The world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city goes not to the renewable fuel-crazed U.S., but to Abu Dhabi. The capital of the United Arab Emeriates broke ground on Masdar City earlier this month. If this city actually functions as its supposed to, I think it will be rather impressive. When is the U.S. breaking ground on it’s own carbon-neutral playground?
Masdar CEO Dr. Sultan Al Jaber announced a total development budget for the city of $22 billion. Of that investment total, Masdar (“the source” in Arabic) will contribute $4 billion to develop the city’s infrastructure. The remaining $18 billion will come through direct investments and the creation of various financial instruments to raise needed capital. An essential driver for the development of the city is carbon finance. Carbon emissions reduced by Masdar City will be monetized under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.
In addition to full-time residents, Masdar City will seek to attract and encourage collaboration between experts in sustainable transportation; waste management; water and wastewater conservation; green construction, buildings and industrial materials; recycling; biodiversity; climate change, renewable energy and green financial institutions. Masdar will maximize the benefits of sustainable technologies, such as photovoltaic cells and concentrated solar power, through an integrated planning and design approach.
By implementing these technologies, Masdar City will save the equivalent of more than US $2 billion in oil over the next 25 years, based on today’s energy prices. The city will also create more than 70,000 jobs and will add more than two percent to Abu Dhabi’s annual GDP. Continue reading