Attendees at the Community Lecture
Emirates Environmental Group hosted a dynamic and interesting Community Lecture of the 29th May 2011. This was their 5th community lecture for the year and as always, it was free to attend and open to everybody. The title of the evening presentation was ‘Energy and Climate Change for Healthy Cities’ in which the guest speaker was the honorable Mr. Doug Cook who is First Secretary at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The event was held at the Emarat Atrium, Dubai at 7.30pm. As excited guests and EEG members arrived, the EEG staff and Chairperson welcomed them. The evening began with an opportunity for EEG to meet and greet new and familiar faces over light refreshments and then attendees took their seats for the lecture to begin.
Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi officially opened the evening with a welcome note. She spoke about the latest activities and events EEG had hosted and of the upcoming events, namely the Annual Prize Giving Ceremony. Mrs. Al Marashi then welcomed the guest speaker for the evening, Mr. Doug Cook. She explained how honoured EEG was to have him participate in the EEG lecture series. Mr. Cook has held the position of First Secretary at the British Embassy since December 2010 in which he is coordinator of the UK’s position at IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency. He also broadens and deepens the UK’s work with Masdar and collaborates with the UAE’s energy and climate change experts to aid policy development.
Mrs. Al Marashi handed the evening over to Mr. Cook after her welcome note. The presentation that followed focused on healthy cities and their relation to energy and climate change. Mr. Cook split his presentation into four sections: vision, facts, plan and action.
As the vision, he defined the term sustainable city as a metropolitan, design of which incorporates a consideration for its impacts on the environment. This definition also highlighted the minimization of energy, water and food inputs, as well as waste output, including heat and carbon emissions.
Mr. Cook also shed light on the energy demand and energy sources of today and tomorrow. He proceeded with an explanation of climate change, pointing out how our energy demands are contributing to this problem.
Last in the facts section, he emphasized how around 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas and how these cities consume over 2/3 of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of the global CO2 emissions.
He then moved onto the plan section and demonstrated the changes required for healthier cities. He suggested cultural, political and economic leadership to implement measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, to serve as a communication platform for all stakeholders and to achieve economies of scale.
Mr. Cook ended the session by proposing ways in which the UAE can reinforce sustainability in the country, a topic closely related to EEG’s mandate.
Overall the evening was a delightful insight into the energy consumption of cities and highlighted what is needed to transform cities into healthy metropolises’ fit for the future.
The Chairperson of EEG thanked Mr. Cook for attending and contributing to EEG’s Lecture series, which is a valuable outreach mechanism. Mrs. Marashi presented Mr. Cook with a crystal of appreciation for his marvelous efforts.
She also thanked Emarat Atrium for providing the venue and Abela Catering for the refreshments.
All attendees left the evening with a positive insight into how cities can become healthier and more sustainable and were fortified with new ideas in how they could contribute to this healthy revolution.
EEG successfully hosted another community lecture, which was enjoyed by everybody who attended. This unique and highly effective way of communicating different environmental topics to the public at large is still proving to be a highly popular and supported event by people from all walks of life.