A front page article in the New York Times this week discusses how Gulf states are making a major push to be leaders of alternative energy. The article states that Abu Dhabi, a state of the United Arab Emirates, plans to invest $15 billion renewable energy – the same amount President-elect Obama has proposed investing in the entire United States.
It may seem strange that an oil-rich country like the United Arab Emirates – known for its energy-intensive lifestyle – should be a standard bearer for renewable fuels. But the UAE’s leaders have shown a far-sightedness in understanding the risks of their resource reliance. Yes, the United Arab Emirates narrowly surpasses the United States as having the world’s largest per capita Ecological Footprint.. But rather than being fearful and getting dismissive about their resource dependency, the UAE’s leaders have addressed this danger, through initiatives like its national Ecological Footprint Initiative (Al Basama Al Beeiya), with which it has been working with Global Footprint Network since 2007.
Such thinking is also driving the investment in alternative resources. Oil may have built the country’s wealth. But the only way to preserve it may be to lead the world on solar.
Read the New York Times article
The leadership in Abu Dhabi is indeed far sighted and corageous. When faced with your eco footprint calculation showing that they were the worst on the planet, they did not shirk but took action . Masdar Zero carbon city is aprime example of their courage and forward thinking…and I should know because dcarbon8 (wwwdcarbon8.com) is managing their embodied carbon fooTprint!