DUBAI, 24th March 2018 (WAM) – Dubai has achieved significant results in reducing its electricity use and carbon emissions during Earth Hour 2018. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) recorded savings of 323 megawatts (MW) in electricity consumption in Dubai, a 32% further reduction compared to last year. This is equivalent to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 140 tonnes.
Dubai residents joined millions of people around the world in expressing their solidarity with efforts to address the threats posed by global warming and climate change, and raising awareness about pressing environmental issues. This was done by turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances during Earth Hour 2018, which the world observed from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on Saturday, under the theme ‘Connect to Earth.’ Dubai’s landmarks, tourist and government buildings also took part in the event by turning off their lights for an hour.
For the third consecutive year, DEWA continues to offset the carbon emissions from Earth Hour activities, this is done by exchanging the emissions resulting from organising Earth Hour 2018 in Dubai for Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) credits from DEWA’s projects, based on the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Earth Hour 2017 activities were offset with CERs credit from DEWA’s Thermal Energy Storage and Turbine Inlet Air Cooling (TESTIAC) system in L Station in Jebel Ali.
As the National Strategic Partner of Earth Hour UAE, DEWA organised activities to celebrate Earth Hour, under the umbrella of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; and in partnership with the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and with the support of Dubai Properties Group. Many government and private organisations, universities, and schools took part in the activities from 4 to 10pm at Marasi Promenade Business Bay. A large number of families enjoyed the activities to spread awareness about the environment and promote a culture of rational consumption of electricity.
The Earth Hour Walk, the most prominent activity in the event, started at 8:30pm.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, Ahmed Abdul Karim Julfar, Director General of Dubai Community Development Authority (CDA), Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Saif Al Falasi, CEO of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), Khalifa Al Darrai, Executive Director of the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dr. Essa Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai, Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of the Emirates Environmental Group, and a large number of officials took part in the walk.
Al Tayer commended their participation in the Earth Hour Walk along thousands of people of all ages and nationalities who carried candles and eco-friendly lanterns to express their solidarity with global efforts to protect Planet Earth.
“Earth Hour is celebrated around the world as a global movement of solidarity for the planet. We strive, as we celebrate Earth Hour every year, to spark public awareness and action for the rational consumption of natural resources to ensure they last for generations to come, in line with the UAE Vision 2021,” said Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
Al Zeyoudi reiterated that the UAE is strongly committed to the highest of standards to stop the depletion of these resources. He added, “The wise use of natural resources is key to their sustainability. The UAE sees a significant drop in power consumption during the annual celebration of Earth Hour. In 2017 and per official statistics, participating federal and local government entities recorded a reduction of 311MW in energy use. This resulted in offsetting 230 tonnes of carbon emissions.”
The Minister of Climate Change and Environment added that in addition to significantly reducing power use for one hour, celebrating Earth Hour is a symbolic act uniting people from around the globe to raise awareness of responsible consumption of resources to ensure their sustainability.
Al Tayer commended the government and private organisations and individuals who support Earth Hour.
“Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, DEWA has been organising Earth Hour annually since 2008. The aim is to highlight sustainable practices that lead to a positive change in climate action. The results Dubai achieved this year underline the important role community members can play to conserve energy and reduce the carbon footprint to protect the environment and natural resources and contribute to achieving sustainable development. The goal of organising Earth Hour is to urge everyone to adopt a conscious and responsible lifestyle in their use of electricity and water, to support the national efforts to reduce carbon emissions, protect natural resources, and ensure their sustainability, for generations to come,” said Al Tayer.
“Celebrating Earth Hour is particularly important during the Year of Zayed, which marks 100 years since the birth of the leader of sustainability in the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Our wise leadership follows the same path of sustainability to achieve a balance between development and the environment. I thank the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for their efforts in raising awareness in society about the importance of rational use of resources, highlighting the importance of climate action, and supporting national efforts to achieve sustainable development. I also thank Dubai Properties Group and all the public and private organisations that took part in Earth Hour,” added Al Tayer.
At the end of the Earth Hour event, Al Tayer honoured the public and private organisations that took part. He emphasised the importance of joint efforts by individuals, and government, private and non-profit organisations in supporting national efforts to reduce carbon emissions, find sustainable solutions to global warming and climate change, protect natural resources, and ensure their sustainability for generations to come.
The event included many family and fun activities to raise environmental awareness. This included the participation of DEWA’s conservation mascots Noor and Hayat. It also featured a heritage village, and a bazaar to support young Emiratis’ projects. Many government organisations took part in the event where they highlighted their efforts to promote environmental sustainability.
“We value DEWA’s efforts. Our participation in Earth Hour supports DEWA’s awareness initiatives and Dubai’s goals to rationalise consumption of natural resources and promote environmental culture among society members as the intensity and risk of carbon emissions increases. It is also in line with achieving the principles of green economy to build a more sustainable future for future generations,” said Major General Abdulla Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police.
