Dubai Has The Largest Environmental Footprint
Published 30th October 2010 - 2 comments - 1850 views -
Reading the post of my fellow blogger Dragos-Andrei Irimia from Romania on statistics recalled me of an article I read some weeks ago on the Gulf countries and their environmental footprint. Basically, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), very successful in the last years in many economic and social fields, failed in keeping a low environmental footprint, together with other Gulf Countries (Qatar at the second place and Kuwait at the ninth place). It is the third year in a row that the UAE have this “special” leadership, according to WWF.
The calculation is made according to “what portion of the planet that people living in the countries need to sustain their lifestyles. The environmental footprint measures the territory required to produce the food, fibre, and wood a country consumes and that is needed to absorb the waste and CO2 released by a community.” Therefore, again a matter of lifestyles, more or less environmentally friendly.
The report refers to the year 2007, and in the same year the world’s population used up 50 % more resources than those that could be produced in one year. The UAE represents around 0.3% of the world’s ecological footprint, and it is easy to understand that this unsustainable trend would lead in 2030 to a need of at least two Earths in order to satisfy the needs of today’s humanity, of today’s consumers, of today’s lifestyles. But do we have two planets? The simple answer, could be seen in the figure in my post on the summer school at the UN.
The report highlighted that on the top of the list there were mainly developed countries, while the last one was Timor-Leste (East Timor). According to Razan al Mubarak, managing director of the UAE WWF, “this is to be expected, given that the UAE is a rapidly developing country that is investing heavily in construction, infrastructure development, provision of water, electricity and food, which has resulted in an increasing rate of consumption of natural resources, particularly energy."
Majid al Mansouri, secretary-general of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), stated that “the ranking is not where we want to be” and that UAE is “making real progress with partners to encourage positive environmental change” and that the data were taken in 2007, and therefore do not include actions taken to reduce it, including the Masdar, the world’s first carbon-free city, new green building regulations, and Dubai’s metro system.
Picture symbol of Dubai. Source: the author of this post took the picture himself in 2007
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