START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

The Greenest Little Oil State Around: The United Arab Emirates

The Greenest Little Oil State Around: The United Arab Emirates

If the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for one thing, it’s oil. They have sculpted their city out of its profits, and developed massive infrastructure on its account. Yet the UAE is under no illusions about their stake in black gold. They know its revenues are limited, and one day it will be gone. So now they’ve headed into new, greener pastures, setting up some of the most advanced eco-friendly technology in the world.

It all began nearly a decade ago, when leaders of the UAE set out to diversify. In 2006 this took shape in the form of Masdar City. An ambitious plan, Masdar City was created with one intention: being one of the greenest inhabitable cities in the world. Every bit of design in the city, from the shape of its walls, to the placement of its buildings was intended to cut down on both the need for carbon-based energy and support eco-friendly technology.

Although Masdar City is set in the desert, the city enjoys comfortable temperatures compared to the rest of the country. A traditional Arab wind tower sends cool air through the city streets, meanwhile the lack of traditionally powered automobiles keeps urban heating down.

In fact, when the city was first created, personal vehicles were banned from the initial planning. The streets were designed for bicyclists, pedestrians and electric mass transit systems. Since then the city has relaxed on this a little, allowing for electric cars and clean-energy vehicles.

Inside the city, a number of green-technology firms have been given a home. The International Renewable Energy Agency, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and Siemens AG, a German engineering and electronics corporation, focusing on renewable technology, will all have a headquarters there. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has also partnered up with Masdar Institute, with an impressive lab designed to explore new fuel alternatives.

It is commendable that in the harsh landscapes of the Arab Peninsula, LEED Platinum buildings, using a mixture of traditional Arab cooling techniques and state of the art technology, have been successfully designed. Wind tunnels, palm wood screens, thousands of solar panels and ‘buildings inside of buildings’ have reduced the need for air conditioning and water by nearly 50%. And if we can succeed at reducing such needs in this unforgiving setting, then this technology could be instituted around the globe.

In addition to the work being done at Masdar City, ecological initiatives are taking hold around the rest of the country. One such plan involves reducing water waste inside of all government buildings by 44% and energy by 24%. This will be done by installing special light bulbs, sensors and water conservation devices in all buildings.

Pesticide Management is also an issue that has been put on the table. Currently the UAE has laws regulating the use and importation of pesticides, but the government has set aside funds to not only study their effects, but put further controls in place regarding their usage. This will include the detection of pesticides in foods, reevaluating the safety of all pesticides imported into the UAE and introducing agricultural methods that would reduce the need for such chemicals.

This march to develop sustainable technology, with plenty of oil money to back them up, is a very strange dichotomy for those looking towards the UAE. Yet, at the same time, it has been said they’re putting the ‘devil to good use’.

And all that wealth, being used to free them from dependence on oil themselves, makes absolute financial sense. Every single drop of oil they save in the UAE is a drop that countries around the world will pay for. When their oil wells run dry, they have assured their quality of living will not suffer. And more than that, they’ll have another stake in the energy game, selling renewable energy designs the world will likely be desperate to emulate.

Read more: , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

70 comments

+ add your own
6:01AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

huh. Not sure this town balances out the extravagance of the rest of the country. I mean, look at some photos. It's freaking Disneyland meets Las Vegas. But, leaving my cynicism aside, I suppose we have to applaud them in this effort. Using it as a model city and seeing how the ideas can be transferred to the rest of the world is admirable. The one problem is that the temperature, to my knowledge, is quite constant there. I think that areas with the greatest energy issues are those that experience great changes in temperature, requiring heating. Again, though, it's a start.

It's just a shame that they let cars in. Guess someone with a lot of money thought it would be a good idea...

5:10AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

Noted, thanks.

3:38PM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

ty

10:44AM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

Thanks

5:28AM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

noted

3:43AM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

thank you

1:22PM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

noted

7:24AM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

Thanks

3:28AM PDT on Jun 23, 2014

Thanks for sharing .

7:19PM PDT on Jun 22, 2014

thank you

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

they should let the former owner let starve to death, eye for an eye, i'm glad max his story has a good…

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
ads keep care2 free

more from causes




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.