Utne Blogs > Environment

The Greening of the Middle East?

by Staff


Tags: environment, renewable, sustainable, energy, solar, power, Masdar City, United Arab Emirates, city planning, Masdar Initiative,

February 9 was a historic day in the environmental shaming of the Unites States as Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, broke ground on Masdar City, a $22 billion municipality that will be carless, solar powered, and almost entirely self-contained. Water will come from a seawater desalinization plant, produce will come from surrounding greenhouses, and all waste will be composted or recycled, writes the New York Times.

The groundbreaking came on the heels of a January announcement by the Masdar Initiative, a renewable energy investment company, that the UAE will commit $15 billion dollars for initial research on sustainable programs. This investment represents the biggest government-sponsored renewable energy program in the world, and it comes from a nation that gained much of its wealth through oil and natural gas. This fact has some wondering: Can one grand progressive step erase decades of carbon emissions irresponsibility?

(Thanks, Groovy Green.)

Erik Helin