Over half of UAE residents are trying to reduce air pollution
A recent poll from YouGov revealed that over half (57%) of the UAE's residents are making efforts to reduce air pollution, with a quarter stating that they regularly take steps to reduce air pollution, and 31% making irregular efforts. The report shared that a large number of respondents try to use less electricity by turning off electronic appliances when they are not in use.
Many of the smaller but effective efforts made include: setting the air conditioner to 24 degrees. (61%), trying to reuse and recycling (61%), ensuring that the washing machine and dishwasher is used at maximum capacity (58%), and taking shorter showers (56%).
When outside of the house, over 60% of drivers will turn their engine off when idle, and 49% of individuals will carpool to reduce emissions.
There is little awareness of air-tracking and purifying devices, which may be why as little as 30% opt confirm their use of them.
Ghost games go green
Days before the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and already there is far-reaching controversy, as athletes, television spectators and the media contemplate a global event which is odd in name and odd in nature. Many want it cancelled but, at the time of writing, it is destined to proceed. For many sportspeople, who have already lost a year, it is now or never.
Let's face it, Usain Bolt performing his iconic lightning bolt gesture and Mo Farah just about able to summon a ‘Mo-bot’ on the finish line, seem like affectations from a bygone age. After all, those golden moments unfolded in front of thousands of delirious spectators. During Tokyo 2020 – or Tokyo 2021 as it is now known – the stadiums, velodromes, arenas and swimming pools will fall silent. Another victim of the COVID-19 era.
Mercifully, however, the Games were already set to be the most sustainable in modern history. It is perhaps ironic that the very absence of human beings already reduces carbon emissions, single use plastics and waste by an almost incalculable amount. This, to an extent, is offset by human hardship, unemployment, exclusion and economic factors.
"Be better, together – For the planet and the people" remains the hopelessly optimistic strapline for a decimated Games. Nevertheless, Tokyo 2021 organisers, in spite of calls for the closed sign to be turned on the entire spectacle, are determined for the city to meet its responsibilities and ‘showcase solution models of global sustainability challenges to people in Japan and around the world’.
It is this promise which makes most sense. While the watching world will be able to witness athletes reach mesmerising performance levels in their chosen disciplines, they will also observe high-tech digital and technical sustainability innovations which will serve as an inspiration for international businesses, organisations and governments.
Indeed, throughout Tokyo 2021 there will be drives to uphold sustainability goals including the pioneering use of sourcing codes, the utilsation of existing venues rather than bespoke builds, an athlete’s village made from ‘Timber of the Nation’, power supplies generated from renewable energy and the overarching use of recycled materials and water throughout competitions. There will also be a continuous emphasis on the UN’s sacred principles in terms of human rights.
This commitment to sustainability and humanity extends to the Olympic and Paralympic Games movements of the future, as Japan recognises an opportunity to use the sporting stage as a force for positive environmental action. Let the games begin.