The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a nation comprised of seven emirates, located in the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East. Despite its luxurious, incredibly modernized cities, it is not exempt from the impacts of climate change. The small nation is one of the most vulnerable to climate change due to its geography, economy, and infrastructure. UAE’s geography is one of the major contributors to its vulnerability.
Since the UAE is located in a desert, it is especially exposed to temperature increases and water scarcity. Temperatures are projected to increase by 2 to 3ºC if no measures of mitigation are taken. This would cause higher electricity bills due to increased air conditioning usage. Additionally, it leads to increased drought and water scarcity.
Water Scarcity & Infrastructure
The UAE is already dependent on desalinated seawater, and its water table cannot sustain additional usage. Water scarcity already threatens the entire region. UAE’s economy is also a contributing factor to its vulnerability. It is heavily reliant on industry and related technologies to meet the needs of its citizens and tourists. However, it also relies on the exportation of oil and gas which are carbon-intensive materials. During extreme weather events, any disruption in the electricity supply will have a major effect on the UAE’s economy.
Additionally, the nation’s booming real estate sector is constituting a surge in the construction of high-rise buildings. Many of which are accompanied by palm trees, water features, and air-conditioned malls. Hence, in the face of climate change, the energy-intensive sector is increasing the vulnerabilities of the entire nation.
The infrastructure Of the UAE is also extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The lack of sufficient drainage systems on the streets renders large parts of the nation temporarily irrelevant due to extremely heavy rainfall. Floods are also a major risk in the UAE due to its flat terrain and already dense human settlements. Along with causing physical and economic damage, floods can lead to drivers being stranded in the water and other fatalities.
A large amount of Oil & Gas Extraction
UAE fails to protect its environment due to the large amount of oil and gas extraction activities that take place. These activities have serious ecological implications, including the release of hazardous chemicals, which can lead to air, water, and soil pollution. Additionally, the extraction of these resources often leads to land degradation and deforestation. Furthermore, the construction of large-scale projects such as skyscrapers, hospitals, and highways leads to a greater number of emissions. Moreover, it also reduces the amount of greenery and open land, further leading to environmental degradation.
Another issue is the lack of commitment by the UAE government toward protecting the environment. The government often favors development and expansion over environmental protection, leading to a wide range of environmental issues.
They have failed to implement the necessary environmental regulations and policies to protect the environment within the country. Additionally, the government has not invested enough in green technology or renewable energy sources. This is making it difficult for the UAE to transition towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly economy.
Lack Of Importance To Healthy Environment by Government
UAE has failed to adequately protect its environment due to its reliance on oil and gas extraction activities. While a lack of commitment by the government, and a general lack of understanding by the public is making things worse. They don’t know the importance of a healthy environment. However, there is a range of steps that they can take to rectify this situation. It doesn’t seem they are planning stricter environmental regulations, investing in renewable energy technology, and educating the public.
The public, for the most part, also fails to prioritize protecting the environment. All these things contribute to the overall failure of the UAE to protect its environment. Many people lack an understanding of the importance of the environment. It is leading to a failure to take the necessary steps to mitigate the environmental problems facing the country.
Overall, the United Arab Emirates is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to its geography, economy, and infrastructure. Without appropriate governmental efforts and initiatives toward mitigating climate change, more problems will rise. The dire effects of global warming are certain to pose heavy deleterious and adverse impacts on UAE’s economy, infrastructure, and population.