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H.E. Sheikha Lubna opens conference to evaluate COP 21 outcomes

Stresses role of stakeholders in private and public sectors in achieving low-carbon economy, at ZU Abu Dhabi forum

| | Mar 31, 2016 | 10:22 am
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Abu Dhabi, UAE: Under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance and President of Zayed University, Climate Change Negotiation Forum “The Road from Paris” was held on March 16 at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi campus, a university communiqué has informed.

H.E. Sheikha Lubna delivered the keynote address at the official opening ceremony, the communiqué said, which was attended by Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, members from the private sector, senior administrators, faculty members and students of Zayed University.

The one-day conference was reportedly organised by Zayed University College of Sustainability and Human Sciences, in collaboration with Directorate of Energy and Climate Change at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA).

The forum, said the university, was a major step aiming at evaluating outcomes from Paris COP 21 meeting, with special focus on the impact in the UAE and the GCC region, and served as a platform for decision-makers, scientists, young researchers and private sector representatives, to interact and discuss the research agenda for the future.

In her address on the occasion, H.E. Sheikha Lubna highlighted that rapid rate of population growth had triggered increasing demand on industrial activities, which, among many other anthropogenic activities, had resulted in excessive release of greenhouse gases. The level of CO2 emissions, she underlined, had risen from 280 part per million (ppm), prior to the industrial revolution, to 379 ppm in 2005, reaching the current level of ~400 ppm. “These emissions,” she said, “are causing the world’s climate to change, leaving serious impact on our planet’s environment, and the way we live. Several studies have reported an increase of the average global air temperatures by 1.5 degrees C since the early 20th century, and an increase by about one degree C over just the last 30 years.”

Pointing out that the challenge needed to be dealt with globally, she emphasised that “climate change issues are cross-disciplinary and transboundary issues”, which needed sustained cooperation of academic institutions and stakeholders in private and public sectors, to realise the goals of a green, low-carbon economy.

According to Zayed University, the conference discussed topics, such as UAE green growth strategy as a tool to mitigate climate change, integrated environment policy and planning, sustainable development and energy policy under conditions of economic and climate change, historical perspectives of developing nations at COP meeting, with emphasis on COP 21, the roadmap for low-carbon and climate-resilient future and the role of public health in climate change.

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