Policies to Buildings: The UAE’s Emergence as the GCC’s Sustainability Leader

UAE Map

Karim Elgendy

Settling along the shores of the gulf

In the barren deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, people have always settled in locations that provided freshwater and enough natural resources to enable trade and economic development. Human settlements in the southern shores of the Gulf, in what we now know as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are no exceptions to this.

For the last four centuries, the Bedouins of the Banu Yas tribes have settled a strip of land along the northern edge of the dune fields of the Arabian Peninsula’s Empty Quarter. Drawn to its plentiful ground water resources they established what is now known as the Liwa Oasis and developed date plantations which provided subsistence. But when fresh water was discovered on the Abu Dhabi Island in the late 18th century, Al Bu Falah branch of Banu Yas moved to the coastal location which – in addition to providing fresh water- also allowed them to develop pearling industry and trade.

In the early 19th century, another branch of the Banu Yas, known as Al Bu Falasa, moved from the Abu Dhabi Island to settle near a natural creek 90 miles east of the Abu Dhabi Island. In addition to ground water and pearling, the creek – now known as the Dubai  Creek- allowed the establishment of a port which facilitated trade with neighbors across the gulf and beyond. They quickly established a settlement on the western shore the creek – known later as Bur Dubai – but had to abandon it two decades later and move to the eastern shore after a smallpox outbreak. By the end of the 19th century, the combined advantages of fresh water availability, the natural port, the pearling industry, and the good geographic location, were sufficient for the new settlement to endure a sweeping fire that burnt through most of it dwellings. The Bedouins that have settled in Dubai sought no other location and simply rebuilt their settlement.

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In Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Sources : Challenges and Solutions

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In Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Sources : Challenges and Solutions

Karim Elgendy, Founder and Coordinator of Carboun, was recently commissioned by Frederich Ebert Foundation (Frederich Ebert Stiftung) to produce a set of visual guides to renewable energy in the Arab World to coincide with the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23). The infographic below is the third of three visual guides. It represents an analysis of the challenges facing renewable energy growth in the Arab World. The three guides, which were researched and designed by Karim Elgendy for the Frederich Ebert Foundation, were based on raw data provided by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Regional Center for Renewable energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), Lazard, World Energy Council, and Bloomberg. Copyrights for this infographic are reserved for the Frederich Ebert Foundation and the author. No reproduction or republishing of any infographic or part thereof without prior written consent from Frederich Ebert Foundation and the authorGuide 1 covers the state of the region and Guide 2 covers Regional Aspirations. They can also be reached via the infographics page.

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In Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Sources : Regional Aspirations

RE-infographics-banner

In Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Sources : Regional Aspirations

Karim Elgendy, Founder and Coordinator of Carboun, was recently commissioned by Frederich Ebert Foundation (Frederich Ebert Stiftung) to produce a set of visual guides to renewable energy in the Arab World to coincide with the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23). The infographic below is the second of three visual guides. It represents a review of plans and aspirations to grow renewable energy capacities in the Arab World and the scale of planned increase in renewable energy capacity. The three guides, which were researched and designed by Karim Elgendy for the Frederich Ebert Foundation, were based on raw data provided by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Regional Center for Renewable energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), Lazard, World Energy Council, and Bloomberg. Copyrights for this infographic are reserved for the Frederich Ebert Foundation and the author. No reproduction or republishing of any infographic or part thereof without prior written consent from Frederich Ebert Foundation and the author. Guide 1 covers the state of the region and Guide 3 covers Challenges and Solutions. They can also be reached via the infographics page. Continue reading In Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Sources : Regional Aspirations

In Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Sources : The State of the Region

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In Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Sources : The State of the Region

Karim Elgendy, Founder and Coordinator of Carboun, was recently commissioned by Frederich Ebert Foundation (Frederich Ebert Stiftung) to produce a set of visual guides to renewable energy in the Arab World to coincide with the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23). The infographic below is the first of three visual guides. It represents an analysis of the state of renewable energy in the Arab World region in its regional context. The three guides, which were researched and designed by Karim Elgendy for the Frederich Ebert Foundation, were based on raw data provided by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Regional Center for Renewable energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), Lazard, World Energy Council, and Bloomberg. Copyrights for this infographic are reserved for the Frederich Ebert Foundation and the author. No reproduction or republishing of any infographic or part thereof without prior written consent from Frederich Ebert Foundation and the author. Guide 2 covers Regional Aspirations and Guide 3 covers Challenges and Solutions. They can also be reached via the infographics page. Continue reading In Pursuit of Sustainable Energy Sources : The State of the Region

From Paris to Marrakech and Beyond

 

National share of 2014 global carbon emissions across the Middle East and North Africa region, including Turkey, Iran, and Israel. Copyrights: Carboun

National share of 2014 global carbon emissions across the Middle East and North Africa region, including Turkey, Iran, and Israel. Copyrights: Carboun

Karim Elgendy

The two-week COP 21 climate conference in paris  (also known as the 21st Conference of Parties to the United National Framework Convention for Climate Change ) ended on Saturday 12 December with an adopted agreement covering 195 countries, and providing a framework for voluntary efforts to significantly reduce carbon emissions starting 2020.

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How Sustainable is Your Oasis?: A Review of Water Resources in Middle East Cities

Karim Elgendy

Liwa Date Farm, UAE. Copyrights: Google

Liwa date farms benefit from some of the freshest ground water in the UAE. Copyrights: Google

Those who visit the Middle East and North Africa from more temperate climates are often struck with how hot and dry the region is, and how scarce its rainfall. Some wonder why cities became established here, and how they continue to exist despite the lack of renewable freshwater.

These concerns are not entirely groundless. Yet these cities’ existence is not in any way miraculous: it’s merely an example of what can happen if cities fail to strike a sustainable balance between growth and limited resources.

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Empowering Egypt: Strategies

Rokia Raslan

Wind Turbines in Egypt - Copyrights: Igor Srdanovic

Wind Turbines in Egypt – Copyrights: Igor Srdanovic

In aiming to analyse the underlying issues that contributed to the rolling power blackouts of 2012 in Egypt, the first part of this two-part article focussed on attempting to offer an answer to the question of why did the  blackouts occur. Following on from this,  this second part attempts to answer the next crucial question of how do we solve this problem. While the previous Egyptian Government has focused on promoting behavioural change strategies as their primary approach for bridging the energy gap, a number of alternative strategies such as infrastructure upgrade, demand side management, increasing energy efficient of buildings, and diversification of energy sources were available. In an aim to explore this diverse range of policy options, the following will highlight and discuss the potential impact of a number of these possible solution pathways.

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