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UAE unveils draft vehicle fuel economy standard

The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) has released a new draft vehicle fuel economy standard for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last Tuesday.

In a statement, officials said the new vehicle “standard will play a key role in helping the UAE achieve its emission reduction targets and support the country’s sustainability agenda in line with UAE Vision 2021.”

“When adopted by the UAE Cabinet, the proposed standard has the potential to deliver annual fuel savings to UAE households worth AED9.5 billion (USD2.5 billion), representing carbon savings equivalent to removing 4.5 million cars from the UAE’s roads by 2035.”

The move is also aligned with the UAE’s commitment in signing the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 1.5 degrees Celsius to halt global warming.

Development of the new standard was given the nod at a meeting of the public-private UAE body known as the Ecological Footprint Initiative (EFI). The group is comprised of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Water and Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, ESMA, Emirates Wildlife Society-World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF) and the Global Footprint Network.

Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chairman of the Ecological Footprint Initiative Steering Committee, Thani Al Zeyoudi, renewed UAE’s commitment to lower the country’s carbon emissions.

“Since its creation in 2007, the EFI has supported the UAE’s progress towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future by developing innovative, science-based policies to reduce carbon emissions,” Zeyoudi said in a statement. “This collaboration on improving vehicle fuel economy adds to the EFI’s impressive track record and is a firm indication of the UAE’s commitment to stronger action on climate change, in line with the UAE’s recent ratification of the Paris Agreement.”

Ida Tillisch, director-general of the EWS-WWF, which acts as the EFI secretariat and leads research efforts for the policy initiative, said the new measure “has the potential for major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and is a significant step towards realising the UAE’s commitment to limit our contribution to climate change. At the same time, it decreases consumption and yields significant savings for consumers.”