The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has launched the National Air Quality Agenda 2031, which was first approved by the UAE Cabinet in June 2022.
The agenda provides a general framework to lead and align federal and local government entities, as well as the private sector, to monitor and effectively manage air quality while reducing air pollution.
‘The Air We Share’
The launch took place during a forum the MOCCAE organised under the theme ‘The Air We Share’.
The event drew the participation of international organisations, including the UN, the Global Green Growth Institute, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. Among the federal and local government entities in attendance were the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, the National Centre of Meteorology, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, Dubai Municipality, Sharjah City Municipality, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, the Dubai Health Authority, the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain Municipality. Khalifa University, American University of Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates University, and New York University Abu Dhabi represented academia at the forum.
“Air pollution is one of the main issues affecting the wellbeing of mankind and the environment. Estimated to cause seven million premature deaths annually, it contributes to impeding global efforts to combat climate change,” said Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
The agenda sets out initiatives and projects that will be launched in the next few years to address air pollution in four focus areas:
• Outdoor air quality: This includes eight supporting goals across 29 action themes, mainly in the transport, energy and electricity generation, construction and waste sectors.
• Indoor air quality: This includes three supporting goals and six action themes, with a focus on construction materials, substances used in household products, and building maintenance.
• Ambient odour: This includes four supporting goals and 10 action themes in waste management, wastewater treatment, and industry.
• Ambient noise: This includes five supporting goals and 16 action themes in transport, construction, and industry.
To achieve its targets, the National Air Quality Agenda outlines key enablers, including establishing a clear and robust policy and institutional framework, enhancing technical and human resource capacities, promoting scientific and academic research, leveraging advanced technology, and facilitating access to financial resources.
The agenda is built upon three pillars:
• Monitoring refers to the actual measurement of air pollution and related parameters.
• Mitigation involves a broad range of existing, planned, and required actions that will be taken to reduce levels of and exposure to pollutants.
• Management relates to measures that will allow for interventions and initiatives to be effectively implemented, tracked, and controlled to reach the overall goal of improved air quality.