EAD unveils results of Abu Dhabi’s 2nd Greenhouse Gas Inventory

September 26, 2016

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has released the results of its 2nd Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Project for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for 2016. The project established the GHG inventory framework for Abu Dhabi and delivered a comprehensive data set for the largest contributing sectors: energy(including electricity and water production, oil and gas, manufacturing and transport), industrial processes, agriculture, land use change and forestry and waste.

Revealing results of the Abu Dhabi 2nd Greenhouse Gas Inventory builds upon that published in 2013 using data from 2010. The second cycle of the GHG inventory uses data from 2012, and projects future GHG emissions to 2030. The compilation of this inventory was conducted according to international procedures and guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the leading international body for the assessment of climate change as well as United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) obligations.

Building and updating the GHG meets the national and global requirements adopted in the climate change agreements, and most recently the Paris Convention. This GHG inventory is part of EAD’s plan to update the integrated and detailed inventory database on greenhouse gas emissions for Abu Dhabi every two years to provide baseline data that will help the government develop and asses strategies and policies to reduce the impact of climate change and reduce carbon emissions in different sectors, monitor the levels of emissions as well as the ‘sinks’ that absorb greenhouse gases.

Through rigorous data collection and analysis, emissions for each sector were calculated from the bottom up, based on actual emissions, by working directly with major emitting sectors. Based on the principle that you cannot manage what you cannot measure, this inclusive approach was adopted to ensure capacity development and greater understanding within emitting sectors to support future monitoring, reporting and implementation of emissions reduction initiatives.

The 2nd GHG cycle report has shown that between 2010 and 2012 the total direct GHG emissions increased from 99 million tons COequivalent to 115 million tons broadly reflecting economic and population growth over this period. The energy sector comprising of electricity and water production, oil and gas, manufacturing and transport represent 74.1% of total greenhouse gas emissions followed by industrial processes 16.9%, waste 7.3% and agriculture 1.7%. The report also showed the importance of mangroves plantations in sequestering CO2, in 2012, approximately 5.6 million tons of CO2 emissions (6% of the Emirates’ CO2 emissions) were sequestered by these ecosystems throughout the Emirate. The added value of Abu Dhabi wetlands (mangroves and seagrass) is in holding about 62 million tons of CO2 where carbon is stored in the soil and biomass of the plants. This quantity may be released if the wetlands are extracted or drained making their protection vital

H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi , UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment,  said: “H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD the lead author of the inventory, said: “In order to develop an effective emissions reduction programme we have to understand the sources of emissions. GHG inventories are important not only because they provide the scientific understanding of the sources of emissions of which policy formulation is based on. They also allow for the monitoring of progress of emission reduction schemes in an open and transparent manner. The EAD is committed to embrace best practice in its methodology of data collection as well as its responsibility to engage its stakeholders making the findings of the report credible and accessible”.

“The inventory is the first step in the development of a low carbon future as it identifies key emission sources. For Abu Dhabi Emirate, the key emission sources come from three sectors; energy (including electricity and water production and oil and gas) (48.8 %), industry(25%) as well as transport (16.8 %). As such moving forward, to reduce our emissions we will need to focus on policy levers that address how we generate and consume water and electricity, optimises efficiency of our oil and gas production, manage transportation and city expansion, and encourage innovation within manufacturing. I am very pleased to see the full support and engagement of the major contributing sectors with us today and look forward to their continuous engagement in managing our emissions and to fulfil our commitment to combat climate change” HE Al Mubarak noted.

H.E. Faris Obaid Al Dhaheri, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority said “ADWEA is committed to minimising the greenhouse gas emissions from water and electricity generation and we will continue to improve efficiency of our existing power plants and implementing ambitious plans to increase the contribution of renewables, in particular solar”.

“We will also be working closely with Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation to efficiently balance supply and demand and seize the opportunity that nuclear power will bring to separate the production of electricity and water to optimise efficiency” HE Al Dhaheri added.

H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said: “Our nuclear energy programme will provide critical energy to power the economy of Abu Dhabi and the UAE whilst decoupling this economic growth from emissions of greenhouse gases. At ENEC we recognise and welcome the contribution we can make to the UAE’s climate change strategy and look forward to operating as part of a diversified energy sector”.

H.E. Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport said: “At the Department of Transport we have been working with partners to develop a Surface Transport Master Plan based on sustainability principles. What we envisage for the future is a transport system that integrates public and mass transport options with the use of private vehicles to improve mobility and minimise the emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases”. “We welcome the publication of the GHG inventory today and aim to use it as a baseline to monitor the impact of the master plan as we implement it,” HE Al Marar added.

HE Saeed Eisa Mohammed Al Khyeli, Director General of the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones said: “ZonesCorp has implemented a strategy of targeting companies for its industrial clusters, particularly those in heavy industry, that use modern technology to reduce the levels of potentially harmful gas emissions without affecting productivity.” Al Khyeli added: We review and evaluate all projects within our zones before we allocate the land to ensure that environmental impact and emissions will be in-line with the standards of the Environment Agency.

Eng. Shaikha Ahmed Al Hosani, Deputy Executive Director of Environment Quality at EAD said: “In this cycle of the project two GHG emission scenarios were developed for the year 2030 – the first scenario assumes if the development plans continued according to the business-as-usual (BAU); with policies as in the base year 2010 and taking into account the expected changes in population, GDP and urbanization. In this scenario, future GHG emissions in Abu Dhabi Emirate are expected to increase 300% from 99 million ton CO2-eq in 2010 to 297.5 million ton CO2-eq in the year 2030”.

“The Extended Emission Control (BAU-EXEC), a scenario that considers the improvement in production technologies and emission control measures in various sectors, showed that Abu Dhabi has the potential to reduce about 40% of its BAU emissions by the year 2030. The largest potential for emission reduction is in combined electricity and water production (22%), followed by transport (12%) and waste (6%)” Al Hosani added .

She also noted that “the new inventory is distinguished with better quality data and findings on the source and absorption of emissions such as by mangroves which is mentioned for the first time locally and federally by using the updated guidelines of IPCC. Abu Dhabi is considered amongst the first communities that approved the new guidelines of mangroves as emissions sequester, the Abu Dhabi experiment in this field was displayed on the margin of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) held in Paris, 2015.

Al Hosani pointed out that “Compared with West Asian countries, Abu Dhabi’s emission indicators in 2012 linked to the economy or electricity production were low according to International Energy Agency (IEA) reports.This reflects the effective performance of economic development with low emission intensities in Abu Dhabi, and the use of efficient technology and clean fuel compared to other countries in the region.

She also noted that the project was implemented in close collaboration with 18 stakeholder entities in the emirate. She also praised the cooperation extended so far by the concerned authorities to support and facilitate the implementation of the project.

About Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD)

Established in 1996, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) is committed to protecting and enhancing air quality, groundwater as well as the biodiversity of our desert and marine ecosystem. By partnering with other government entities, the private sector, NGOs and global environmental agencies, we embrace international best practice, innovation and hard work to institute effective policy measures. We seek to raise environmental awareness, facilitate Sustainable Development and ensure environmental issues remain one of the top priorities of our national agenda.