His Excellency Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, yesterday paid a special visit to Masdar City – Masdar’s greenprint for one of the world’s most sustainable urban developments. He was received by Dr Ahmad Belhoul, Masdar’s CEO, who outlined Masdar’s role in constantly pushing the boundaries to keep improving the commercial viability of renewable energy, while simultaneously diversifying Abu Dhabi’s economy and extending the Emirate’s leadership in the energy sector.
Delivering a keynote address during the Opening Ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) yesterday, President Peña Nieto said: “Mexico is committed to the environment. We have made the decision to transition to less-polluting forms of fuel and to adopt renewable energy. Our belief is that it is possible to secure a new climate regime, without impeding economic and social progress. Abu Dhabi, and particularly Masdar, represent tangible examples of innovative environments aimed at sustainable economic and social progress.”
The President’s visit highlights the importance of international collaboration in promoting sustainable economic and social development through adopting renewable energy. At the heart of Masdar City, is the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology which provides a platform for the development of renewable energy and low-carbon technologies at a global level. It is dedicated to providing real-world solutions to the issues of clean energy and sustainability. In addition, its multidisciplinary approach draws on the disciplines of engineering, science, economics and management to promote research that will help meet the economic and developmental needs of not only Abu Dhabi and the UAE, but also the world at large.
The visit further reflects the pioneering roles that the UAE and Mexico fulfil in promoting and deploying renewable energy, as well as climate change action. Mexico was the first developing country to pass groundbreaking climate change legislation four years ago, while the UAE led the Middle East to set renewable energy targets at a time when there was widespread doubt about renewable energy’s viability and value.
President Peña Nieto’s visit coincided with an outing to Masdar City by students of the Professional Technical High School Juanacatlán (CONALEP 131) from Mexico. The school was a finalist in the Global High Schools category of the eighth Zayed Future Energy Prize, which announced its winners on Monday. Students of the school, located 500 metres from Mexico’s most polluted river, the Rio Santiago, submitted a project proposal to the prize to improve the sustainability of the local area by reducing emissions and inspiring their peers and the wider public to adopt sustainable practices.
ADSW is being hosted until the end of this week by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.