World's Heaviest Energy Users Try to Lighten Up

abu dhabi uae skyscrapers photo

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. Photo by aekpani via Flickr.

In the energy-profligate United Arab Emirates--the country with the world's largest per-capita ecological footprint, more than five times higher than the global average--a few lone "heroes" are promising to try and live lighter.The "Heroes of the UAE" campaign, organized this year by the Emirates Wildlife Society, the Worldwide Fund for Nature, and The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, with support from government ministries, is sounding the alarm about climate change and energy shortages and asking households to pledge to curb their consumption, saying:

It's only in times of crisis that heroes emerge. The UAE has the highest per capita ecological footprint on earth. It faces an impending energy crisis and the impacts of climate change. This will affect every single one of us, unless we seize the opportunity to become a hero and make a difference.

The campaign website highlights positive steps being taken by the UAE government, including introducing green building codes, building the "zero carbon city" of Masdar, and adding low-emission vehicles to the public-transportation network; allows users to calculate their energy consumption; and shows how they can save up to 2,200 United Arab Emirates Dirham (about $600) a year by pledging to do things such as take showers instead of baths, increase room temperatures by 2 degrees, and unplug appliances. There's even a Facebook application.

According to the campaign, the average UAE household could reduce its energy consumption about 20 percent "without serious lifestyle changes." Of course, that would only bring them down to American levels, but hey, it's a start. The groups plan to expand to a campaign targeting government and the private sector this summer, and one focusing on schools in the fall. Via: "Energy pledges add up, officials say," The National
More about the United Arab Emirates:
Persian Gulf States Go For Plastic Recycling
RIP: Dubai's Dream Falling With The Price Of Oil
Dubai Flight Gets 6% Fuel Reduction, Saves 40000 Pounds of CO2 and Calls it Green
Emirates Drops In-Flight Magazine To Save Fuel
UNC to Conduct Massive Environmental Health Study in United Arab Emirates
Ecocities of Tomorrow: Can Foster + Partners' Masdar City in U.A.E. Be Truly Sustainable?
Dubious Dubai

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