ABU DHABI,16th January 2017 (WAM) – The first meeting of the UAE Council for Climate Change and Environment, which was recently formed by the UAE Cabinet, held on Monday chaired by Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment in the presence of Council members from the local and federal authorities and private sector. The meeting was conducted on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week which is being held during the period from 12 to January 21, 2017.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “Based on the directives of our visionary leadership regarding the concrete actions to be taken on the climate change issues, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has come up with this decision to form the UAE Council for Climate Change and Environment. By implementing the responsibilities of the council, the Ministry will seek to find out innovative solutions for the pressing environmental issues that we face without compromising on the economic development. The Council is expected to be a role model in playing the key leadership roles in the climate change and environment issues of the region.”

He said: “The Council will create a reference guide for the policies of municipal affairs at national level, improve the national indicators of waste and air quality with implementation follow-up.”

“It will also undertake the environmental coordination through the development of an action plan to reduce environmental footprint and boost biodiversity rate of the country and its stringent follow up of implementation, in addition to the adoption of a joint mechanism to control environmental inspections, procedures and follow up with the help of various committees, focusing on the partnership with the private sector, capacity building and awareness,” Al Zeyoudi added.

During the meeting, the Council’s proposed tasks and work plan over the next four years in the field of climate change and green development were briefed, which include setting targets for reducing emissions, defining roles, management of inventory data, preparation of greenhouse gas reporting, preparation and implementation of the National Executive plan to adapt to climate change and monitoring of the implementation of the green agenda.

The meeting also shed light on the main outputs of the National Climate Change Plan, which has been prepared by the ministry recently, as well as the food diversity strategy of the country on which the ministry is currently working.

The meeting listened to the proposals of the members in order to support local efforts and reinforce cooperation with the private sector in matters related to food diversity as well as to strengthen the relationship with universities and research institutes on issues related to climate change and environment.