The UAE and the Green Façade: Renewable Energy Challenges in a Hyper-Consuming Society
Gornicki, Djames T.
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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a recently formed state has undergone a transition, the speed of which has brought the country to the forefront of promoting a global sustainability discourse. Through the introduction of numerous sustainable development initiatives, a self-contained renewable energy city at Masdar, and a large 5.6GWe nuclear energy program the UAE is pursuing diversification through a number of substantive technologies. Yet despite these programs designed to reduce domestic consumption of oil, the UAE has become addicted to Western cosmopolitan lifestyles that engender support for the ruling regime by tying in consumer subsidies for regime legitimacy. As the UAE is a rentier state, despite its display of exceptionalism in the physical transformation of the land, the rulers bargain with the population will continue to permit consumption at the cost of ushering in an era of sustainable development.