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Climate Action Plan for the United Arab Emirates Report

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Updated: Jun 25th, 2022

Introduction

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) experiences climatic fluctuations from time to time. The region’s high population is a contributing factor to rapid climatic change. Other aspects affecting the climate in the UAE include increased temperatures, rising sea levels, heavy precipitation, and shrinking glaciers. Furthermore, intense elements contribute to global warming, which results in acidity, drought, scarcity, and rising sea levels. The climatic change increases the country’s vulnerability, especially in the coastal areas, water factors, and dryland ecosystems. Moreover, the government of the UAE has aligned climatic mitigation plans such as the adoption of renewable energy, controlling emission of gases, and cultivation of technologies. Thus, climatic change is a problem for the UAE, and the following climate action plan could keep the climate situation under control.

Impacts of Climate Change and Underlying Physical Processes

Intense climatic changes in the UAE cause formation of greenhouse gases like carbon which then cause global warming. The coastal areas experience high temperatures and humidity, which lead to increased sea levels. Higher sea level as caused by direct sunlight makes the coastal region hot and arid. Indeed, the humidity of the coastal line could go up to 90% (Hereher, 2020). The major causes of increased temperatures in the coastal area are reclamation, oil-related activities, and dredging, which also endanger the ecosystem. The communities in the coastal regions witness changes in storm movement, intensity, and frequency. Increased sea level is experienced when the ocean warms and increases the sea surface temperature, which in turn leads to thermal expansion and change in sea levels (Hereher, 2020). Consequently, changes in sea surface temperatures lead to coral bleaching that harms the sea species. The general impact of change in sea levels affects the infrastructure, population, and sea biology.

Another significant impact of climate change is the presence of natural disasters and disruption of water resources. Global warming increases the UAE temperatures and causes unequal distribution of water resources (Al Mehairi, 2019). Following the change in the balance of water demand and supply, some regions may experience floods while other face water shortage at the same time. In agriculture, increased weeds, higher temperatures, and the presence of harmful insects cause damage to some crops (Al Mehairi, 2019). Consequently, the region experiences food shortages, and more of the lack is expected in the future. Natural disasters like floods spread salty water and contaminate the fresh waters hence endangering freshwater species and making farming impossible.

Climatic fluctuations also affect human health, animals, and plants’ way of living. The emission of greenhouse gases causes harm to human health by bringing respiratory diseases and other health problems. Erratic precipitation also makes the existing waterborne disorders even worse. Animals and plants shift their habitats to the mountainous and northern areas. Therefore, those that cannot migrate due to topographical obstacles die, thus posing a danger to their population.

Massive air pollution alongside other factors like water shortages and increased temperatures affect city life. In the summertime, people in the cities use energy in air conditioning and high consumption of water to quench thirst. The use of energy adds emission of carbon gases, and increased use of water contributes to water shortage (Hereher, 2020). The high population recorded in the UAE cities impacts the level of air pollution. Compared to America, where an individual emits 14 tonnes of carbon gases, the UAE emits 88 tonnes per capita (“Intended Nationally Determined Contribution,” 2015). Furthermore, there are many sources from which the gases are emitted, but the major one is cars. Some power stations and air conditioners used in the UAE are produced with carbon-based fuel, thus adding danger to human consumptions.

Vulnerability of Climate Change Impacts

UAE is ranked as highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in the world. The presence of general high temperatures makes the region more likely to experience drought (Hereher, 2020). During summer, the tree and plants dry, water becomes scarce, and animals suffer from thirst. The increased temperatures also make the dry land animals die from lack of food and water. Henceforth, the natural resources of the UAE during drought are usually at risk. The increased demand for water associated with shortage makes the lives of people difficult. The desert weather also makes the area vulnerable to less precipitation, warmer weather, increased storms, and higher sea levels.

The population and economic growth in the UAE increase the demand for natural resources, water, and energy. The provision of the three components highly contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases. Therefore, as the need for these factors increases, the level of emitted gases goes high. UAE plays a significant role in providing fossil fuels at an international level (Hereher, 2020). Consequently, the country has an excellent task of controlling the emission of gases while still delivering the energy to keep the economy stable. The vulnerability of this country places aspects like human health, natural habitats, and infrastructure in emanate danger.

