The United Arab Emirates are famous for their technological advancements that allowed for the significant development of the cities in the past decades. However, the government of the UAE is also concerned with sustainability and the Emirates’ ecological footprint. In the previous years, the fast-technological development of the country has led to an increase in ecological footprint per capita. However, about a decade ago, the UAE adopted the Ecological Footprint initiative, which sought to guide the government in reducing emissions and pollution through introducing clean energy sources and other developments. As a result of the project, the ecological footprint of the country has dropped by about 4 global hectares (gha) per person.
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Global hectares (gha) were created by the Global Footprint Network (GFN) and “provide a common basis on which to compare the biological capability of the environment to provide food and meet other essential needs, versus the demands placed by human communities on these ecological services” (“Biocapacity and ecological footprint,” 2016, p. 1). Contrary to other measurements that only measure gas emissions, water pollution, etc., gha is a measurement that offers a comprehensive look at the country’s footprint. Therefore, it is useful for evaluating the damage to the environment and comparing countries to one another.
The global average footprint takes into account the impact of both developed and developing economies that have various ecological footprints. In addition, the ecological footprint of Dubai is likely to be different from the one produced by Abu-Dhabi or other Emirates. Thus, it would be possible to lower the UAE footprint to less than the global average by increasing the reliance on clean energy sources and reducing pollution further in all Emirates. However, the reduction might not be as drastic because clean energy is already widely used in certain parts of the UAE.
Biocapacity and ecological footprint. (2016). Web.