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Government entities approve plan to collect greenhouse gas emissions data

July 03, 2011

The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) hosted a major workshop as a first step in a new government initiative to collect greenhouse gas emissions data in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

These sectors are energy, agriculture, land use and forestry, industrial processes and product use and waste. Representatives were gathered in order to secure their endorsement for the project work plan, project organisation and methodology.

This EAD-led initiative, known as the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, will be used to help Abu Dhabi government develop strategies and policies to assess and monitor the levels of emissions as well as the 'sinks' that absorb greenhouse gases such as wetlands and mangroves.

In addition to the role it will play to support EAD's mandate to monitor and regulate air quality, this initiative is in line with the UAE's efforts to fulfil its commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention requires signatory countries to establish and maintain a database about the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

A greenhouse gas (often abbreviated as 'GHG') is an atmospheric gas which absorbs solar radiation and traps it within the Earth's atmosphere. The Greenhouse Gas Inventory will compile data about gases specified in the Kyoto Protocol. These include Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Hydrofluorocarbons, Sulfur dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds and Carbon monoxide. It will adopt the methodology used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It will also apply best international practices.

The project is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2012 and results and reports will be available via EAD's website about air quality for the general public as well as government stakeholders to access. The project is being implemented by EAD's strategic partner NILU, the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. NILU has conducted similar initiatives in Norway.

The workshop was attended by representatives from the Supreme Petroleum Council; Ministry of Environment and Water; Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Directorate of Energy and Climate Change; Ministry of Energy; ADNOC; Department of Transport; MASDAR; ZonesCorp, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority Department of Municipal Affairs; Abu Dhabi Municipality; Western Region Municipality; Al Ain Municipality; Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council and the Center of Waste Management-Abu Dhabi. They reiterated their full commitment to providing the necessary data for the project.

Commenting on the workshop, H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD, said, "The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory initiative is in line with EAD's strategic priority to monitor and assess the Emirate's air quality. It will help us better understand the levels of emissions into our atmosphere. A critical success factor for this initiative is the cooperation of all the partners. We are proud to see that all our partners have endorsed the project plan and are fully committed to providing the data required."

Commenting at the workshop, Eng. Shaikha Ahmed Al Hosani, Manager of Air Quality and Climate Change at EAD said, "This inventory will provide up to date and accurate scientific data on emissions from each sector. To ensure quality and transparency throughout this initiative, we will adopt the methodology used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We will take into consideration our local conditions and requirements, while at the same time applying best international practices."

"We will also be drawing on the experience of previous national inventories where possible. The technical teams that will be formed as a result of today's workshop will be made up of representatives of the different entities that will help us deliver the project's goals. We will work closely with each of these teams to provide them with training on data collection and emission estimation. We will also aim to build the capacity of local university students by getting them directly involved in data compilation," Al Hosani added.

Commenting on the workshop, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Energy and Climate Change said, "The UAE is committed to combating climate change and in order for us to take meaningful action; we must understand our emissions landscape. We welcome this exercise spearheaded by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and believe it will help us build our collective capacity to take domestic action, in line with our international commitments to address one of the greatest challenges of our time."


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