Abu Dhabi, UAE, 6 March 2018: The UAE government has implemented a number of initiatives towards sustainability; however, the success of these efforts is largely underpinned and driven by the behaviour of individuals themselves, said Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). “Individuals,” Al Mubarak said, “must change patterns of living. Being energy or water conscious is not a degradation of your quality of life; on the contrary, it’s actually an optimisation and improvement of it.” This mindset, she said, is unfortunately still missing.
Drawing a comparison to the age-old dilemma of which came first: the chicken or the egg, in the context of the private sector’s role in promoting environmental practices, Al Mubarak asked: “Do you wait until the consumer [starts to] demand, or do you influence the consumer with these types of products? I really think we need a little bit of both.” Al Mubarak said that consumers need to be more aware and more educated with regard to investing in more environmentally friendly and efficient products and practices and that similarly, education and awareness are long-term processes that require consistency from the private sector in order to make them more attractive.