Case Study: How the UAE is Addressing Climate Change

Case Study: How the UAE is Addressing Climate Change

Guest post from Alex Rentier, Managing Director Dubai Metro & Tram, Serco Middle East

The below is a guest case study from Managing Director of Dubai Metro & Tram, Serco Middle East, Alex Rentier, in which he analyzes present emissions issues and explores how the UAE has a leading role in going green.

The share of energy demand for transport purposes equivalates to a sizeable percentage of global energy use, with worldwide transport contributing greatly to the surge in energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) and road traffic emissions.

Population growth, demographic change and developing urban forms are all major factors that have formulated a surge in travel demand across both city centers and suburban areas.

As a result, calls for enhanced intercity mobility to ensure faster, more direct connectivity between settlements have grown.

As the demand continues to rise, so do concerns regarding transportation – one of the leading contributors to global GHG emissions, congestion, and noise and air pollution in cities all around the globe.

With more and more people projected to live in urbanized areas over the coming decades, coupled with increasing environmental issues, the need for green and sustainable transport alternatives has never been more apparent.

Vehicle exhausts are one of the biggest single contributors to carbon emissions and general pollution in the urban environment, however the adoption of electric vehicles is on the rise, particularly electric buses which are a prominent form of public transport, and so less and less combustible fuels will be released into the atmosphere as they become more frequent.

The increase of smart mobility is another viable solution for the transport industry to combat climate change, and relevant technologies and services are already proven to benefit travelers, service providers and urban planners.

Recently emerged mobility technologies and information-oriented services have offered an array of proactive solutions to the challenges of operational efficiency and individual travel demand in cities.

Governments and urban planners are already attempting to utilize their full economic potential in order to achieve their respective development goals, while travelers and transport operators will also contribute to improvements in system functionality, environmental sustainability, traveler experience and new economic value.

Unprecedented space combustion on roads and designated parking areas, increased congestion, environmental issues and high economic costs will inevitably ensure that cities and megacities come under immense pressure to adopt sustainable modes of transportation further into 21st century as more people move into hugely populated areas.

Public transport systems and other alternatives such as walking and cycling due to widespread acknowledgment of the importance and benefits of a healthy lifestyle have emphasized that cities and their citizens are not dependent on cars.

In fact, it is now evident that urban rail will establish a new Golden Age because of its capacity to transport so many people in such little space, its ability to safeguard and enhance urban space for people, and its popular attraction as a location for dense, mixed-use urban development – which is far less dependent on automobiles.

In line with the country’s Green Economy initiative, the UAE is aiming to become a global hub and a leading model of the new green economy to enhance competitiveness, ensure sustainability and preserve its environment for the future.

The requirements of the transportation sector have also been identified, and numerous strategies have been deployed by the UAE leadership to build a sustainable transport industry.

These include: Dubai Green Mobility Initiative – launched to encourage the use of sustainable transport and electric vehicles that contributes to achieving sustainable development; Abu Dhabi Transportation Mobility Management (TMM) Strategy – which seeks to improve access to public transport for individuals and organizations alike and create an effective multimodal transport network that will facilitate reduced traffic and congestion; Surface Transport Master Plan (STMP) - deployed to deliver a world-class, sustainable transport system that supports Abu Dhabi’s economic, social, and cultural and environmental goals; Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy – which aims to reduce transportation costs, carbon emissions and accidents while transforming 25 per cent of the total transportation in the emirate to automated by 2030.

Clearly, there are numerous present and future challenges in relation to climate change and sustainable transport.

That being said, the UAE is leading the way as it strives to become a global hub and leading green economy that has ensured the sustainability of its transport sector and secured the future of its environment – and significant progress has already been made as we look ahead to the future.

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