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Saudi Arabia to build 100% renewable holiday resort

Saudi Arabia to build 100% renewable holiday resort

The Red Sea Project will be the Middle East’s first tourism destination powered solely by renewable energy as Saudi Arabia to build 100% renewable holiday resort. Billions of dollars are planned to invested in mega tourism projects across Saudi Arabia; could this be the only green one?

Hugo Harrison-Carr on  

Developed by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the Red Sea Project, is a luxury tourism destination located along 28,000 km2 of Saudi Arabia’s west coast. The development, due for completion in 2030, will consist of 50 hotels and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.

The ACWA Power consortium has been awarded a public-private partnership (PPP) contract to design, build and operate the renewable power, potable water, wastewater treatment, solid waste management and district cooling for the 16 hotels, international airport and infrastructure that make up phase one of the project. 

Energy will be generated via solar panels and wind turbines to meet an initial demand of 210MW with the ability to expand in line with the development. 

In total, development is expected to generate up to 650,000 MWh of 100% renewable energy, which TRSDC believes will save 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly. It will also have the world’s largest battery storage facility of 1000MWh, allowing the resort to remain entirely off-grid 24/7.

Three seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants will also be constructed to provide clean drinking water, plus a solid waste management centre and a sewage treatment plant that will enable new wetland habitats to be created to supplement irrigation water for landscaping.

TRSDC chairman, John Pagano said: 

“This is a pivotal moment for us as we seek to build a new kind of tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, aligned with Vision 2030. We’re committed to pushing the boundaries of what it means to be sustainable and investing heavily in renewables is helping us to set new global standards in regenerative tourism”.

ACWA Power chairman, Mohammad Abunayyan said: “Powering the Red Sea Project and all utility services exclusively with clean, renewable energy sources is a commendable strategy, and enabling it through a public-private partnership contract underlines TRSDC’s groundbreaking approach which sets a new benchmark in sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

Tips on environmental protection and climate change research

Tips on environmental protection and climate change research

The following Tips on environmental protection and climate change research by ORION ESTEVEZ ON  are most welcome. Here they are.

This article was written by Vendy Adams and edited by Orion Estevez.

Tips on environmental protection and climate change research
Houses in Sweden (©Jessica Pamp)

Planet Earth is experiencing a significant change in climate and that is evidenced by the current global warming trends. Researches indicate that human activities over the last century have impacted the climate more than any other generation that has ever dwelt on the earth.

Protecting our environment is critical to averting adverse negative changes in climate patterns and can play a central role in saving our future generations. Every person living in any part of our planet has a role to play towards climatically positive developments. 

Environmental protection and climate change

Human beings are naturally adaptive to environmental and social changes and can easily fit in environmentally destructive conditions like carbon emissions from factories, deforestation and water pollution. As human beings, we must move away from such conditions and work hard towards improving our environment for better future generations through various ways as follows:

Protect the forests.

Trees and their importance in protecting our environment cannot be underestimated. The world data report shows the global temperate forest cover 1,700 years ago stood at 400 million hectares and has continually declined to a bare 6 million hectares by 2010. 

Trees are top protectors of our environments through attracting rain, reducing carbon levels and reducing soil erosion. The main component of wood is carbon and by increasing our forest cover, we create fresher conditions for life.  

Reduce carbon emissions.

The Middle East, the United States and the United Kingdom account for the highest levels of fossil fuel emissions globally, with Africa leading with changes in land use where people burn charcoal for fuel. One of the main steps to help save our environment is reducing dependence on fossil fuels for energy production.

Carbon impacts the ozone layer and is a primary cause of pollution in the environment. We will have a healthier generation and a moderately warm globe.

Adapt to clean energy.

Clean energy is crucial if we are to achieve a global level playing ground against environmental destruction. Currently, non-renewable energy use account for 85 percent and these sources are being depleted quickly so by about 2070, global reliance on non-renewable energy will have suffered a big setback. 

The most reliable clean energy resources, namely the sun, wind, water and bio will probably exist another 30 million years unless a sudden celestial occurrence alters that. Atomic energy is considered clean energy, although there are varying schools of thought on this subject.

Preparing for environmental protection

Protecting our environment is the responsibility of every global citizen. Since we have all participated in one way or the other destroying our environment, we must get prepared to protect it in some of the following ways:

Help in writing a research paper and activism.

