The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched the first World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO), which aims to boost the global green economy through consultations and technical, financial and moral support. It also hopes to be a primary reference for green sector parties undertaking research in clean energy, the environment and human protection.
We asked Nasser Bin Hammad, Director International Affairs of the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, about why the initiative is important to the UAE and its work with ITU, including the ITU’s policy-making Plenipotentiary Conference, which the UAE will host in 2018.
ITU News: Why is this initiative important to the UAE?
Mr Bin Hammad: The UAE Government wants to ensure sustainable development while preserving the environment, and to achieve a perfect balance between economic and social development. The UAE’s Vision2021 corresponds with the globally emerging concept of “green growth” or “green economy”, which refers to the practice of encouraging economic growth and development while ensuring that ecosystems remain in place, and providing the services upon which social welfare depends over time.
More than 190 nations, including the UAE, agreed at the United Nations Rio+20 Summit in June 2012 that a green economy transition could be an important tool in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a long-term national initiative to build green economy in the UAE under the slogan A Green Economy for Sustainable Development in January 2012. Under this initiative, the UAE seeks to become a global hub and a successful model of the new green economy so as to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the country’s development, and preserve its environment for future generations. Further to this, the UAE’s first World Green Economy Organization (WGEO) was launched on 5th October 2016 to bolster a culture of green economy in the country, the region and around the world
ITU News: What role do ICTs play in UAE’s vision of a ‘green economy,’ including reaching Paris Agreement goals?
Mr Bin Hammad: There is growing evidence which highlights the potential of ICTs as an enabler and catalyst of the green economy. Energy efficiency, socio-economic benefits and technological innovations are some of the areas where ICTs have a greater role to play in achieving the vision of green economy.
ITU News: How can the ICT community support WGEO’s efforts?
Mr Bin Hammad: WGEO will work to form global partnerships among various stakeholders.
ICTs have a great role to play in realization of the “green economy” vision. Smart e-services have been effectively reducing GHG emissions and supporting the greater cause of green economy; ICTs are fundamental to help monitor climate change, mitigate and adapt to its effects, and assist in the transition towards a green economy. By raising awareness of the role of ICTs, ITU is promoting transformative solutions that can ensure a sustainable future.
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The ICT community can support WGEO … by promoting dialogue among nations on green economy principles in order to raise awareness and provide technical support for countries in the field of green economy. The ICT community must continue to develop innovative ICT solutions which provide catalytic actions needed for green economy targets.
ITU News: How does it align with other initiatives you are part of with ITU? How might it impact PP-18?
Mr Bin Hammad: ITU Resolutions emerging from major ITU Conferences – namely the Plenipotentiary Conference, World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) and World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) – specifically define the mandates and strategies for Green ICT. Furthermore, ICT and climate change, WSIS Action Lines on e-services and environment, Opinion 3 (Lisbon, 2009) and ITU programs for reduction of GHG emissions, are all aligned and facilitate the WEGO agenda.
At PP-18, on the one hand, we plan to actively pursue these initiatives and activities, and renew their mandates by taking into account the global efforts. On the other hand, we want to form partnerships for fostering mutual collaborations for the success of these initiatives.