A study conducted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), in collaboration with entities involved in power generation in the United Arab Emirates, has revealed a significant decrease of 20% in nitrogen oxide emissions resulting from power generation activities.
The study focused on measuring the intensity of nitrogen oxide emissions associated with power generation to establish a baseline and monitor the reduction in emissions intensity within this sector. The findings were based on data from 2020, highlighting a noteworthy decline in nitrogen oxide emissions compared to the recorded data from 2015.
This announcement aligns with the Year of Sustainability and the UAE’s preparations to host the Conference of Parties (COP28) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It underscores the country’s commitment to reducing harmful emissions, particularly those from power generation activities.
The study’s outcomes align with the “National Air Quality Agenda 2031,” introduced by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and approved by the Cabinet. This Agenda provides a comprehensive framework to guide and coordinate efforts across federal and local government entities and private sector institutions in monitoring and managing air quality effectively. Its objective is to mitigate pollution, improve air quality, foster a safe and healthy environment, and enhance the overall quality of life in alignment with the UAE Centennial 2071 targets.
The executive plan of the National Air Quality Agenda 2031 encompasses several initiatives, including continuous monitoring of emissions associated with power generation, which led to the study of nitrogen oxide emissions resulting from power generation activities.
His Excellency Essa Al Hashmi, the Assistant-Undersecretary for the Sustainable Communities Sector and the Acting Assistant-Undersecretary for the Green Development and Climate Change Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment emphasised reducing harmful emissions.
HE Essa Al Hashmi said: “Reducing harmful emissions is one of the most important strategic directions for the UAE to fulfil its climate obligations and contribute to mitigating global climate change. As the Conference of Parties (COP28) approaches the UAE at the end of this year, the announcement of the reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions resulting from power generation activities reflects the UAE’s commitment and seriousness in presenting a practical model to confront climate challenges with concrete steps on the ground. It also demonstrates the implementation of the UAE’s strategic goals for climate neutrality by 2050.”
HE Al Hashmi added: “The UAE has taken proactive measures to reduce emissions from power generation over the past years, most notably the operation of several power generation complexes from renewable energy sources such as Noor Solar Power Station and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Barakah Peaceful Nuclear Energy Plants, and other projects. The partial operation of these projects contributed to reducing nitrogen oxide emissions resulting from power generation. In addition, many power generation networks have been upgraded, contributing to reducing these emissions.”
The National Air Quality Agenda encompasses four strategic directions to achieve the country’s air quality objectives: reducing outdoor air pollution and exposure rates, improving indoor air quality and minimising health risks, reducing exposure to ambient odours, and maintaining permissible noise levels.
Based on three strategic pillars—monitoring, mitigation, and management—the National Air Quality Agenda incorporates four main areas.
The first is “Outdoor Air Quality,” comprising eight work programs and 29 projects spanning transportation, energy, power generation, construction, and waste.
The second area is “Indoor Air Quality,” which includes three work programs and six projects focused on building material standards and maintenance practices.
The third area, “Ambient Odors,” encompasses four work programs and ten projects related to waste management, wastewater, and general industrial sectors. The fourth and final area is “Ambient Noise,” which comprises five work programs and 16 projects in the transportation, construction, and industrial sectors.