There are many environmental activists at the forefront of environmental protection. As a global citizen, choose one group and participate in its environmental protection activities. Some activism groups evolve into environmental movements and have been known to make big changes in improving the environment across many countries around the world. 

Activism starts with you and every person in the world plays their part in protecting the local environment. The whole world will be protected and become habitable nor only to people but also to animals. 

Activism also needs effective articles, research papers and essays to enlighten the people about the issue and make your voice reach all corners of the world. For that, you need the best help in writing research paper that can meet the intended purpose. Edubirdie, a well-known US writing help provides research help to students and academicians from all parts of the world. A reputed professional research paper writing service is the ideal solution when you want to craft the research masterpieces that will aid future generations in tackling climate change issues.

Vote for environmentally conscious leaders.

Many treaties and agreements have been voted for and passed in major UN summits and other globally known organizations that deal with global climate change. The most notable of these are the climate action and climate project.

As a global citizen, you may never get a chance to vote in the international bodies. Still, you can vote locally during national elections and bring into office leaders who actively fight for our environment.

It is our responsibility to protect our environment from a personal level to the international level because if the individual destroys the environment, the whole world suffers from the consequences. Our future generations will judge us by our actions in preparing the platform for their peaceful existence. https://www.youtube.com/embed/G4H1N_yXBiA?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Author’s Bio:

Vendy Adams works for an NGO that is working on environmental challenges and climate change-related issues. She is stationed in Africa and, as a side gig, also works as a freelance thesis, dissertation and essay writer. In her free time, she enjoys wildlife photography, journaling her experiences and playing tennis or volleyball. 

Fossil fuel-based vehicle bans across the world

Fossil fuel-based vehicle bans across the world

Reuters’ Factbox: Fossil fuel-based vehicle bans across the world is a snapshot of what will happen in the major economies of the world by the near future. Could the same be decided upon in the MENA region countries, hence the feature picture above, that is of typical daily road congestion in Cairo. It is for illustrative purposes.



Fossil fuel-based vehicle bans across the world
Vehicles on the M56 near Daresbury, as Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, five years earlier than previously planned, in Cheshire, Britain, November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030, five years earlier than previously planned, as part of what Prime Minister Boris Johnson is casting as a “green revolution” to cut emissions to net-zero by 2050.

Britain last year became the first G7 country to set in law a net-zero emission target by 2050, which will require wholesale changes in the way Britons travel, use energy and eat.

Other countries or regions that have pitched the idea of banning fossil-fuel based vehicles include:

United States:

California will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks starting in 2035, Governor Gavin Newsom said in September.

Canada:

The Canadian province of Quebec said this week it would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars from 2035.

European Union:

EU environment ministers struck a deal on Oct 23 to make the bloc’s 2050 net zero emissions target legally binding, but left a decision on a 2030 emissions-cutting target for leaders to discuss in December.

Germany:

German cities started to introduce bans on older diesel vehicles that emit higher amounts of pollutants than from late 2018. (reut.rs/38UFw6L)

Norway:

Norway, which relies heavily on oil and gas revenues, aims to become the world’s first country to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars, setting a 2025 deadline. Fully electric vehicles now make up about 60% of monthly sales in Norway.

China:

In 2017 China begun studying when to ban the production and sale of cars using traditional fuels but did not specify when it might be introduced.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEV) will make up 50% of overall new car sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market, by 2035, an industry official said last month.

India:

Last year, India’s central think-tank asked scooter and motorbike manufacturers to draw up a plan to switch to electric vehicles. The think-tank also recommended that only electric models of scooters and motorbikes with engine capacity of more than 150cc must be sold from 2025, sources told Reuters.

Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Gareth Jones

Environmental Impact of the Global Built Environment

Environmental Impact of the Global Built Environment

Reducing the environmental impact of the global built environment sector by Chalmers University of Technology enlighten us on we currently stand in terms of reducing or lowering all built environment related human activities from impacting the Earth’s climate and how “powerful, combined efforts are absolutely crucial for the potential to achieve the UN’s sustainability goals.” and as a consequence, ‘The global built environment sector must think in new, radical ways, and act quickly’.
The above feature picture is only for illustrative purpose.

Environmental Impact of the Global Built Environment
Aerial photo of Gothenburg, home city of Chalmers University of Technology. Credit: Per Pixel Petersson

The construction sector, the real estate industry and city planners must give high priority to the same goal—to drastically reduce their climate impacts. Powerful, combined efforts are absolutely crucial for the potential to achieve the UN’s sustainability goals. And what’s more—everything has to happen very quickly. These are the cornerstones to the roadmap presented at the Beyond 2020 World Conference.

Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, that figure is estimated to have risen to 68%, according to the UN. Cities already produce 70% of the world’s greenhouse gasses. Buildings and construction account for 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Rapid urbanization is bringing new demands that need to be met in ecologically, economically and socially sustainable ways.

“If we continue as before, we have no chance of even getting close to the climate goals. Now we need to act with new radical thinking and we need to do it fast and increase the pace at which we work to reduce cities’ climate impact. We must look for innovative ways to build our societies so that we move towards the sustainability goals, and not away from them,”

says Colin Fudge, Visiting Professor of urban futures and design at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

As an outcome of the Beyond 2020 World Conference, Colin Fudge and his colleague Holger Wallbaum have established a “Framework for a Transformational Plan for the Built Environment.” The framework aims to lay the foundation for regional strategies that can guide the entire sector in working towards sustainable cities and communities, and the goals of the UN Agenda 2030.

“The conference clearly demonstrated the growing awareness of sustainability issues among more and more actors in the sector. But it’s not enough. Achieving the sustainability goals will require a common understanding among all actors of how they can be achieved—and, not least, real action. That is what we want to contribute to now,”

says Holger Wallbaum, Professor in Sustainable Building at Chalmers University of Technology, and host of Beyond 2020.

Chair of Sweden’s Council for sustainable cities, Helena Bjarnegård, is welcoming their initiative.

“We are aware that we have to deliver change to address the climate, biodiversity, lack of resources and segregation. We need to develop sustainable living environments, not least for the sake of human health. The framework of a transformational plan for the built environment provides a provocative but necessary suggestion on concrete actions to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for one of the most important sectors,”

says Helena Bjarnegård, National architect of Sweden.

In the framework, Wallbaum and Fudge have added a detailed action plan for northwestern Europe that contains 72 concrete proposals for measures—intended as an inspiration for the rest of the world.

The proposals cover everything from energy efficiency improvements, research into new building materials, digital tools and renovation methods, to free public transport, more green spaces and cycle paths. They involve all actors from the entire sector—such as architects, builders, real estate companies, material producers and urban planners.

Several of the high-priority measures in northwestern Europe are under direct governmental responsibility:

  • Higher taxes on carbon dioxide emissions and utilization of land and natural resources—lower taxes on labor
  • State support for energy-efficient renovation works
  • A plan for large-scale production of sustainable, affordable housing
  • Increased pace in the phasing out of fossil fuels in favor of electric power from renewables

“Here, governments, in collaboration with towns, cities and other sectors, have a key role, as it is political decisions such as taxation, targeted support and national strategies that can pave the way for the radical changes we propose. But all actors with influence over the built environment must contribute to change. In other parts of the world, it may be the business community that plays the corresponding main role,”

says Holger Wallbaum.

Wallbaum and Fudge are clear that their proposed measures are specifically intended for the countries of northwestern Europe, and that their work should be seen as an invitation to discussion. Different actors around the world are best placed to propose which measures are most urgent and relevant in their respective regions, based on local conditions, they claim.

“Key people and institutions in different parts of the world have accepted the challenge of establishing nodes for the development of regional strategies. From Chalmers’ side, we have offered to support global coordination. Our proposal is that all these nodes present their progress for evaluation and further development at a world conference every three years—next in Montreal, in 2023,”

says Colin Fudge.

A thousand participants followed the Beyond 2020 conference, which was arranged by Chalmers 2-4 November in collaboration with Johanneberg Science Park, Rise (Research Institutes of Sweden), and the City of Gothenburg. As a result of the Corona pandemic, it was held online. The conference discussed methods for reducing climate footprints, lowering resource consumption, digital development and innovative transport. Among the speakers were authorities in sustainable construction, digitization and financing from around the world.

Beyond 2020 has the status of a World Sustainable Built Environment Conference (WSBE). Organizers are appointed by iiSBE, a worldwide non-profit organization whose overall goal is to actively work for initiatives that can contribute to a more sustainable built environment. The next WSBE will be held in Montreal in 2023.

More about: A roadmap for the built environment

In their newly established framework, Wallbaum and Fudge establish a general approach that each individual region in the world can use to identify the measures that are most urgent and relevant to achieving the goals of the UN Agenda 2030, based on local conditions. They identify the key questions that must be answered by all societal actors, the obstacles that need to be overcome and the opportunities that will be crucial for the sector over the next decade.

