(MENAFN Press) Region Could Become Global Role Model in Responsible Consumption
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Surging future demand on the Gulf's utilities “ power and water, in particular “ have set off serious planning discussion about how best to address the vexing issue, with many suggesting that the region could become a global role model in responsible consumption.
In short, rapid population growth means the Gulf's utility providers will have to invest billions of US dollars over the next decade to keep pace with consumption. But investment alone cannot sustainably remedy the Gulf's consumption problems.
A report put out by Middle East Economic Digest projected both power and water to be growing at about 10 percent each year, a figure that suggests that the only sure path forward must include some focus on responsible consumption.
"Select Gulf markets, among them Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, have plans to invest heavily in infrastructure improvements, but have also looked at other renewable energy options. Integrated urban solutions which look at all consumption demands, and then attempt to reduce usage in a responsible way, are best," said a Dubai-based Singapore government official, whose own country has become a global leader in environmental debate, hosting several related international events each year.
In July 2012, Singapore will host three global platforms “ World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week, and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore/WasteMET Asia “ where a plethora of innovative and integrated urban, water, and environment management solutions will be showcased.
And, in October 2012, Singapore will be hosting the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW), organized by the Energy Market Authority. The annual SIEW, now in its fifth year, is the foremost platform for top policymakers, industry players, and commentators to discuss energy issues, strategies, and solutions.
Earlier this year, Singapore's Second Minister for Trade and Industry, S Iswaran, spoke at the annual World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, praising the UAE's visionary clean energy leadership while calling for a critical global transition to cleaner, greener, and more sustainable economies.
Iswaran said at the January event: "With rising energy demands, increased awareness of climate change, and heightened uncertainty surrounding nuclear energy, the need for clean energy solutions has never been more pressing."
He added: "The UAE and Singapore are at the absolute vanguard in driving this sea-change, moving beyond mere rhetoric to dramatically reconfigure 'business as usual' in the energy arena. At the heart of this bold agenda is a stark realization from both nations that true sustainable development can only be achieved by lowering ecological footprints through resonant energy policies and technologies, managing resources in closed loops and instigating widespread behavioural change among industry and individuals alike."