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Home » 61% of UAE residents believe climate change is real, 55% feel it can be limited- Veolia-Elabe survey

61% of UAE residents believe climate change is real, 55% feel it can be limited- Veolia-Elabe survey

by Mohammad Ghazal

The first-of-its-kind survey on ecological transformation led by Veolia in partnership with the research and consulting firm Elabe has shown that 79 per cent of the people living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) share the certainty that climate disruptions are currently happening and 61 per cent believe that climate change is real, and human activity is the leading cause.

 However, 55% feel the future is still in our hands and climate disruption and pollution can be controlled.

Aimed to gauge public opinion about issues like climate change and pollution, the survey dubbed Ecological Transformation Barometer also found that 70% of respondents in the UAE feel costs caused by climate disruption and pollution are going to be more important than the investments needed. It showed that 65% express a feeling of ecological and climate vulnerability and 35% think we need to change our ways of life, live more frugally and put in place technological solutions to reduce climate disruption.

The survey also showed that 6 in 10 people in the UAE are willing to accept 95% of the changes that come with the green solutions provided they pose no health risks, have bearable economic and cultural costs, and contribute to the country’s food or energy security.

Furthermore, 63% of people showed a willingness to pay a little more for the energy that is local and emits less CO2, and 61% are ready to pay more for everyday products made from recycled materials.

Interestingly, a good acceptance level was seen among respondents in the UAE toward reducing meat consumption, embracing food grown with recycled water, washing dishes and clothes using recycled water, as well as buying a car or other means of transport partially made from recycled materials.

The survey was part of a global study that used a sample reflecting the voice of more than half the world’s population covering 25 countries across Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Oceania.

It illustrated that 7 out of 10 people globally feel vulnerable to environmental risk and 89% of the world’s population is convinced that climate change is happening and 67% are convinced of the need for change.

Commenting on the survey, Thierry Dezenclos, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia UAE, said: “We are happy to share the results of this immensely important survey conducted in the UAE and other countries. I’m sure it will serve as a significant platform for understanding the level of acceptance among the local population in terms of the social, economic, and cultural changes that need to be executed in the face of ever-growing issues like climate change and pollution.”

In the UAE, the survey was conducted over 12 days and involved more than 1,000 respondents who were asked a series of questions themed under risks, solutions, acceptability, and conditions.

Overall, the survey presents a positive picture of the UAE, which has declared 2023 as the Year of Sustainability and gears to host the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 28) in Dubai.

The survey further supports the UAE’s efforts toward environmental protection, which has been at the heart of the country’s national agenda. It was the first country in the Gulf Cooperation Council to sign the Paris Agreement in 2021 and declare its intention to achieve Net Zero by 2050. In line with its commitment toward a sustainable and climate-resilient future, the country also launched the National Net Zero by 2050 Pathway at COP27 – the first step in implementing the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

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