By ; Shaima Hassan
In 2008, Dubai was the first Arab city to observe Earth Hour, one of the largest environmental initiatives around the world. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) observes Earth Hour every yearn to promote environmental awareness to the community; support global efforts to cut carbon emissions; find sustainable solutions for global warming and climate change; and protect natural resources and ensure their sustainability for generations to come. Public and private organisations in Dubai are committed to participating in Earth Hour every year by turning off the lights of their buildings and encouraging employees to turn off unnecessary lights and electric appliances from 8:30 to 9:30 pm local time on the last Saturday of March every year.
Significant savings in Dubai during Earth Hour 2019
Dubai has achieved significant results in reducing its electricity use and carbon emissions during Earth Hour 2019. DEWA recorded savings of 267 megawatts (MW) in electricity consumption in Dubai. This is equivalent to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 114 tonnes. The UAE is one of the few countries around the world that publish figures on how much electricity is reduced. This shows its global leadership and the high level of environmental awareness in the UAE, year after year.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA commended the role played by government and private organisations in raising awareness about the importance of preserving the environment by participating in Earth Hour.
“Thanks to the vision of our wise leadership, Dubai has become a global role model for endorsing environmental causes and supporting global efforts in mitigating global warming. Dubai was the first Arab city to observe Earth Hour in 2008, which underlines its leading role in hosting and supporting initiatives that raise public awareness on environmental issues. Earth Hour goes beyond turning off unnecessary lights and appliances for 60 minutes. It aims to enhance environmental responsibility and encourages all of us to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.”
Al Tayer urged customers, employees, and all members of society to stay at home during Earth Hour in compliance with the directives of the concerned authorities in the UAE to limit the spread of the Corona virus (COVID-19) and turn off unnecessary lights and electric appliances during Earth Hour to raise awareness on reducing carbon emissions and preserving our natural resources. You can do this by reducing your usage of electricity and water, and collaborating to combat environmental risks to ensure a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.
Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
“Community-oriented initiatives are key to the progress of the country’s sustainability agenda in line with the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021. The UAE runs a host of initiatives aimed at boosting public contribution to its climate action and environmental protection efforts. A prime example is Earth Hour that is widely observed in the country. In addition to cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, the occasion raises awareness about the importance of reducing the country’s per capita carbon footprint,” said HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
He urged all UAE citizens and residents to play their part in preserving the environment and natural resources through actively participating in such initiatives.
General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai
“Earth Hour is not only a social responsibility, but also a national duty to protect natural energy sources and ensure their sustainability, to create a bright future that contributes to protecting the environment against climate changes. This is in accordance with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, to enhance environmental awareness in the society and merge efforts to reduce pollution in our world today,” said HE Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai and Vice President of the Asian and East Asian cities in the C40 Steering Committee.
“Our participation in Earth Hour goes beyond energy savings, it has symbolic implications that highlight the strategy of Dubai. This strategy is about promoting renewable energy among the society and using the latest lighting systems in different areas to save the biggest possible amount of energy. This proves our capability to make positive changes for the current generation and ensure a brighter future for generations to come,” added Al Basti.
General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs
HE Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency of Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) praised DEWA's efforts through its awareness campaign, which managed to achieve significant savings that support Dubai's goals in rationalising the consumption of natural resources.
"We participate annually in Earth Hour, the important initiative that has a major impact on restoring ecological balance through rationalising water and electricity consumption. This participation represents an important opportunity to join the UAE and the world in spreading environmental awareness, and enhance the leading role of Dubai in supporting global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the gases that cause global warming and climate change. This necessitates us as individuals and government entities to participate in the initiative to make a positive impact and contribute to making our planet clean and safe," said Al Marri.
“Earth Hour is an important platform for global environmental action, and we are glad to participate and help make it a bigger climate awareness movement every year. We encourage our companies to observe Earth Hour 2020 by switching off non-essential lights and implementing other forms of power conservation where possible. As part of Dubai Holding’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, we have launched a significant LED light retrofit project across both our commercial and residential master communities across Dubai. It will result in an estimated 3.1 million kilowatt hours of annual energy savings, which means a reduction of 1,473 metric tons in our carbon footprint. The initiative will also benefit everyone living and working in those communities as the project will reduce maintenance requirements by 70% and lead to reduced annual utility bills,” said Khalid Al Malik, Managing Director of Dubai Holding.
Besides turning off the lights and unnecessary electronic devices from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on Saturday 28 March 2020, people can pledge to protect the earth and reduce carbon emissions that cause global warming and climate change. This can be done on DEWA’s website www.dewa.gov.ae and use the hashtags #EarthHourDubai #Connect2Earth and #raise_your_voice on social media.