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Alarm bells are ringing once again in the UAE as much as in the rest of the world. Scientists at the United Nations have underlined the need to combat greenhouse gases.

Green landfill

First Climate India is working along with Green Energy Solutions and Sustainability (Gess) in bringing path-breaking GHG mitigation technologies to the region. They have partnered to bring in the first and the largest landfill gas capture project in the region. The project is qualified under CDM and results in annual emission reduction of around 0.4 million tonnes of CO2. First Climate along with Gess is committed to build the first landfill waste to green power projects in the region. It would serve as a symbol of the commitment of the Dubai Municipality and the UAE government to cleaner and greener alternatives.

    “The path of tomorrow is undoubtedly determined by our choices today,” United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Monday warned of a “severe, pervasive and irreversible impact” if nothing is done.

    The IPCC warned that untamed greenhouse gas emissions may cost trillions of dollars in damage to property and ecosystems, and in bills for shoring up climate defence.

    Subhendu Biswas, director of Kolkata-based First Climate Group, spoke to Khaleej Times about the need to ensure low carbon growth. “Though the IPCC’s findings on climate change and its impacts are alarming, they are not new. The findings only reiterate the need for immediate global response to this life-threatening phenomenon of climate change.”

    The green brigade, politicians, policy makers and envoys, all called for urgent action to avoid the worst-case scenarios of conflict, drought and massive displacement, as was highlighted in the report.

    Biswas explained: “Irrespective of being a developed or a developing country, every country has to pitch in with the best of what can be offered by each.”

    He said: “The Middle East has been one of the richest areas on the planet with respect to energy reserves and continues to hold huge opportunities in energy savings due to the socio-economic scenario as well as per capita energy consumption in the region. The Middle East is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, desertification, soil salinity and water shortage.”

    Tatiana Antonelli Abella, co-founder and managing director of green company Goumbook, placed importance on food security. “Agriculture is already a rarity but weather changes are already making a big difference. This means that dependence on exports will rise, prices as well, and it will be very difficult to control.”

    Another concern on a longer term is sea level rise. “If you think how much the UAE is developing the coastline ... some studies show that (if there is) just one-metre rise 10 per cent goes under water — this is the minimum. And if it reaches a nine-metre rise the entire coast goes underwater. This is the worst scenario, in which case it would mean all of Abu Dhabi would be lost!”

    Anita Nouri, business development director of Green Energy Solutions & Sustainability, said: “There have been warnings from scientists for many years and when the world economy is affecting governments, the focus on climate and climate change falls to the wayside.

    “We have to do something together to be effective. There is a ‘global social responsibility’ and projects like Al Qusais are important. By mitigating over 300,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, this project alone is equivalent to taking over 60,000 cars off the road. All landfills are greenhouse gas emitters and should be degassed. This waste gas can be used to provide power.