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Dubai to Make Rooftop Solar Mandatory by 2030

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Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, announced last week that it will mandate rooftop solar for all buildings beginning in 2030. The mandate is part of the larger Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. The initiative was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and ruler of Dubai, to "make the emirate a global center of green energy," reported The National.

The Clean Energy Strategy sets ambitious renewable energy targets: 7 percent of the city’s energy from clean energy resources by 2020, 25 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2050. "Our goal is to become the city with the smallest carbon footprint in the world by 2050,” Sheikh Mohammed said. Solar will account for 25 percent of the emirate's power requirements by 2030, said Gulf News. Nuclear and "clean coal" will comprise 7 percent each, and gas will make up 61 percent.

“The strategy we are launching today will shape the energy sector over the next three decades,” Sheikh Mohammed said at the inauguration of the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. The solar park is considered the largest of its kind and will produce 5,000 megawatts of energy by 2030.

Sheikh Mohammed unveiled several key details of the city's plans at the inauguration, including the Dubai Green Zone, which aims to attract clean energy projects, and a $27.2 billion Dubai Green Fund, which will provide low-interest financing for those projects.

“Every investment in the development of clean energy sources is at the same time an investment to protect the environment for future generations," Sheikh Mohammed said. "It is an effort to build our sustainable economic sectors which do not depend on nonrenewable energy resources and are unaffected by volatile energy prices.

"Through this strategy, which is based on innovation, research and development, we aim to explore the future of the energy sector to unveil initiatives that will make use of the scientific and technological developments in this sector and take the lead in their development and application."

Dubai is not alone in setting ambitious renewable energy targets. Several cities around the world are doing the same with a few already powered completely by renewable energy. And two recent reports have confirmed that 100 percent renewable energy is possible. This summer, professors out of Stanford and U.C. Berkeley laid out a plan for the U.S. to convert to 100 percent renewable energy in less than 40 years. In September, Greenpeace published its Energy Revolution 2015 report, which proposes a pathway to a 100 percent sustainable energy supply by 2050. Major businesses are also getting on board. IKEA released a video in September explaining why going 100 percent renewables by 2020 makes good business sense.

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"Our study shows that biodiversity is essential to ensure the provision of ecosystem services and to maintain a high and stable agricultural production," Matteo Dainese, the study's lead author and a biologist at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy, said in a statement.

It stands to reason that, with declines in the sheer numbers of insects that ferry pollen from plant to plant and keep crop-eating pests under control, these services will wane as well. But until now, it hasn't been clear how monocultures affect the number and mix of these species or how crop yields might change as a result.

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The scientists figure that the richness of pollinator species explains around a third of the harmful impacts of less diverse landscapes, while the richness of pest-controlling species accounts for about half of the same measure. In their view, the results of their research point to the need to protect biodiversity on and around crops in an uncertain future.

"Under future conditions with ongoing global change and more frequent extreme climate events, the value of farmland biodiversity ensuring resilience against environmental disturbances will become even more important," Steffan-Dewenter said.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Mongabay.

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