Dubai has targeted both the demand and supply sides of the energy equation in a region-leading carbon abatement strategy.

The Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy (CAS) is a performance-based program for reducing carbon emissions up to 2021 that integrates demand reductions with increased supply of renewable energy. This strategy, costing around $4 billion in total, allows Dubai to manage its energy demand, increase energy efficiency, and develop sector-based greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

16% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2021 compared with business-as-usual estimates.

Cities100 – 2017

The high-impact sectors identified for emissions reductions in a preliminary study are power, water, manufacturing, road transportation, and waste processing. In 2015, Dubai reduced emissions equivalent to 5.7 million metric tons of CO2 and has achieved a 7.29% sectoral reduction target, of which 11% is from the power and water, 3% is from manufacturing, 6% is from road transport, and 6% is from waste. On the supply side, a planned 800-MW solar photovoltaic power plant will contribute more than 260,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions savings.

The challenge

Dubai is situated in one of the world’s leading oil-producing countries and faces challenges regarding deeply rooted, vested carbon interests. The carbon abatement strategy is a big step towards reframing the city as a sustainability pioneer.


Economic Dubai’s CAS aims to enhance green trade and investment and accelerate adoption of green technologies via initiatives like the Green Economy Partnership.

Environmental Dubai aims to increase domestic solid waste recycling rates from 10% to 70% by 2030, significantly reducing waste to landfill.

Social The strategy aims to reduce exposure to harmful air pollutants caused by fossil fuel-burning activities such as conventional transport and energy production.

About Dubai

Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai is a global city and business hub of the Middle East. It is also a major transport hub for passengers and cargo. Dubai’s oil revenue helped accelerate the early development of the city, but its reserves are limited and production levels are low: today, less than 5% of the emirate’s revenue comes from oil. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. The city has become iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Global Goals addressed