His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, attended the Opening Ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) and the 10th World Future Energy Summit today.
Attracting more than 38,000 attendees representing 175 countries, including more than 80 government ministers, ADSW is the Middle East’s largest gathering focused on addressing the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate change and sustainable development.
Commenting on the Opening Ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said: “Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, we are committed to continuing our nation’s leadership role in meeting the world’s growing energy demand responsibly. The United Arab Emirates has a clear path to achieving sustainable growth, which prioritises economic diversification, societal advancement and environmental conservation.
“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week stands as a beacon for collaboration among governments, businesses and communities, and is at the heart of driving innovation, advancing technologies and agreeing actions to ensure a sustainable future for all. As host of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Masdar has played a vital role in establishing the UAE at the forefront of renewable energy adoption.”
The Opening Ceremony, Presidential keynotes and Global Action Day programme on January 16 included a number of heads of state. His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, addressed delegates at the Opening Ceremony. Also in attendance were His Excellency Horacio Cartes, Presidentof the Republic of Paraguay; and His Excellency Danny Faure, President of Seychelles.
Keynotes were also given by His Excellency Luis Guillermo Solís, President of the Republic of Costa Rica; His Excellency Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal; and His Excellency Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro;
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan thanked Sheikh Mohammed and the UAE for receiving him at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and congratulated the organisers of World Future Energy Summit on its tenth anniversary.
“We have an acute need to secure safe energy and ecological conditions for the planet. The 21st century should be the epoch for breakthrough decisions and solutions in energy, and an epoch that will define not only the future direction of the energy industry, but the fate of the planet for a 1,000 years to come.”
“The majority of the global community understand the seriousness of the issue,” President Nazarbayev added. “The proof is the obligations undertaken by countries within the sustainable development goals of the United Nations by 2030. However, the energy policy of the world is still not fully aligned. I believe that ADSW will help facilitate the implementation of national clean energy targets. Renewable energy sources are today more affordable than they were before. We must take advantage.”
Taking place on the theme “Practical steps towards a sustainable future”, this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is one of the first global platforms to debate the outcomes of the international climate conference, COP22, in Marrakech, and to take further action to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy following the ratification of the Paris Agreement.
Delivering the welcome address to the ADSW Opening Ceremony, His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, said: “For over 75 years our region has been the leader of the oil and gas industry. Today we are extending our reach to become the centre of gravity for all forms of energy. While oil and gas will remain critical drivers of the global economy for decades to come, we see an even greater opportunity in leveraging the benefits of both new and traditional forms of energy by integrating them into a more creative and productive commercial proposition.”
“Today, deploying renewables saves money, liberates hydrocarbons and generates greater value,” Dr Sultan added. “Where solar excels at peak hours, natural gas provides a necessary low-emission, low-cost base load power foundation. Combining both is a winning partnership, especially in this sun-rich part of the world. The more solar we deploy, the more available hydrocarbons we will have to drive higher value products and help meet global energy demand.”
The ADSW Opening Ceremony was followed by Abu Dhabi Global Action Day, a high-level conference aimed at turning the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into practical and innovative solutions in policy, investment,
technology and partnerships – with a focus on the steps to be taken by both government and business.
His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCE), opened the Global Action Day programme.
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 began with two key policy events: the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum on January 12-13, held in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Energy, and the fifth General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, on January 14-15.
The anchor event of ADSW is the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the world’s foremost exhibition and conference dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. WFES marks its tenth anniversary this year.
Starting tomorrow, the Summit conference will address a diversity of issues characterising the global transition towards renewable energies, including policy imperatives, pricing and financing issues, disruptive technologies, the role of energy efficiency, the interdependence of the power & water sectors, clean-tech adaptation in the fossil fuels industry, and opportunities in Saudi Arabia, India and other emerging markets.
Also taking place during ADSW, which runs until January 21, are the fifth International Water Summit; the fourth EcoWASTE exhibition; the ninth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony, and the second UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science Awards ceremony.