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Businesses view recycling and water as climate priorities

Recycling is among the top conservation priorities for British businesses in Dubai Reuters
A man arranges broken glass to be recycled. Recycling is among the top conservation priorities for British businesses in Dubai
  • Dubai businesses surveyed
  • Water conservation top priority
  • Confident Cop28 will have lasting effect

Recycling, water conservation and protecting nature are the top priorities for tackling climate change, according to a survey of Dubai companies conducted by AGBI and the British Business Group to coincide with the Cop28 climate summit.

Of the 72 BBG member businesses asked, more than three quarters (79 percent) plan to prioritise recycling over the next year. 

Water conservation was cited as an area in which 58 percent of respondents would like to see more investment over the coming 12 months.

The UAE government identified 2023 as "The Year of Sustainability", with a commitment to taking collective action across five areas: water conservation, waste management, energy, transportation and sustainable development. 

It plans to invest billions of dollars in new projects in these areas in the coming years. 

The British businesses surveyed think that "Protecting nature, lives and livelihoods" is the most important pillar of the four outlined in the Cop28 climate action plan, with 38 percent of respondents highlighting this issue above all others.

The survey also showed that a high number of respondents are optimistic that Cop28 will have a beneficial effect on the UAE’s efforts to combat climate change.

Seventy percent think that Cop28 will have a positive long-term effect on environmental, social and corporate governance views and initiatives in the UAE, while 59 percent think it will have a positive long-term effect on decarbonisation policies in the Gulf.

Responses to the survey were collected over a two-week period starting on November 13. 

The BBG, along with the British Chambers of Commerce Abu Dhabi, will be hosting a delegation of more than 60 companies from across the international network of the British Chambers of Commerce for the Cop28 summit.

“Through this we have further increased our knowledge into the many facets of sustainability across so many industries,” Katy Holmes, general manager of the BBG in Dubai, told AGBI

In September, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a discussion paper entitled Ripple Effect: Water Scarcity – the Hidden Threat to Global Security and Prosperity.

The ministry has called for more investment in supply-side approaches and technologies, demand-side management and governance.

Writing for AGBI, Martin Keulertz, a lecturer in environmental management, noted: “If the UAE wants to move matters forward, it must be amongst the first to put money on the table to catalyse investment and shift the agenda toward mitigation."

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