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Environment

Environment and climate news from the Middle East. All the important stories, plus authoritative opinion and analysis.

Symbol, Road Sign, Sign

Volkswagen faces Israeli emissions class action suit

Volkswagen faces a class action suit in Israel after a court ruled in favour of petitioners seeking compensation from the German carmaker over diesel emissions cheating. A Tel Aviv district court ruled that the class action suit will represent the car owners as well as the general public who were exposed to higher pollution levels, […]

Tie, Accessories, Accessory

Egypt wants to discuss climate change compensation at COP27

Egypt, which is hosting the upcoming COP27 climate negotiations, is working on how to include compensation for economic losses due to climate catastrophes on the formal agenda of the November summit, as pressure grows from vulnerable countries to prioritise the issue, the country’s special representative of the summit said on Wednesday. Wael Aboulmagd, Egypt’s special […]

Nature, Outdoors, Truck

Egypt’s new fund eyes agritech startups in Mideast and Africa

A new climate resilience fund in Egypt plans to raise $25 million to invest in nature-positive and sustainable agriculture startups across the Middle East and Africa, The National newspaper reported. The fund will invest $12.5 million in Egyptian ventures, while the rest will be equally split between the two regions. It will target pre-seed startups, […]

Fears mount over Iran’s inaction on climate change

In just over a year, Iran has endured deadly flash floods, crop-ruining drought, punishing dust storms and heatwaves that have pushed temperatures as high as 48 degrees Celsius – all crises likely fuelled by climate change. But for the people affected, finding help is proving very difficult. Iran is one of just four countries that have […]

UAE launches think tank to drive net zero 2050 ambitions

The launch of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA) was announced on Tuesday to drive the UAE’s commitment towards net zero by 2050. The UICCA is a non-partisan, climate action entity that will bring together members of the public and private sector, including academic institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).    In the lead-up to the […]

Nord Stream 1 pipeline

Berlin, Paris and Madrid unveil plans to cope with energy crunch

European governments have outlined new measures to cope with potential energy shortages this winter and improve networks so they can share power, as the war in Ukraine continues to affect gas flows from Russia. On Monday, Spain unveiled plans that could force energy-intensive industries to shut at peak demand times; France said it was preparing […]

Masdar achieves financial close on Uzbekistan’s $600m wind farm

Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has achieved financial close on the 500-megawatt (MW) Zarafshan wind project in Uzbekistan, WAM, the UAE state news agency, reported. Uzbekistan aims to derive 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2026, said Uzbekistan’s deputy minister of investments and foreign trade Shukhrat Vafaev. European Bank for Reconstruction […]

Global carbon capture institute opens in Masdar on net zero path

As the UAE targets net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Institute has announced it will be opening its first Middle East headquarters in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City.  The Global CCS Institute is an international think tank with a stated mission of accelerating the deployment of CCS technology – considered […]

Omani firm to launch trading platform for recyclable wastes

Oman’s solid waste services provider, Beeah, is working on a platform to facilitate auctions and trades in recyclable wastes, the Oman Daily Observer reported. The company, which is part of the state-owned Oman Investment Authority, said the initiative will help spur investments in recycling and value-adding ventures. The firm said the proposed trading platform will […]

Turtle, Sea Life, Animal

UAE rallies private sector to realise 2050 net-zero pledge

The UAE has launched its first ‘Climate-Responsible Companies Pledge,’ in a bid to boost the private sector’s role in helping the country achieve its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – dubbed the Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative.  More than 21 UAE-based companies have so far signed up to the pledge, unveiled by […]

Sharjah bans single-use plastic bags from January 2024

Sharjah will ban single-use plastic bags and materials in Sharjah as of January 1, 2024, WAM, the UAE state news agency, reported. The Sharjah Executive Council’s decision aims to protect the environment from the dangers of plastic pollution and reduce the negative effects resulting from harmful practices. It will help organise the shift from the […]

Beeah: the hero of zero waste is ready for its next mission

The emirate of Sharjah is poised to become the Middle East’s first zero-waste city, after building the region’s first waste-to-energy plant.  Yet even before the plant’s inauguration in May, Sharjah had the highest waste diversion rate in the region, at 76 percent, thanks to the pioneering efforts of local environmental and waste management group Beeah.  […]

Make it rain: UAE pins its hopes on cloud seeding

Condensation streaming down windows is a familiar sight in Dubai’s summer, an illusion of rain at the hottest time of year.  The UAE’s average rainfall is extremely low in August, but in recent years there has been a rise, which some experts attribute to cloud seeding – when a dedicated fleet of planes take to […]

To get ahead, plastics producers need to be running in circles

The volume of plastics produced globally every year has soared over the past half century, from 15 million tonnes in 1964 to more than 300 million tonnes today. This figure is forecast to double again over the next two decades and nearly quadruple by 2050. But synthetic polymers have one major drawback: they generally take […]

Sharjah wins waste-to-energy race as rest of region cleans up its act

Dubai had the Gulf’s first “seven-star” hotel and Abu Dhabi hosted the inaugural “day-night” Formula One Grand Prix. The emirate of Sharjah can claim a UAE first too – one that is less glitzy but potentially more transformative – the first waste-to-energy power plant. The Sharjah waste-to-energy facility, officially inaugurated in May, adds another dimension […]

BP's Teesside site

Abu Dhabi unveils hydrogen plan to bolster UAE’s eco ambitions

Abu Dhabi unveiled its hydrogen policy and regulatory framework on Monday – part of the UAE’s push to become a global force in the low-carbon economy. The Department of Energy (DoE) said its framework aimed to accelerate the UAE’s national hydrogen strategy, adding that it is working with public and private sector stakeholders including Abu […]

UAE invests in future flood control after record rainfall

The UAE’s recent record levels of rainfall, resulting in loss of life and flood damage, pose budgetary challenges for authorities, but also opportunities for regional infrastructure investors. The National Centre of Meteorology said last month was the wettest July in the UAE for over 40 years. It said that 234.9mm of rain fell between 22:30 […]

Water, Outdoors, Sea

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef coral at record level in some parts

Two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef showed the largest amount of coral cover in 36 years, but the reef remains vulnerable to increasingly frequent mass bleaching, an official long term monitoring programme reported on Thursday. The recovery in the central and northern stretches of the UNESCO world heritage-listed reef contrasted with the southern region, where […]

Machine, Atm, Cash Machine

Kuwait sovereign wealth fund invests in Italian ATM operator

Italian fund FSI, the main investors in which include state lender CDP and the sovereign wealth funds of Kuwait and Singapore, has signed a preliminary deal for an investment in payments card and cash machine operator BANCOMAT. FSI and BANCOMAT have agreed the terms under which FSI is set to invest in BANCOMAT “to sustain […]

Etihad CEO Tony Douglas

Etihad CEO issues call to make aviation industry net zero

There is no “single bullet” to solve the climate crisis and airlines must work together to create a sustainable aviation sector, the CEO of Etihad Airways has told AGBI. Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “This is about industry – from the giants to the start-ups – governments, regulators and academics […]