The National Fire Industry Association (NFIA) represented by President, Andrew Hickman, Vice President, Hayam Mohtadi and Joe Smith, Chief Executive Officer, attended the COP28 Climate Change Conference in Dubai as specially invited guests. A significant honour and milestone for the NFIA, demonstrating the role of Fire Protection in the global conversation on climate change.

It was an incredible opportunity for an Australian perspective to present to a range of Associations, Departments and Governments from across the world on shared aims to reduce global emissions from Fire through effective Fire Protection. This shared aim has been ratified through the formation of the World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance.

This is such an important initiative. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our age and Fire Protection has a valuable role to play in reducing emissions and aiding the sustainability of our plant.

Australia has an excellent record in Fire Protection and the early data we are gathering now as part of the World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance shows how important that is for managing emissions. Through this alliance we hope to share our local expertise from Australia as well as benefitting from best practice internationally.

Key speakers at the conference included Lt. General Rashid Thani al Matroushi, Director General of Civil Defence in Dubai, and Lt. Colonel Dr. Ahmed al Zarouni of the Ministry of Interior. Focussing on the connection between fire safety and environmental protection, they delivered powerful speeches on the global role that we can all play.

Major Essa al Mutaea from Dubai Civil Defence also delivered a demonstration of the “Eco-Readiness” program, showcasing practical steps towards data collection to aid environmental preparedness. This system is a key component of the alliance’s strategy which conducts a detailed analysis of carbon emissions from fire incidents across different continents, categorising and sharing data with organisations across each continent.

A Global Commitment to Fire Safety

On December 2, the NFIA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Directorate General for Civil Defence. NFIA President, Andrew Hickman signed the MoU during the opening ceremony of the World Fire Reduction Emission Alliance at the COP 28 World Climate Conference.

Alongside Andrew, the MoU was co-signed by other global organisations, which outlines a comprehensive plan for cooperation through the sharing of information and best practice in Fire Prevention and Protection as well as collaboration on education, research and worldwide awareness.

Key aspects of the MoU include:

1. To hold awareness forums, which will provide relevant information with the aim of reducing the effects of fires or hazards.

2. To work collaboratively with regards to the relevant laws and standards relevant to promote fire safety and programs focusing on education and sharing best practices and research in the interest of public safety worldwide.

3. To work collaboratively and jointly to raise awareness through conferences, training programs and certification programs.

4. To contribute and participate in fire research, analysis of fire data, available information on economic impact, and international comparisons.

5. To work collaboratively with regards to fire prevention and fire safety information that is shared with the public, at the community level.

6. To encourage and promote dialogue to exchange information. 7. To study and review potential projects that comply with the scope of the memorandum of understanding.

This international alliance represents a significant strategic step towards more innovative solutions in public and environmental safety.

Joe Smith is Chief Executive Officer at the National Fire Industry Association of Australia (NFIA), the Peak Body for Fire Protection in Australia. To find out more, visit: