Dubai mulls quitting green city club over lackluster climate efforts

Dubai mulls quitting green city club over lackluster climate efforts

The city state warns it will be ‘inordinately costly’ to meet its climate promises.

This article is part of POLITICO’s Global Policy Lab: Living Cities, a collaborative journalism project exploring the future of cities. Chapter 3 of the project is presented by Holcim.

Dubai’s underwhelming efforts to cuts its greenhouse gas emissions are causing it to consider exiting an alliance of green cities to dodge a PR disaster when it hosts this year’s COP28 global climate talks.

Dubai pledged a year ago to cut its emissions by 30 percent by 2030 — part of the broader promise by the United Arab Emirates to become climate neutral by 2050. Dubai is one of the seven emirates making up the UAE.

But the city state now admits that its target, made as part of the C40 grouping of cities, is slipping out of reach, according to an internal government document seen by POLITICO.

The document estimates that to stay within the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, cities belonging to the C40 club would have to cut per capita emissions from over 5 tons to about 2.9 tons by 2030.

“While Dubai can meet the net zero 2050 target, it is unable to meet the 2030 (or intermediate) target,” the document says, adding it would be “inordinately costly on the city” to meet that goal.

That leaves Dubai in a fix when it comes to C40, a grouping of 97 cities founded in 2005. To be in C40, cities must submit a climate action plan, and then once in the club they are grouped into different categories: megacities, innovators and observers.

Read more at, Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

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