As the Sultanate marks Environment Day on January 8, one can rightly claim that 2022 was the year in which the government took several steps towards sustainable development goals.
As part of the efforts to go eco-free, the country completely banned the import of plastic bags from the start of this year, while the ban on single-use bags has been already in force since 2021.
The Environment Authority (EA) in a statement said, “Plastic bags do not decompose easily and remain polluting the environment for hundreds of years.”
It may be noted that close to 400 million tonnes of plastic wastes are generated every year – a figure set to double by 2040. Only a fraction of that is recycled and many infiltrate the environment, including the ocean, where it causes a host of problems for humans and wildlife.
This year, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) campaigns raised awareness about a multitude of environmental issues. World Environment Day, the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, and the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste engaged millions of people around the world.
Two major UNEP studies, the Emissions Gap Report and the Adaptation Gap Report, cast a spotlight on the scale of the climate crisis and what humanity must do to stave off the worst of climate changes.
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, states agreed to establish a fund that will support developing countries grappling with the fallout from the climate crisis.
The deal which observers termed as historic, the so-called loss and damage fund helps vulnerable nations contend with droughts, floods and rising seas, all of which are expected to become more severe as the planet’s climate changes. The Carbon Management Laboratory of the Sultanate sought to achieve the goals of a net-zero carbon economy under an integrated plan, which will be implemented in various sectors by the concerned agencies.
The laboratory tried to find a comprehensive national strategy and an operational plan for zero neutrality, in line with development objectives in various sectors, and that supports balanced and resilient ecosystems to protect the environment and the sustainability of its natural resources.
It was revealed that the laboratory will focus on four main sectors, energy sector (electricity, oil, and gas,) manufacturing, transportation, and the cities and buildings sector.
It may be noted that the Sultanate is currently working on updating the climate affairs management regulation in line with local and global developments.
The regulation aims to follow up on the performance of companies and establishments in the field of climate affairs, whether in the field of mitigation or adaptation.
Work is also underway to draft a climate
change law, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, which will be an organisational framework for setting general provisions related to climate affairs issues in the Sultanate of Oman. Oman had worked on preparing a database to track the achievement of nationally determined contributions as it is committed to reducing carbon emissions by seven per cent by 2030.