Recently,I learned The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the highest per capitaecological footprint in the world – if every person in the world livedand consumed natural resources like an average UAE resident, we wouldrequire 4.5 planets to sustain the consumption levels! More than 80% ofits carbon footprint is due to carbon intensive goods and services,such as energy and water. The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Companypredicts that at current growth levels demand for energy and water,positions the Emirates to not be able to meet demand beyond 2012 due tofuel (especially gas) shortages.
Alarmed by this scenario, Emirates Wildlife Society, an affiliate of World Wide Fund for Nature, and the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), have launched its “Heroes of the UAE,” an awareness and education campaign to conserve energy and water.
A federal campaign, Heroes urge UAE citizensto adopt more sustainable lifestyles to help lower the UAE’s ecologicalfootprint, avoid the looming energy crunch and help tackle climatechange.
Government institutions are being urged to lead by example anddemonstrate ways to drive sustainability. Over the course of 2010, thecampaign will work closely with five UAE government institutions toimplement simple energy and water conservation measures and demonstratethat environmental and economic savings can be complementary.
The campaign team is working closely with government counterpartsand technical consultants to assess energy and water usage. They willthen develop technological and behavioural solutions aimed atconserving energy and water. Case studies data will be used to informpolicy makers and encourage other government departments to participate.
Case studies will also be developed for households, businesses andschools over 2010 to complement ongoing activities across thecommunities within the UAE. Applied Materials has joined forces withfour organizations to sponsor energy and water audits and subsequentsustainability makeovers of government and school buildings in AbuDhabi and Dubai.
The first step — recognizing the need for change and identifyingsubsequent actions — has been started by the Heroes campaign. AppliedMaterials supports their vision and for the sake of the planet, hopesmany such campaigns like these begin taking place around the world.