AUS: Sustainability in Action
The UAE Climate Envoy to COP28 has invited AUS to be a part of the COP28 University Taskforce, allowing representatives from AUS to inform key debates on climate change.
COP (Conference of the Parties) is an international climate conference held each year by the United Nations. This year’s conference is being held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12. With world leaders and global scientific experts in attendance at COP28 to discuss how climate change can best be addressed, it is a great honor for AUS to be a part of a taskforce that is having such a direct and positive impact on some of our world's greatest challenges.
Because tomorrow matters.
What to expect
AUS will play an influential role at COP28 itself, taking part in discussions and exhibiting at the event. In addition, in the months running up to the event, the university will be hosting a number of events and initiatives that are relevant to the COP28 agenda. Here is a snapshot.
Be sure to keep coming back to this page as it will be regularly updated so that you can see everything happening at AUS related to COP28.
We will be hosting influential speakers from around the globe who are experts in sustainability and climate change action. Come along and be inspired by people that have dedicated their lives to climate action and whose work will have a genuine and positive impact on the future of the Earth.
Throughout the course of 2023, we will be running a number of student-focused events that encourage students from AUS and other universities to engage in important climate-related discussions. This will allow students to develop their knowledge around key climate action issues as well as their confidence when partaking in public events.
AUS faculty and students are engaged in far-reaching research projects that are tackling environmental challenges head-on. From more sustainable hydrogen generation to saving fragile mangrove ecosystems, AUS research is helping protect the environment for future generations. We will be showcasing this research to the public as we prepare for COP28.
Climate Coffee Podcast
We invite you to tune into our regular podcasts where, along with an impressive lineup of guests,
we discuss all things COP28 and climate action. Learn what AUS is doing to ensure its sustainability record is on track and how organizations from across the world are gearing up for COP28.
Calendar of events
AUS COP28 Speaker Series: "National Carbon Emissions Modelling", Muwaffaq Al Khedery.
AUS COP28 Speaker Series: "The Air We Breath", Dr Claire Bridgwater.
Higher Education Climate Dialogues Conference.
AUS COP28 Speaker Series: "Sustainability in the Augmented World", Dr. Slim Saidi.
AUS Sustainability Achievements
A member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), AUS is one of the top five institutions worldwide for community engagement in sustainability, according to AASHE’s 2022 Sustainable Campus Index. In 2018, AUS was the first university in the MENA region, and, at the time, only the fourth university outside of North America, to achieve an AASHE STARS sustainability rating. In 2021, AUS earned a STARS Silver rating, making it the highest rated university in the GCC region at the time. Read more
Our EcoReps are enthusiastic students with a desire to promote sustainable change on campus. EcoReps educate their student peers on issues such as waste reduction, energy conservation, diversity and tolerance. Through guest speakers, events and outings, EcoReps deepen their own understanding of their sustainable campus and become better advocates for environmental action. New EcoReps join AUS sustainability each academic year and can join the program regardless of their chosen major.
In line with the UAE’s Green Agenda 2030 and the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment’s (MOCCAE) National Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production, our primary goal is to turn AUS into a low carbon campus. Based on our organizational footprint, we have selected two key priorities to achieve this goal, "Reducing Building Energy and Water Consumption" and "Sustainable Transportation to/from/on campus.
AUS has launched its first comprehensive Climate Action Plan with the goal to reduce the university’s carbon emissions. The plan further aligns the university’s sustainability efforts with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative. The UAE’s strategic initiative is a national drive to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, making the UAE the first country in MENA to do so. The strategy aligns with the Paris Agreement and the UAE’s roadmap for the next 50 years for accelerating national economic development. Read more
Our Engineering and Sciences Building has achieved 2 Pearl ESTIDAMA Certification. All classrooms, laboratories and offices are illuminated throughout the day using natural light and an outdoor thermal comfort strategy is in place for the building’s surrounds, with landscaping and carefully selected planting providing shade and temperature control. In addition, the building features a system for recycling condensate water from its air conditioning, reusing 1.2 liters of water per second. Non-polluting, eco-friendly and recycled materials are used throughout. Read more
Student and Alumni Spotlights
A passion for climate change advocacy has seen AUS student Manal Nadeem, selected to represent the UAE at COP28 as part of the UAE Youth Climate Delegate Program (YCDP).
Making a difference in the world has been a goal AUS alumnus Jad Louis was hoping to achieve in his career. This goal was realized when he became Project Lead on the construction of Bee’ah Headquarters in Sharjah, a net-zero icon for sustainability in the UAE.
As influential citizens and leaders of tomorrow, AUS alumni are actively contributing to the development of their communities around the world. AUS alumna Sarah Ehab Abdelkader’s dedication to developing an on-site sustainable agricultural wastewater treatment unit has recently won her the L’Oréal UNESCO Young Scientists Award.
AUS research: climate action in progress
Researchers in the AUS College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics have developed a novel method employing state-of-the-art femtosecond laser technology to improve the hydrogen generation efficiency of copper electrodes when their surface is processed with an intense femtosecond laser. Learn more.
Climate change challenges have led Faysal Tabbarah, Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, to explore the new avenue of “architect as material developer” in devising sustainable materials for construction. In researching, prototyping and analyzing the architectural potential of recyclable, environmentally friendly, sprayable, fibrous materials, he used pulped paper from old newspapers as a material for building construction beyond its typical usage as insulation. Learn more.
The release of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere is now known to cause atmospheric degradation, leading researchers worldwide to urgently seek ways in which to mitigate its effect on global warming and, ultimately, climate change. Since 2012, Dr. Oussama El-Kadri from the AUS Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences has been successful in his investigation of porous organic polymers in the capture and storage of CO2 and other hazardous emissions. Learn more.
Harsh desert conditions led environmental scientists of the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority (SEPAA) to commission AUS to design and build a shelter in which they could work comfortably. The resulting “Neonomad” desert shelter and research station by faculty members and students went on to win an international award. Learn more.
Students at American University of Sharjah (AUS) collaborated with their peers from Haverford College and Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, USA, in a virtual exchange project aimed towards transforming their local and global contexts into more sustainable communities in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more.
High-rise residential buildings in the Gulf region require a high standard of energy efficiency due to the unforgiving desert climate. Jason Carlow, Associate Professor from the Department of Architecture, is currently researching how improving the environmental performance levels of façade systems would lower overall energy consumption. Learn more.
AUS prepares for COP28
AUSCOP28 Speaker Series launched