Air pollution caused by emitted gases makes human health vulnerable. As the country continues to control the emission of gases, it still has to produce fossil fuels for the rest of the world. Cars are the major emitters of the carbon gases inhaled by the UAE population (Bernabeo et al., 2018). Inhalation of polluted gases puts the lives of people in health danger. Some of the emitted gases cause chronic diseases like cancer, thus threatening human existence. As the country puts measures to control gas emission, it still has to keep the economic growth constant, which is highly contributed by the sale of fuel. Human health in the country is at risk As the actors try to balance the effect of economic growth and control of gases.

Mitigating Factors for Climate Change

The UAE has considered several mitigating factors in response to climate change in the country. The measures are taken and yet to be implemented aimed at minimizing the effect of global warming in the country and the world at large. The climate-troubled government seeks to control the emission of carbon gases. Henceforth, it has engaged 14 projects whose primary purpose is to reduce the emission of gases (Mfarrej, 2019). The projects’ plan is to cut the gases by at least one million tonnes, whereby the adoption of renewable energy is a key contributor. The initiative also aims at expanding the role of low-carbon technologies, thus ensuring the use of nuclear power and renewable energy.

The UAE is also considering the application of cultivation technologies that seek farming without using soil. The initiative will curb the effects of harsh agricultural products and the damage to the ecosystem. According to Ajaj et al. (2019), the technology controls domestic climate change such as temperatures, ventilation, and humidity. It also helps in the roots environment whereby it selects adequate media for the roots to grow (UAE, 2020). Furthermore, cultivation technology increases the efficiency of fertilizer use, water consumption, and solutions for soil type and soil problems. Through the use of the technology, local farming will be enhanced, thus preventing food shortages in the future.

The country seeks to reduce the flaring of natural gases by not burning waste materials. When waste materials are burned, they also emit toxic gases that cause global warming. According to Mills and Sim (2021), flaring often occurs in oil and petrol-producing industries, so the use of renewable gases and nuclear power will reduce the flaring. Another measure is increasing the efficiency of energy use in various industries. The government of UAE approved projects like Smart City Strategy, Green Building, and Sustainable Building Standards, and many others to improve the use of energy (Mills & Sim, 2021). The initiative aims at ensuring good use of energy in communication, transportation, urban planning, financial services, and infrastructure. The Masdar initiative will develop and commercialize technologies for renewable energy, water usage, carbon management, and desalination (“United Arab Emirates First NDC,” 2020). The above are the most efficient mitigation measures to curb climate change in the country.

Conclusion

Climate change has brought many implications to the United Arab Emirates. Global warming affects natural resources as well as human health, thus making its increased changes worse. Climate change causes drought, scarcity, diseases, and air pollution, among other effects. The UAE is highly vulnerable to climate change due to its arid weather and production of fossil fuels in large volumes. However, the country government has placed many adaptation measures amongst which are already in practice. Adoption of cultivation technology, efficient use of energy, and use of renewable energy are among many measures. The country is expected to experience increased levels of climate change hence the need to act immediately. With the mentioned mitigation strategies in place, the UAE will cut gas emissions in large volume, thus reducing climate change.

References

Ajaj, R. M., Shahin, S. M., & Salem, M. A. (2019). Current Nutrition & Food Science, 15(5), 422-429. Web.

Al Mehairi, J. (2019). In Health and Environment Conference (289-301). Web.

Bernabeo, R. A., Khalifeh, H. A., Andretta, A., Al Khatib, I. T., & Ghori, M. H. (2018). The impact of climate change and weather on air transport in the UAE: Reduction of CO 2 emissions. In 2018 Advances in Science and Engineering Technology International Conferences (ASET) (pp. 1-7). IEEE. Web.

Hereher, M. E. (2020). Climate, 8(4), 50. Web.

Mfarrej, M. F. B. (2019). Nature Environment and Pollution Technology, 18(1), 261-268. Web.

Mills, R., & Sim, L. (Eds.) (2021). Low carbon energy in the Middle East and North Africa. Springer Nature.

UAE. (2020). Web.

Intended nationally determined contribution of the United Arab Emirates. (2015). Web.

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