More about: Action plan for the built environment sector in northwestern Europe

Wallbaum and Fudge have specified 72 acute sustainability measures in northwestern Europe (Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland). A selection:

  • Establish renovation plans which focus on energy efficiencies for all existing property by 2023. Avoid demolition and new construction when it is possible to renovate.
  • Halve emissions from production of building materials by 2025. The transition to greater usage of materials with lower climate impact needs to accelerate.
  • Accelerate the phase out of fossil fuels in the transport sector in favor of electric power—with, for example, a ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
  • Double the amount of pedestrian and cycle paths in cities by 2030.
  • Offer free municipal public transport for all school children and for everyone over the age of 70.
  • Introduce the climate perspective as a mandatory element of the architectural industry’s ethical guidelines.
  • Increase the proportion of green spaces by 20% in all cities by 2030.
  • Concentrate research on the development of new building materials with lower carbon footprints, digital tools for the built environment and new energy-efficient renovation methods.
  • Read the entire action plan on the pages 20-23 in the Framework document on a Transformational Plan for the Built Environment

Explore further Researchers develop global consensus on sustainability in the built environment


More information: Transformational Plan for the Built Environment: mb.cision.com/Public/5569/3237 … b0b04b0a36aa1664.pdf Provided by Chalmers University of Technology


International Day for Tolerance

International Day for Tolerance

The International Day for Tolerance is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. It is observed on 16 November.

International Day for Tolerance

“Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.” UNESCO’s 1995 Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.

In 1996, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 51/95 proclaiming 16 November as International Day for Tolerance.

International Day for Tolerance

This action followed the adoption of a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance by UNESCO’s Member States on 16 November 1995. Among other things, the Declaration affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.

In 1995, to mark the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, UNESCO created a prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence. The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence. The creation of the Prize has been inspired by the ideals of UNESCO’s Constitution that proclaims that “peace, if it is not to fail, must be founded on the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind”. The prize is awarded every two years on the International Day for Tolerance, 16 November. The Prize may be awarded to institutions, organizations or persons, who have contributed in a particularly meritorious and effective manner to tolerance and non-violence.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

International Day for Tolerance

“At a time when extremism and fanaticism are unleashed too often, at a time when the venom of hatred continues to poison a part of humanity, tolerance has never been more vital a virtue.”

 — Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO
on the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance

Download the full message in PDF format
English ǀ Français ǀ Español ǀ Русский ǀ العربية ǀ 中文

WHAT DOES UNESCO FOR TOLERANCE

HOW CAN INTOLERANCE BE COUNTERED?

1. Fighting intolerance requires law:

Each Government is responsible for enforcing human rights laws, for banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination against minorities, whether these are committed by State officials, private organizations or individuals. The State must also ensure equal access to courts, human rights commissioners or ombudsmen, so that people do not take justice into their own hands and resort to violence to settle their disputes.

2. Fighting intolerance requires education:

Laws are necessary but not sufficient for countering intolerance in individual attitudes. Intolerance is very often rooted in ignorance and fear: fear of the unknown, of the other, other cultures, nations, religions. Intolerance is also closely linked to an exaggerated sense of self-worth and pride, whether personal, national or religious. These notions are taught and learned at an early age. Therefore, greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating more and better. Greater efforts need to be made to teach children about tolerance and human rights, about other ways of life. Children should be encouraged at home and in school to be open-minded and curious.

Education is a life-long experience and does not begin or end in school. Endeavours to build tolerance through education will not succeed unless they reach all age groups, and take place everywhere: at home, in schools, in the workplace, in law-enforcement and legal training, and not least in entertainment and on the information highways.

3. Fighting intolerance requires access to information:

Intolerance is most dangerous when it is exploited to fulfil the political and territorial ambitions of an individual or groups of individuals. Hatemongers often begin by identifying the public’s tolerance threshold. They then develop fallacious arguments, lie with statistics and manipulate public opinion with misinformation and prejudice. The most efficient way to limit the influence of hatemongers is to develop policies that generate and promote press freedom and press pluralism, in order to allow the public to differentiate between facts and opinions.

4. Fighting intolerance requires individual awareness:

Intolerance in a society is the sum-total of the intolerance of its individual members. Bigotry, stereotyping, stigmatizing, insults and racial jokes are examples of individual expressions of intolerance to which some people are subjected daily. Intolerance breeds intolerance. It leaves its victims in pursuit of revenge. In order to fight intolerance individuals should become aware of the link between their behavior and the vicious cycle of mistrust and violence in society. Each one of us should begin by asking: am I a tolerant person? Do I stereotype people? Do I reject those who are different from me? Do I blame my problems on ‘them’?

