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Oman Sustainability Centre to launch by year-end, says Al Aufi

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MUSCAT: Oman Sustainability Centre, a pivotal national institution tasked with overseeing the delivery of the country’s Net-Zero strategy, will be operational before the end of this year with energy efficiency management as one of its primary responsibilities, according to Eng Salim bin Nasser al Aufi, Minister of Energy and Minerals.

Speaking at the IEEE Power Talks forum, which began in Muscat on Monday, Al Aufi underlined the important role that energy efficiency would play in Oman’s decarbonisation strategy under the new centre’s direction and auspices.

“The Sustainability Centre that was announced last year by the Sultanate of Oman will be up and running hopefully by the end of this year. It will take responsibility for energy efficiency management as a core pillar of its deliverables,” the Minister stated.

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals, along with Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit, Environment Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority are coordinating in the conceptualisation and establishment of the centre.

Its primary task is to ensure the implementation of the Net-Zero national plan in line with the follow-up methodology to achieve the objectives of Oman Vision 2040.

Significantly, in driving energy efficiency programmes and initiatives, the Centre’s role will go beyond commonsense public messaging, like switching off lights and classifying appliances according to their energy efficiency, said Al Aufi

“It’s actually being smart about the use of the energy we generate on a daily basis. And of course, there will be some standards set and there will be some monitoring systems in place as well.”

As a result of these initiatives, energy audit engineers will be embedded in many companies to oversee the delivery of energy efficiency programmes in their respective organisations, he stated.

Following His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s Royal directives last November for the establishment of a Sustainability Centre, officials disclosed that the new entity will serve as a hub of the following four centres: (1) Think-tank, Advisory and Follow-up Support Centre (2) Business Environment Centre (3) Centre for Technological Advancement, Innovation & Scientific Research, and (4) Net-Zero Socioeconomic Centre.

As a Net-Zero think-tank, the centre will formulate strategies, policies and regulations in support of Oman’s carbon emission reduction goals.

Besides providing technical and advisory services, it will monitor progress in the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Further, in its role as a Business Environment Centre, the new entity will support the development of sustainable finance and circular economy programmes.

Innovation and scientific research will be a key objective of Oman Sustainability Centre. Finally, as a Net-Zero Socioeconomic Centre, it will conduct awareness and educational programmes in support of rationalised energy consumption and sustainability. It will also support local content development and capacity building within this emerging sector.

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