UAE council approves 22 policies to boost circular economy transition

Dubai: A high-level UAE council has approved no less than 22 policies to boost the implementation of the circular economy model in the country, it was announced on Sunday.

The policies focus on four main sectors that form the backbone of the economic model: manufacturing, food, infrastructure and transport.

The UAE Circular Economy Council, which convened its second meeting of 2022 under the leadership of Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, also identified at least 16 circular economy activities that open up opportunities for businesses, such as recycling textile waste into new products, developing automated AI-based waste management solutions, and repackaging e-waste.

“With the cabinet approval of the UAE Circular Economy Policy in January 2021, we have embarked on an ambitious and significant mission to transition from a linear model to a circular economy approach. Our current linear economy consumes valuable materials and resources without being able to benefit from them after use, which represents a waste in the modern concept of sustainability. Our approach is aimed at protecting our environment and ensuring the long-term economic and social prosperity of our country,” Almheiri said.

“Many key stakeholders in the UAE have already started to embrace circular economy principles. At the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Ministry of Economy, we have engaged with them and others for valuable insights and ideas on how to facilitate the transition to a circular economy.

The minister noted that 45% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions result from the production of cars, clothes, food and other products used every day, demonstrating the great potential of the economy circular, which can complement the reduction of emissions and alleviate the current climate crisis.

Approved in January 2021, the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy identifies the optimal approach for the country’s transition to a circular economy. Its goals include building a sustainable economy, promoting efficient use of natural resources, encouraging the private sector to shift to cleaner industrial production methods that involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI ) and other 4IR technologies, and the adoption of sustainable consumption and production patterns that reduce environmental stress while meeting people’s basic needs.

The UAE Circular Economy Council includes 17 representatives from relevant federal and local government entities, private sector companies and international organizations.

Sunday’s meeting attracted the participation of representatives from various government entities and the private sector from across the UAE. These included Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Teleworking Applications; Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability; Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technologies; Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Director General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

For his part, Minister Abdullah Al Marri, who also leads the Council’s Circular Economy Policy Committee, noted that the committee has recently held intensive workshops and meetings with government and private sectors as well as international partners. .

“These policies will help address all the challenges the private sector faces in its transition to a circular economy and support the country’s green development momentum. The initiatives align with guidance from our wise leadership to accelerate the country’s transition to a circular economy as one of the drivers of sustainability, flexibility and growth of the new economic model in line with the 50 Principles.”

Other participants included Dawood Al Hajri, Chief Executive of Dubai Municipality; Abdulrahman Al Nuaimi, Director General of Municipality and Planning Department in Ajman; Essa Al Hashmi, Deputy Undersecretary for the Sustainable Communities Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; Yousif Al Ali, Deputy Undersecretary for Electricity, Water and Future Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure; Khaled Al Huraimel, CEO of Bee’ah; Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, CEO of Emirates Nature-WWF; and Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, director of sustainable development at Majid Al Futtaim Holding.

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