RABI HAMAMSAH (DUBAI) - The UAE's COP28 is taking place against the backdrop of an unprecedented climate crisis, and the need for innovative solutions has never been greater. At COP28, cleantech startups have emerged as one of the most promising sources of hope for the future of planet Earth.
These startups combine cutting-edge technology concentrating on promoting sustainability, offering products and services that contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions, the mitigation of environmental damage, and facilitate the transition to a green future.
Aleithad visited the COP28 Green Zone's Startup Village to meet two of the cleantech startups to discover state-of-the-art solutions and learn about their crucial role in building a sustainable future.
The UAE-based startup CarbonSifr was founded to cultivate environments favourable to climate action by developing intelligent climate tech solutions that are easy to implement for organisations and easy to use for their customers.
Mustafa Bosca, Co-Founder and Chief Decarbonisation Officer at CarbonSifr, told Aletihad that their COP28 participation comes from the importance of knowing that climate change is a global challenge that needs dire action, yet most people and organisations feel helpless in taking climate action.
''Our solutions fit in with organisations’ needs and their customers' day-to-day activities. By connecting the different parts, we accelerate climate action, make business more attractive, and empower everyone to contribute to the solution. And by doing so, step by step, action by action, we accelerate our region toward a better climate,'' he said.
The startup aims to make climate action consistently and easily accessible by inspiring and enabling every organisation and person in the region to take tangible climate action.
"Our decarbonisation solutions help all to take climate action and achieve net zero. We provide easy measures to reduce, and remove companies' carbon footprint. And our mission and vision is to spread this to the entire Global South,” Bosca said.
''I have been in the UAE since 2009, I witnessed the startups sector in the UAE and how it evolved and developed massively. Here in Carbonsifr we are leveraging the ecosystem, as were accepted by Hub71 in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and they provide us with funds, support and access for various kinds of clients from public and private sectors to present our products and showcase successful stories from the UAE,'' he added.
Climate tech startups are playing a vital role in changing the way many perceive environmentalism. In the past, environmentalism was seen as something that only large companies or governments could address. However, climate tech startups are showing that anyone can be part of the solution, Bosca noted.
The UAE-based startup Oscar allows businesses to more easily comply with incoming net-zero regulations by assessing their supply chain for potential environmental, social, and governance risks with a standardised and automated solution.
Abed Shawar, CEO and Founder of Oscar, told Aletihad that their participation in COP28 comes in line with the aspirations of the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 commitment, as well as Oscar’s mission to create a world where businesses can profit, grow, and succeed sustainably. This is a public commitment by Oscar to meet their internal net zero target by 2030.
''As a tech startup focused on providing our clients with the tools necessary to assess their Scope 3 impact and emissions, Oscar is uniquely able to ensure net zero targets are embedded within our activities as we grow. Our target will be to achieve net-zero emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2030 at the latest,'' he added.
COP28 is a great opportunity for the world to act now to combat climate change through spreading sustainability and reaching net-zero emissions targets. The UAE is a leading country in promoting sustainability and helping the world, especially developing countries in coping with the effects of climate change, Shawar said.
''Our vision is to create a world of economic and environmental continuity, starting with a holistic sustainability due diligence suite that serves the construction industry and commercial and government entities to help mitigate the risk of supply-chain disruptions and ensure sound sustainable durability. The UAE and the wider MENA region are all addressing the rising importance of sustainable business development and the UAE has made great strides in being at the forefront of SDG-related initiatives becoming strategically positioned to see this to fruition,'' he added.
In this regard Sustainable Development Goals in the UAE is on the startup’s agenda in COP28, Shawar said, noting that when it comes to sustainable development, the UAE has demonstrated that it is among the most committed countries in the region.
''It established the SDG Data Hub in 2017, in partnership with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), as well as the National Committee to advise on sustainability issues in 2018. In 2021, the UAE launched its most ambitious initiative yet, with the announcement of UAE Net Zero 2050,'' he added.
“We take great pride in supporting and contributing to the UAE’s progressive push towards the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and promote them in our mission and in COP28,” the CEO of Oscar noted.
''Oscar is committed to helping our clients, and their partners, meet the ideals set under the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the UAE Visions for 2021 and 2071, and UAE Net Zero 2050. We do this by constantly updating, improving and enhancing our platform with the latest sustainability guidelines, frameworks and KPIs. Our unwavering commitment to helping companies across the MENA region measure and assess the wider impact of their actions is manifested in our services and mission,'' Shawar concluded.