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88% of UAE residents would pay extra for water in order to lower health risks and remove micropollutants

14% believe that climate change is a purely natural phenomenon. (Image source: Veolia)

According to the results of the second ecological transformation survey, which was carried out by Veolia and consulting firm Elabe, 81% of UAE citizens are certain that climate disruption will occur, and 54% of them are hopeful that humanity will still control the future and that the costs of ecological transformation will outweigh the costs of climate disruption.

The results are included in the second edition of Veolia's study, The Barometer of Ecological Transformation, which aimed to find out how people throughout the world felt about the current approaches to combating pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change. The Barometer seeks to facilitate more solution-focused conversations in order to shorten the public's perspective of ecology.

High price of climate change

In the face of the "climate and ecological wall," according to the most recent Veolia survey, 81% of respondents in the United Arab Emirates are positive that climate change is occurring, even though 21% of them are still unsure about its anthropogenic origin. Of them, 14% believe that climate change is a purely natural phenomenon, and 7% say that it is impossible to pinpoint its cause. In the last study, 61% of respondents said they thought climate change was genuine, suggesting a 20% increase this year.

The majority of respondents to the study, or roughly 64%, also agreed that the expenses connected with climate disruption considerably outweigh the investments needed for ecological transformation, underscoring the financial losses brought about by climate change.

Comparing this year's UAE survey results to last year's, there was a 19% increase in respondents who would be willing to pay more for locally produced energy with lower CO2 emissions and a 23% increase in respondents who would pay more for everyday products made from recycled materials.


Positivity regarding ecological change

Notwithstanding these obstacles, a sizeable segment of the population in the United Arab Emirates expressed optimism regarding the chances of ecological change, expressing hopes characterised by better consumption patterns, increased unity, higher living standards, improved tranquilly, improved health, a readiness to give up old habits, increased purchasing power, and general happiness.

The poll also revealed a notable rise in the acceptance rates of a number of behaviours, including consuming food grown with sewage sludge, drinking water treated by wastewater treatment, washing dishes and clothes with recycled water, and cutting back on meat intake.

The UAE survey's overall results are consistent with the global trends observed by the Barometer, which indicates that over two-thirds of the world's population is facing ecological challenges. The findings show that most people (89%) acknowledge that climate change is happening and that people (97%) would rather put their health before their finances when making decisions about energy, waste, and water use. Furthermore, despite possible cost increases, two-thirds of respondents from around the world expect higher costs from inaction and are open to health-focused alternatives.


Thierry Dezenclos, CEO of Veolia UAE

Thierry Dezenclos, CEO of Veolia UAE, said, “The second edition of the Barometer of Ecological Transformation for the UAE highlights the local acceptance of the urgency of climate action amidst pressing environmental challenges and the dire need for ecological transformation. We are delighted to note in this year’s survey a growing sentiment amongst the UAE population to engage in positive action that benefits our environment in the long-term, and aligns with Veolia’s initiatives such as the GreenUp programme, aimed at decarbonisation, de-pollution and resource regeneration. The survey underscores the urgency of ecological action and the global demand for accessible solutions, and we must therefore collaborate effectively for a sustainable future. As the benchmark company for ecological transformation, Veolia has been at the forefront of leading this step changefor protecting our future and enhancing living conditions globally.”