By investing in renewable energy and sustainable farming, the United Arabic Emirates is working on a more sustainable future and is reducing its dependency on the country’s large oil and gas reserves.
The discovery of oil in the 1950s enabled the UAE to transform itself from a mainly desert country into a modern, well-developed Gulf state. Being a prosperous country, the UAE has become home to almost 10 million people. This number is expected to grow to over 13 million by 2050.
With 6.5% of the world’s proven oil reserves, the UAE is energy independent. The revenues from its oil exports allow the country to import most of the food it needs to support its growing population. Likewise, the country’s large fossil energy resources have enabled it to build an energy-intensive seawater desalination infrastructure that provides over one third of the total drinking water supply.
Considering the need to find more sustainable energy and water resources, the UAE has developed a set of new strategies. The country also aims to increase its food production.
Water, energy, food
Over the past two years, the UAE government has launched several strategies to reform the country’s use of key resources. The Water Security Strategy 2036 aims to reduce the water demand in the country by 21%, compared to 2017.
Under the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, launched in 2018, the government will invest EUR 148 billion (AED 600 billion) in alternative energy projects. The policy goals include increasing clean energy use by 50%, cutting CO2 emissions by 70% and improving energy efficiency by 40%.
The Ministry of Future Food Security was established in October 2017 and is tasked with developing a strategy to enhance the country’s food security. Furthermore, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is drafting a Federal Food Diversification Policy that covers topics such as trade, crop choices and food waste.
Source: Uniting Water Energy Food Nexus in the United Arab Emirates (Netherlands Enterprise Agency)