Dubai’s thought leaders, heading the green economy revolution, met over the Emirate’s status and outlook at a high level panel discussion, at the Raffles Hotel on 18th December.
The event was organized by Dubai Carbon, with a strong focus on the future and implementation of new green initiatives across a number of sectors across two expert panels focusing on initiatives that are currently undergoing and how to stimulate green skills and talents in the UAE workforce.
“The transition to a Green Economy in Dubai has commenced. There are many initiatives planned for the coming years, which firmly positions Dubai amongst the leading cities to fuel the transition. The UAE Vision 2021, the UAE Green Economy for Sustainable Development Strategy, the announcement of Dubai to become a Smart City, the strong impulse of the ESCO market, the leading role of the Government in the deployment of renewable energies, Expo 2020, etc. will drive green growth in areas such as clean energy, retrofitting, green production processes, waste management and public transport. This will provide new business opportunities and create green jobs,” expressed Waleed Salman, Chairman, Dubai Carbon.
The ‘greening’ and transformation of existing techno parks into breeding grounds for future-proof innovation and sustainability is one way forward, explained by Eng. Muammar Al Katheeri. EVP Engineering Management from Dubai Silicon Oasis.
Other speakers involved in demand side management, such as ALEC-Smart4Powerexpanded on the difficulties in seeding energy efficiency in Dubai’s villa communities. They have identified a very real opportunity for residents to save on their monthly utility bills, a matter that the firm vehemently discussed along with the concept of the Methods for saving power were discussed as well, such as Negawatt. Negawatt power represents an amount of energy (measured in watts) saved. The energy saved is a direct result of energy conservation or increased energy efficiency, a factor that can be achieved with robust green initiatives.
Eng Waddah Ghamem, Chief EHSQ Compliance Officer, elaborated on how the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) is diversifying its energy mix and has high hopes on being able to switch a part of Dubai’s private transport to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in the near future. CNG is an alternative to conventional fuels producing less carbon emissions per kilometer driven.
Following the first session, a high-level panel discussion shed light on Dubai Carbon’s Green Jobs Programme, which speaks about the specific educational requirements to create a data repository of green jobs, and to connect the education sector and the industry to better understand the skill needs.
However, to ensure the smooth transition to a green economy, it’s pivotal that the supply and demand of skilled workers need to complement each other. Skill gaps, skill shortages and certain occupations that do not find suitable takers are considered as a major barrier for the transition. Hence, there is a need to identifying the skill requirements and new occupational demands at an early stage.
“Dubai Green Economy Partnership is committed to working with Dubai Carbon to create an environment where potential employers and green job seekers have the necessary support for green employment facilitation. There is no doubt that we will achieve a green economy in the UAE, and all parties concerned are working together to realise this,” commented Fahad Al Gergawi, Secretary General of Dubai Green Economy Partnership.
Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence has taken the lead in this endeavor, with the support of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), Dubai Green Economy Partnership (Dubai GEP), Allen & York, DSOA and Chalhoub, creating a collaborative Green Jobs Programme. The Programme aims at shedding light on the specific education required, and create a data repository of green jobs, with a focuson connecting the education sector and the industry to better understand skill needs.
Amongst the panelists and delegates were many authors and contributors to the recently released ‘State of Green Economy Report 2015’, including Dubal Holding, ENOC, Pacific Controls and Dubai Silicon Oasis.