Abu Dhabi is focusing on stemming the impacts of climate change through various stringent policies and initiatives. Aligning to this objective, the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) has put environmental sustainability at the top of its priorities by setting strict policies and procedures to tackle climate change challenges like extreme weather conditions, droughts, wildfires, storms, floods and sea level rise that affect the biodiversity, food security and water availability in the emirate.
To that end, DMT is continuing to implement the “Plan Maritime: Abu Dhabi Coastal and Marine Framework Plan,” developed in coordination with a host of government agency stakeholders, as a component of its strategy to ensure the long-term viability of the coastal and marine areas, including developing waterfront areas across Abu Dhabi with a minimum sea protection standard and a habitable space ground level standard. The plan ensures that investments and projects in Abu Dhabi's marine and coastal regions are sustainable by establishing a comprehensive, streamlined and up-to-date regulatory framework.
His Excellency Falah Al Ahbabi, chairman of the department of municipalities and transport, said, "Design standards and building codes are crucial to making cities more resilient to climate change. Changes in building height, foundation design, moisture build-up, and debris damage can increase the resilience of cities. We have incorporated shatter-resistant film in all windows, doors and glass surfaces as one of the necessary specifications of new buildings to make its cities more resilient to climate impacts and allow them to recover faster."
DMT also launched its sustainability initiative, Estidama, as part of its Pearl Rating Systems, which encourages water, energy and waste minimization, as well as local material usage to improve supply chains for sustainable and recycled materials and products.
Through the Transportation Mobility Management Strategy (TMM) and Surface Transport Master Plan, Abu Dhabi is working towards providing world-class sustainable mobility solutions by responsibly using resources, reducing pollution and preserving Abu Dhabi's unique environment.
"We recently introduced the autonomous TXAI and Robobus services in Abu Dhabi as part of our efforts to build a smart transport system that supports development across various sectors and facilitates the mobility of its residents and visitors,” Falah Al Ahbabi noted.
UAE is also making significant efforts to achieve climate goals set by global initiatives and events such as the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Urban Forum. DMT has engaged in international platforms such as the WUF 11 and COP26 to promote collaboration and knowledge exchange by discussing climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation strategies; energy and resource efficiency standards; multilevel governance and innovative policy frameworks; climate change finance; and urban climate change science and innovation.
"We need a global community response and international cooperation to be better prepared, take more substantial responsibility for our climate change preparations and move towards a zero-carbon economy,” explained Falah Al Ahbabi.