5. Fighting intolerance requires local solutions:

Many people know that tomorrow’s problems will be increasingly global but few realize that solutions to global problems are mainly local, even individual. When confronted with an escalation of intolerance around us, we must not wait for governments and institutions to act alone. We are all part of the solution. We should not feel powerless for we actually posses an enormous capacity to wield power. Nonviolent action is a way of using that power-the power of people. The tools of nonviolent action-putting a group together to confront a problem, to organize a grassroots network, to demonstrate solidarity with victims of intolerance, to discredit hateful propaganda-are available to all those who want to put an end to intolerance, violence and hatred.

International Day for Tolerance

RESOURCES

Egypt: Towards a greener economy

Egypt: Towards a greener economy

“The introduction of new environmental sustainability standards will bring Egypt closer to having a green economy”, elaborated on Ahramonline could drive the whole of the Middle East into reversing the trend, that of greening the desert as opposed to ever-increasing desertification. So how is Egypt moving towards a greener economy?

Egypt: Towards a greener economy

By Mahmoud Bakr, Saturday 14 Nov 2020

Fouad and Al-Said

The cabinet has agreed to produce guidelines for environmental sustainability standards that will be integrated into the state’s plans for sustainable development, it was announced this week.

Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala Al-Said said the announcement brought the country one step closer to its transformation into a green economy. Decrees had been issued for various ministries to form teams to be trained in integrating environmental standards into their projects, she added.

Al-Said said that sustainability standards would be factored in when allocating budgets for projects, with the move accelerating Egypt’s progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related international commitments and making it one of the first Arab countries to integrate the green economy into the state budget through so-called “green budgeting”.

Incorporating sustainability standards into the state’s economic and social development programmes and Egypt’s Vision 2030 would help to preserve resources for following generations, Al-Said explained.

The environmental sustainability standards will be considered in the 2021-22 budget. Priority will be granted to projects that follow the new environmental guidelines, and the assessment of investment projects will be conducted according to sustainability standards, she added.

Green initiatives will be launched in coordination with the ministries concerned, and periodical reports will follow up on progress in implementing the new standards.

Al-Said said that there were 691 green projects in the 2020-21 budget at an estimated cost of LE447.3 billion, 15 per cent of which, or LE36.7 billion, came from public investments, with a stated goal of doubling the allocations in the next budget.

Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad said the cabinet’s approval of the environmental sustainability standards would help to spread a culture of sustainability and expand on integrating environmental dimensions into existing plans.

She said green investments targeting protecting natural resources from pollution and depletion, such as clean energy, recycling, and treating waste water, were being increased, and such green investments would improve Egypt’s competitiveness on the Environmental Performance Index by increasing such public investments from 15 per cent this year to 30 per cent in the next.

Green projects are development and service-oriented projects that take account of their effects on natural resources and increase the efficiency of their operations, she added.

The world was rearranging its priorities owing to changes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, Fouad said. In Egypt, the ministries of environment and planning collaborated to lay out a vision for Egypt’s transformation towards a green economy to increase the country’s investment opportunities, raise the competitiveness of local products, generate more job opportunities, and bring to a halt losses resulting from environmental deterioration, she added.

She said green projects helped to ensure the preservation of natural resources and biological diversity, reducing pollution, raising the efficiency of public spending, and increasing revenues. They also helped to increase competitiveness in production, rationalise water consumption, optimise benefits from non-conventional water resources, ensure the optimal utilisation of waste in safe and environmentally friendly means, and diversify energy sources to new and renewable resources.

Fouad cited as examples of green projects environmentally friendly industrial complexes, the development of canals, water desalination plants, treatment plants for medical waste, and solar energy projects.

The Ministry of Environment was providing the technical support for guidelines to integrate environmental factors into development projects and programmes to train public-sector executives in implementing and operating green projects, she said.

This was in tandem with the Ministry of Planning’s efforts to integrate sustainability standards into project evaluations, in addition to finding solutions to problems that could stand in the way of expanding projects across different sectors.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 12 November, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

Related:


The above feature picture is of the UN Page’s MAY – EGYPT LAUNCHES A NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR GREEN ECONOMY AT AMCEN