Climate Experts Come Together to Identify Municipal-level Climate Solutions
The first in a series of eight national Majlis sessions being held in the run up to COP28 has started in Ajman, in a session organised by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and supported by the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.
With COP28 now just 24 days away, the event represented the chance to explore the strong connection between local government – municipalities – and their vital work in enabling climate change action.
UAE municipalities are at the vanguard of efforts to mitigate climate change and create sustainable cities. They employ a multifaceted human-centric approach including sustainable urban planning, green building standards, renewable energy adoption and public transportation improvements, for example.
They also hold responsibility for waste management, water conservation, green spaces, public awareness campaigns and international partnerships.
These initiatives collectively contribute to reducing carbon emissions and promoting a more sustainable, liveable urban environment in the UAE.
The Ajman event focused on discussion around how municipalities can take action to further the UAE’s climate goals, under the title: “Municipal Climate Action to Embed Sustainability.”
Invited attendees at the inaugural event included UAE government entities and municipal leaders, youth, representatives from national universities, business leaders, policy leaders, , funders, inventors, climate experts and NGOs.
This exciting new government-led initiative demonstrates the UAE’s model of present, open leadership as an approach to problem solving, and underlines the goals of COP28, to be an inclusive platform for strong, collaborative and collective action.
The Changemakers Majlis concept is firmly rooted in UAE tradition, paying homage to the widespread culture of majlises as a discussion forum, as they remain a common way to gather the community to discuss and find solutions to pressing challenges.
The session was chaired by UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, who said: “Municipalities hold the power to create real tangible change in cities, that helps us mitigate some of the most noticeable effects of climate change – such as waste management, public transport and water conservation.
"But ahead of COP28, we ensure that our municipalities are working together, sharing knowledge and creating synergies and partnerships for the greater good of the nation.
“Urban initiatives like afforestation efforts and creating walkable cities are essential for addressing environmental and sustainability challenges in rapidly urbanising regions like the UAE. Such initiatives enhance citizens’ quality of life, reduce environmental impacts, and promote a more sustainable, liveable urban environment.
“Today is a chance for us to discuss how to unify municipal action in addressing environmental issues and implementing global agreements.”
H.E updated the attendees on the progress of the UAE’s plan to plant 100 million mangrove trees by 2030, and spotlighted municipal-level climate mitigation efforts, from plans to create more walkable cities to waste-to-energy projects across the emirates which will help provide sustainable energy for the future.
Her Excellency also discussed growing plans for a circular economy, and how the UAE is working towards achieving integrated waste management through innovative new waste policies and legislation. The Majlis was attended by several leaders from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.