World’s ultimate desert rally turns carbon neutral, a first for region

March 25th, 201211:50 am @

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ABU DHABI: One of the world’s most challenging desert rallies, the 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge being held from March 30-April 6, has signed a deal to offset any environmental damage from the event.

The agreement was signed between Automobile Touring Club of UAE (ATCUAE) with Advanced Global Trading (AGT), and is considered to be the first of its kind in the region.

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge involves over 360 vehicles from support teams, competitors and organisers participating across the spectacular terrain of the Liwa Desert.

The FIA’s environmental committee report presented that a significant amount of CO2 emissions from such a large motorsport event were present.

The ATCUAE, therefore, decided to offset these emissions with the support of AGT.

An advocate of responsible motoring, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, ATCUAE president and founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, has spearheaded this environmentally-aware agreement.

“This challenging event takes place in a beautiful country with one of the most spectacular settings in the world, so we must take every measure we can to ensure the environment doesn’t suffer from our passion,” Ben Sulayem said.

“To me it is very important we take this step because it is in alliance with the UAE government vision regarding environmental awareness and moving towards renewable and green energy, especially that this event is held in Abu Dhabi, the host of the world energy summit beginning this year, and the patron of this event, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed is also the chairman of the Environment Agency,” he added.

Indeed, the UAE government is leading the region in regard to renewable energy and environmental awareness projects, with investments expected to tally up to $2.74 trillion by 2020. And Abu Dhabi is again hosting the World Energy Summit in January 2013.

Prior to every event, ATCUAE briefs all competitors about potentially negative effects on the Western Region as a wildlife habitat.

 If they’re not responsible — such as with oil spills and changing filters during the race — there are heavy penalty points deducted from competitors who breach guidelines.

The UAE’s environmental authorities are involved from the outset — even down to planning the route.

AGT will calculate emissions post-race, before purchasing and retiring the correct number of VER (Voluntary Emissions Reduction) Carbon Credits to equal the total environmental pollution.

Article source: http://gulftoday.ae/portal/ddf8e14c-9f55-44de-9a98-1d1648cc1287.aspx