For true engagement to have a lasting impact, there must clear conviction and a strategy that cascades down from the leadership and touches every aspect of society. The green economy is not a matter of a single project or initiative; it concerns us all. Countries such as Denmark and the UAE are excellent examples of this; there is clear strategy from the top down that gives direction to the entire economy. The UAE's energy sector is going through vast changes as the country strives to become more sustainable and encourage closer cooperation between private and public entities in pursuit of this endeavor. This directional overhaul will see a future energy mix of conventional, renewables, and nuclear, in addition to reducing consumption. Leaders in both government and private business are engaged in revamping our relationship with the green economy. Opportunities can flourish with new businesses developing in areas such as renewables. The green economy is not a target; it is a journey. When it comes to educating investors on the importance of the green economy, conferences like the World Green Summit are useful. Awareness at the C-level and with government officials is imperative, as is engagement amongst stakeholders. Crucially, the private sector has adapted to this well, and we see further projects coming online with significant public-private collaboration. The youth will play a major role in shaping the future of these initiatives, and there is strong interest, awareness, and engagement in major green economy events across the UAE.
Chairman, Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence
CEO, Green Energy Solutions and Sustainability (GESS)
Dubai is leading the way in the region. The GCC is changing from a region that is dependent on fossil fuels to one that is diversifying its energy strategy and including renewables as a source of power. Aggressive targets have been set for development here too. In terms of the green economy, sustainability, and smart cities, it starts with waste management, which is where GESS has made a significant contribution by pioneering the first landfill gas-to-energy project with the support and encouragement of Dubai Municipality. We are working to move away from landfilling our waste in order to achieve zero waste by the 2021 timeline set by Dubai Municipality Waste Department. GESS is also targeting landfills, all of which need to be degassed. We are also seeking to capture harmful landfill gases that landfills emit and generate power from them as part of our efforts to create value out of something that harms the environment. Landfill gas power generation is a stable source of power and is being used all over the world, just not yet in this region. GESS powering the first landfill gas-to-energy project for the Dubai Municipality at the Al Qusais landfill is thus an important step. We have installed pipes in the ground that are degassing 6,000Ncbm of gas per hour, which has the capability to generate 12MW of electricity. Once expanded, our goal is to connect that power to the grid and be part of the aggressive targets Dubai has set.
General Counsel, World Green Economy Organization (WGEO)
To be successful, it is necessary to identify sufficient opportunities for the private sector to invest in the green economy. These should not only be good for society but also be seen as having significant business value. The main focus of WGEO is to seek implementation for projects that are already fully appraised and have government support but could not get funding. We are trying to engage more with the private sector, which was made easier because WGEO is an innovative organization. It is the first international organization of its kind with a treaty base and a full-fledged multi stakeholder composition of governing bodies. This opens the right field of synergies because many organizations have established rules of procedure, and problems occur when they want to interact with the private sector; these routes and procedures do not fit in the engagement with private-sector entities and global funds. We seek to avoid these issues by creating an institutionalized form of participation. In the private sector, we have non-state members who are an integral part of decision making, operational modality, and the family structure. When it comes to green financing models and collaboration amongst stakeholders to aid the transition to a green economy, it is important to establish an institutional framework with an approved treaty that had active consultation with numerous stakeholders. The transition to a green economy cannot be achieved by the public sector alone.