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As part of its continuous efforts in adapting to climate change Dubai elected as Vice Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40)


Dubai has seen its efforts to combat climate change in the city richly rewarded by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40). The governing body, which provides strategic direction for the C40 network of 91 of the world’s greatest cities committed to action on climate change, has elected His Excellency Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, who now takes his place on the C40’s Steering Committee. Dubai only joined the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group in 2015, and the election is an acknowledgement of the work the emirate has carried out during the past period, as it seeks to create a resilient, sustainable and low carbon environment.

Mayors serving as Vice Chairs on the C40 Steering Committee represent the geographically diverse members of the global network. As a result, Dubai who attended its first Steering committee on June 28, 2017, joins Boston, Copenhagen, Durban, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Milan, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo on the Committee.

Secretary General Al Shaibani – and more broadly, the city of Dubai – will now represent the South and West Asia regions. In his role as Vice Chair, His Excellency will represent the C40 members actively at international meetings as well as strategic climate forums held across West and South Asia. He will also act as a key spokesperson for the C40 network in the media, events and across C40’s own social & digital channels.

Dubai’s Commitment towards Global Climate Change Adaptation 

“It is an honor to be part of the C40 Steering Committee and appointed as the Vice Chair of the C40 network, which is a great testimonial on UAE and Dubai’s efforts in combating climate change,” said Abdullah Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai.  “It was a pleasure to host representatives of more than 40 cities in Dubai for the C40 Adaptation Conference in January 2017, and I look forward to even more productive collaborations with cities around the world to help tackle the threat of climate change that we all face. As a new member of the Steering Committee, The Executive Council of Dubai will strive to contribute to the C40 group and, more broadly, the world’s transition to a low carbon economy. In line with the directions of our leadership, sustainability and the protection of the environment are one of the main UAE focuses and priorities. We will work alongside our federal and local partners to deliver on our ambitions.”

“This election confirms at an international level the good work that has already been carried out in the UAE and Dubai, and our commitment to climate action for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the general well-being and health of our residents and citizens. It is our hope that the Dubai Climate Change Adaptation plan, currently in progress, will provide a clearer picture of the challenges that we face. Where Dubai Plan 2021 gives us a roadmap for the future, the adaptation plan will provide us with a framework through which we can understand the current and future challenges and the solutions that are required. The plan is both in line with our growing commitment to the C40 group, as well as the United Arab Emirates' ratification of the Paris agreement,” Al Shaibani concluded.

“On behalf of all C40 members, it is my great pleasure to welcome Secretary General Al Shaibani as our newest C40 Vice Chair,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40. “Dubai is already facing some of the consequences of climate change of any city in the world. That is why they are emerging as such leaders in adapting to climate change and preparing for the future.”

The election also further reinforces Dubai’s commitment to the Dubai Plan 2021objectives. The plan addresses the importance of sustainability by ensuring the availability of clean energy sources and protecting natural resources such as soil, water, and air, and promoting sustainable consumption. The Plan also addresses the urban environment of the emirate, highlighting the need to adopt the highest standards in terms of climate change adaptation.

Dubai 2017 Plan for Climate Change Adaptation

In this regard, earlier this year, the Government of Dubai announced its intention to develop a city-wide Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The announcement was made at the C40 Dubai Adaptation Conference, in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

The plan, which is currently being developed by the Dubai Municipality and implemented across a number of different government entities, will involve studying the impact of climate change on the emirate of Dubai and will explore international best practices and innovative solutions in terms of adaptation. The new plan is a direct manifestation of Dubai Plan 2021 sustainability and resilience objectives.

The plan is currently in its development phase, and will determine the extent of climate change in the Gulf, and in Dubai in particular. Some of the issues it is exploring are:

  • The temperature increase in the urban environment and the impact of heat islands
  • The rise in sea levels and its impact on coastal infrastructure
  • The effects of rainfall decrease on desertification and the frequency and intensity of sand storms

Other climate change risk factors are set to be determined throughout the progression of the research. The plan will conclude with a number of programs that are designed to monitor desertification, increased salinity of the Arabian Gulf water, and air quality, along with a number of other programs related to climate change adaptation in sectors like environmental health, water and electricity supply, tourism and the economy. A Dubai delegation composed by The Executive Council of Dubai, Dubai Municipality and Roads and Transport Authority attended C40’s first Climate Adaptation Masterclass in Rotterdam in May 2017, in order to introduce them to international best practices and methodologies in terms of climate adaptation.

About C40 Group

By 2050, more than one billion people will live in cities that are highly vulnerable to climate related flooding and extreme weather events. Between 80 million to as many as 200 million climate refugees will have been created worldwide by 2050.

To combat this, the C40 group’s central focus is to enable every mayor in its ranks to commit to a development strategy for their city that is in line with what is needed to deliver the terms of the Paris Agreement. C40 will enshrine this commitment in its Participation Standards for membership, so that by 2020 all C40 cities can be measured against robust climate change action plans consistent with keeping the global temperature rise within 1.5°C.

C40 plans to expand its membership to 100 cities and by 2030 its members will represent 1 billion people and well over a quarter of the global economy. C40 research shows that urban policy decisions made in the next four years alone could lock-in almost a third of the remaining global safe carbon budget if it gets them wrong. As a result, the power and impact of C40 is determined by the actions of its member cities – such as Dubai - and, in particular, the people who have the privilege to lead them.