Within the framework of the Kuwait National Development Plan (KNDP: 2021 – 2025) towards Sustainable Development Goals and Kuwait Vision 2035, Eco-Cities is one of the major programs envisaged by the State of Kuwait.
This virtual workshop, organized by the General Secretariat for the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD) and UNDP is to bring all the relevant Public and Private entities and civil society together to discuss the concept and relevant good practices of Eco-cities towards the achievement of KNDP.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic as well as increasingly observed climate-induced disasters have prompted many countries to accelerate greening and more eco-friendly cities and lifestyles. In addition, with the 26th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow there is the renewed appreciation to the nature, accelerated digitalization and innovation, and pursuance to green investment and renewable energies. For instance, the European Union plans its first Covid-19 green bond as part of its efforts to become the world’s biggest issuer of sustainable debt. This year’s worldwide green bond issuance has topped $200bn.
In Kuwait, focusing on cities is an effective way to pursue environmental sustainability. Currently, the consumptions of water and energy, and the production of waste per capita in Kuwait are among the highest in the world. According to the current projection, the Ministry of Electricity and Water estimates that water demand could increase by 50 per cent between 2015 and 2030. Greener, cleaner and sustainable environment are also intrinsically linked with wellbeing of people.
Ecocities are integral crosscutting components of Program VI of the Kuwait National Development Plan (2021 – 2025) to advance sustainable development of the country. KNDP aims to bring the country’s ranking of the Climate and Energy Indicator to 63rd in the world by 2035, compared to 161st among 180 countries measured in 2018. For the rate of diversion form landfill, i.e. the portion of waste not sent to the landfill, KNDP aims at to the level of 80% in 2035, up from 0% in 2018. Tracking the diversion rate over time is a great way to measure of the effectiveness of reuse, recycling, and organic composting programs Planning and implementation of Eco-Cities cannot be timely more than ever and this event facilitates discussions around key components of KNDP pertaining to ecocities and green investment
Key issues to be discussed at this event.
§ [Session 1] Greening Space Multidimensional Approach
Around the world, nature loss is accelerating at unprecedented rates. One million species are at risk of extinction, and forests and other vital ecosystems are being rapidly destroyed. Humanity depends on nature to supply clean air and water, and many other basic life support services. This means that the loss of nature comes at a great cost for human well-being and the global economy. Protecting ecosystems and expanding natural areas is also one of the cheapest and most effective ways to tackle climate change. Building eco-cities using green building and green infrastructure principles, and smart technology is at the heart of Program 6 of KNDP. Furthermore, the KNDP considers adopting Singapore’s Index on Cities’ Biodiversity, while promoting the use of innovative ways of creating green space, residential gardens, green corridors and space for vegetation (KNDP). This session kick start with the presentation by the Government of Singapore on their experiences in adopting Index on Cities’ Biodiversity and their journey to prepare and coordinate the implementation of the Green Plan.
§ [Session 2] Promoting Renewable Energy Investments
Energy consumption in Kuwait has been growing steadily at four percent annually since 1971. When energy is incorporated into development and economic recovery plans, the energy transition can represent a far-sighted investment. Mainstreaming energy efficiency, clean energy and sustainable transport solutions in economic development plans. De-risk public and private investments including unleashing local innovations in clean energy deployment, innovative financing mechanisms and new business models in the sector. Identifying barriers and risks which can hold back private sector investment and put in place packages of targeted public interventions to address these risks. Despite the severity of the economic hit caused by this crisis, energy players in Kuwait should consider it as an opportunity to refocus and accelerate progress on long-term sustainability. KNDP calls for the development of a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP), de-risking Renewable Energy Investment and to promote renewable energy investments and maximize private sector involvement. According to Kuwait’s latest updated NDC’s report, the country is ambitious to move to a low carbon equivalent economy and to avoid the increase in greenhouse gas emissions compared to business-as-usual pattern. Kuwait is seeking to achieve this objective by implementing some projects and enacting laws and legislation in the areas of mitigation and adapting to the adverse effect of climate change. According to Kuwait national economic circumstances, the country seeks to avoid emission of greenhouse gases equivalent to 7.4% of its total future emission on 2035 through its national efforts. This will be translated in its new, to be prepared, low-emissions development strategy 2050 in accordance with the requirements of the Paris climate agreement and based on the principle of a circular carbon economy. The concept of Digital Twins will be also introduced during this session and how it could be applied to help plan smart solutions at the country level, such as district cooling, waste management, mobility networks, or the use of renewable energy.
§ [Session 3] Waste management and recycling
According to the recently updated and submitted document of the Nationally Determined Contributions (updating the first NDC), Kuwait will start preparing a low-emissions development strategy 2050 in accordance with the requirements of the Paris climate agreement, based on the principle of a circular carbon economy. It also seeks to combine the outputs of this strategy with the new developing plans by endorsing new projects to serve the Kuwait vision 2035 until 2050. Development of an effective waste management system is the core of any circular economy, to improve waste recycling and resource recovery and eventually reduce solid waste, and encourage efficient use, reuse and repair. One of the main challenges that is addressed by KINDP’s programme 6, is the underdeveloped waste services that rely on low-level technologies and lack advanced processes such as separation at source and recycling.
§ [Session 4] Boosting Energy Efficiency and Green Infrastructure
Kuwait like many oil producing countries in the world with low diversity of energy mix faces sustainable development challenges related to its primary dependence on the oil sector for growth of its GDP and economic development. Low. through energy subsidies. One way of dealing with the cyclic nature of revenue flows is to diversify the Kuwait energy sources while reducing energy consumption per capita. Doing so will free more oil for export from domestic use contributing to government revenue. As a step towards higher energy efficiency, Kuwait is aiming to develop a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, to boost energy efficiency investments in Kuwait. As well as, improve and enforce energy efficiency building codes and promote energy efficiency services market. Greener infrastructure will be a key to reduce energy consumption. Within KNDP, the policy statement on energy efficiency states the importance of establishing the institutional and regulatory framework to promote energy efficiency standards and innovation. One of the main objectives of KNDP programme 6 is to improve the livability of Kuwaiti cities, by integrating Eco-cities concept, green infrastructure and smart technologies into wide city planning platforms.
§ [Session 5] Role of Kuwaiti Entrepreneurs and Innovators to Advance Eco-cities
According to World Economic Forum 2019, Kuwait ranks 103rd out of 140 countries in innovation capability in the Global Competitiveness Index, and that is due to lack of ecosystem with knowledge-based companies and academic institutions. Further, Eco-cities can create further opportunities for the private sector and Kuwaiti emerging social entrepreneurs, This session will start with the presentations by two Kuwaiti innovators/entrepreneurs whose business models are linked to the achievement of some SDGs. This session is dedicated to discuss challenges and opportunities while highlighting what policies/enabling environment can support Kuwait innovators who can in turn contribute to the attainment of key SDGs related to Eco-Cities.
2. Event Information
Date & Time: Tuesday 18th January 2022, 9:00 to 15:00 (Kuwait Time, GMT +3)
Venue: Virtual modality by Zoom platfrom and livestreaming
· Throughout the sessions coffee and light refreshments will be served