Al Marri reiterated Dubai Police’s commitment to supporting the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, and implement the Zero Carbon Police Force initiative that won the UN Climate Solutions Award, and utilise environmentally-friendly patrols during police tasks.
“The award reflects the UAE’s efforts, represented by Dubai Police, in adopting best practices in energy efficiency and clean energy and applying sustainable practices. The award is an international recognition of one of the best global best practices that try to keep up with the latest developments of mitigating carbon emissions,” said Al Marri.
“This is one of the most important campaigns to reduce the carbon footprint. Dubai Municipality has many projects, initiatives, and practices that contribute to enhancing opportunities to reduce the impact of climate change. One of Dubai Municipality’s efforts in this area is to turn off lights and reduce carbon emissions for one hour, in coordination with DEWA and the Dubai Supreme Council for Energy, to save energy and raise awareness on climate change,” said Dawood Abdulrahman Al Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality.
Al Hajiri noted that Dubai Municipality’s participation contributes to the restoration of the environmental balance and that we have to do what we can to reduce electricity and water consumption, reduce the use of plastics and paper, and recycle electronic waste and empty metal containers.
“The UAE is an excellent example of a deep awareness of the importance of preserving nature and its resources and protecting the environment. Since its inception, the UAE has been keen to protect the land and the environment, enact legislation and implement programmes and projects that have made the UAE one of the leading countries in the protection of the earth and its resources, and a global role model for caring for the environment to ensure that successive generations enjoy life in a clean, healthy and safe environment. The UAE is reaping the fruits of the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for the environment. His efforts and vision made the country a global model for protecting the environment and sustaining natural resources. The late Sheikh Zayed worked hard to balance growth and development, on one hand, and preserve and protect the environment, on the other,” said Major General Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, Commander in Chief of Dubai Civil Defence.
“Since we live on this land, we are responsible for the environment and wildlife, and we have a duty to fulfil, for both our ancestors and our grandchildren,” confirmed Al Matrooshi.
“Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services participates in Earth Hour every year since its launch. We believe in the importance of protecting the environment and our planet in which we all live and prosper. We have an immense responsibility to the Earth and a commitment to work hand in hand as nations, governments, and leaders to make the environment a priority in all our plans. We should be mindful about protecting all aspects of the environment around us, such as energy resources, biodiversity, marine environment, ground water, the ozone layer and other elements that help keep us healthy,” said Khalifa Al Darrai, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services.
“The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai urges everyone to take part in Earth Hour, the global annual environmental event, and stresses the need to remember Allah’s virtue and blessings to humanity, and show gratitude through responsible behaviour and rational consumption of energy resources. Islam urges us to not waste. As Allah says, “Do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.” (Al Israa 26-27.) The Department urges individuals, communities, home owners and businesses to contribute to conserving resources by switching off lights for an hour, keeping only important electric appliances on. We will apply the same in Dubai mosques, and all Department offices and centres, starting with its head offices in Al Mamzar in Dubai,” said Dr Hamad bin Al Sheikh Ahmed Shibani, Director General of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai.
“Dubai Properties is proud to host Earth Hour activities at Marasi Promenade, the city’s latest urban waterfront destination in the heart of Business Bay. As the developer of choice committed to creating sustainable communities and living spaces that are focused on wellbeing and happiness, we are conscious of our energy usage and the impact on our environment. As a socially-conscious company, Dubai Properties is committed to promoting best practices in all aspects of business, including creating an environment that is protected for future generations,” said Raed Al Nuaimi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Properties.
DEWA’s programmes and initiatives achieved significant savings in electricity and water across all sectors. Between 2009 and 2017, customers saved over 1.677 TW/h of electricity and 6.66 billion gallons of water, worth over AED 1 billion. The savings resulted in offsetting around 900,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. DEWA’s programmes and initiatives managed to reduce electricity use by 19% and water by 27% in the residential sector. The commercial sector reduced electricity use by 9% and water by 29%. The industrial sector reduced electricity use by 14% and water by 28%. Educational institutions succeeded in reducing electricity use by 10% and water by 24%. Government and semi-governmental organisations reduced electricity use by 12% and water by 21%. Accumulated savings from electricity and water consumption, equate to over one million trees, more than 104 million LED light bulbs, and over 12,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Earth Hour is one of the biggest public movements in the world. It aims to protect the environment from climate change. It is celebrated on the last Saturday of March every year, a day close to the spring equinox, when night and day are nearly the same length, so this will ensure participation of most cities around the world.
Earth Hour was first organised in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. It was launched by the WWF. About 2.2 million people and more than 2,000 organisations took part in switching off lights and unnecessary electrical appliances for one hour to take a united stand to preserve the planet. It quickly expanded into a global solidarity movement with 178 countries, and around 10,000 cities around the world, with 1.8 billion people who believe in the importance of protecting the planet from harmful emissions and Greenhouse Gases.