UAE Armed Forces’ Climate Change Strategy launched at COP28

The Ministry of Defence  launched the UAE Armed Forces’ Climate Change Strategy, the first of its kind in the region on the sidelines of the COP28 at Expo City Dubai.

The launch ceremony was attended by Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President; Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, and a number of officials and top brass from the Ministry of Defence.

The ceremony featured a short film highlighting the Ministry of Defence’s sustainability efforts. A presentation was conducted on the stages of developing the strategy and the strategic framework for its implementation in collaboration with strategic partners to achieve and support the UAE’s climate neutrality efforts, protect the environment, and contribute to sustainable development.

The strategy focuses on five main pillars that are built on the best global and national practices and the expectations of stakeholders. It aims to strengthen the UAE Armed Forces’ commitment to reduce carbon emissions and encourage active participation at all levels in the transition to sustainability. Based on the main objectives, targets have been identified and initiatives have been put in place that will contribute to the implementation and achievement of the strategy.

The strategy’s pillars include:

– Sustainable acquisition and green equipment
– Sustainable infrastructure and energy
– Waste management
– Culture, communication, and participation
– Climate adaptation

These pillars will help the Ministry of Defence achieve its sustainability goals and balance the defence of national interests with environmental protection for a sustainable military.

Brigadier General Abdullah Al Marashda, Director of the Safety and Environment Department at the Ministry of Defence, said, “Our wise leadership has attached great importance to the environment since the founding of the UAE by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was awarded more than one medal and order of merit from prestigious international organisations as the first man of the environment. Following in the footsteps of the founding father, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has made climate action a constant duty that everyone in the UAE is committed to engaging in with seriousness and awareness. His Highness said during the announcement of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability: Our commitment to safeguarding the environment and ensuring the sustainability of its resources is unwavering. I encourage our community to embrace innovative and impactful initiatives that exemplify the refined character of our nation.”

Al Marashda added, “The UAE Armed Forces have translated the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan into practical steps through the preparation of the UAE Armed Forces Climate Change Strategy. We are proud of the sincere efforts and hard work that are being made to implement a comprehensive package of initiatives, plans, and programmes that all aim to contribute to achieving the national goals.”

He pointed out that the launch of this strategy coincides with the successes achieved by COP28 thanks to the wise and balanced leadership of the conference’s work and the effort being made to take into account the interests of different parties and provide realistic and practical solutions that do not leave anyone behind. The UAE has also confirmed its ability to bring people together and reach agreements on multiple challenging issues, such as the issue of climate finance, where an agreement was reached to establish a $30 billion fund for climate solutions around the world.

Al Marashda explained that the UAE Armed Forces Climate Change Strategy includes the essential pillars to support the development of a sustainable work environment, through the concerted efforts of all military levels, and through the employment of the expertise, capabilities, and equipment that the UAE Armed Forces possesses to protect the environment and conserve natural resources.

He pointed out that the implementation of this strategy will be carried out in collaboration with strategic partners to support the UAE’s climate neutrality efforts, protect the environment, and contribute to sustainable development, so that “our armed forces, ever vigilant and dedicated, stand at the forefront of institutions that contribute to national progress and the achievement of our state’s goals. Their boundless capabilities, unwavering energy, and the sincere dedication of their personnel ensure the successful execution of every national task they undertake. It is with immense pride that they rise to every challenge, fulfilling their duty with unwavering commitment.”

This strategy has been carefully crafted to include the essential pillars for fostering a sustainable work environment within the UAE Armed Forces. It recognises that achieving this ambitious goal requires the concerted efforts of all military levels and the unwavering commitment of every member. By harnessing the expertise, capabilities, and cutting-edge equipment of the Armed Forces, the environment can be collectively protected and the country’s natural resource will be conserved, ensuring a thriving future for generations to come.

Al Jundi

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