His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashed al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, His Excellency Abdulfattah El Sisi, President of the Republic of Egypt and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Awarded the 7th Zayed Future Energy Prize winners at an awards ceremony today during the opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The Prize awarded 9 winners for their outstanding achievements in advancing renewable energy and sustainability worldwide. The winners across four of the five categories are Panasonic for the Large Corporation, M-KOPA Solar for the SME category, Liter of Light in the NPO category as well as former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for the lifetime of achievement award, and five high schools from around the world.
During the ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan presented to His Excellency Abdulfattah El Sisi the Zayed Future Energy Prize honorary plaque.
His Highness confirmed that under the leadership of its President, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE has become a center of gravity for the encouragement and incubation of innovation for those who seek to find solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
His Highness emphasized the importance of moving forward in the modernization and development efforts with a commitment to the principles of sustainable development – noting the great relevance of focusing on energy other vital resources such as food and water, which are considered the spinal cord of all human development.
His Highness added: “It all starts with an idea – and our bid to honour and continue the legacy of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – who advocated for education and the development of human resources throughout his lifetime. We aim to encourage the bright minds and the innovators to find practical solutions for our world’s challenges; in a path towards a better future built on the pillars and foundations of sustainability.
His Highness emphasized on the importance of catalysing the international and multilateral action towards promoting energy and water security, sustainable development and improving the social and economic sustainability mankind.
His Highness congratulated the winners of the 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize, who have opened up new horizons to innovation in clean energy and sustainability with a unique vision that is reflective of the principles and foundations set forth by the founding father of the UAE.”
The annual US$4 million prize, established by the United Arab Emirates, recognises companies, organisations, schools and individuals across the world that have made significant contributions to the future of renewable energy and sustainability.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, director-general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, thanked His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan for his enduring support and leadership which he referred to as the “driving force behind the Prize’s success.”
He added: “Our leadership established this prize in honour of the legacy and teachings of our late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, God Rest his Soul, who laid the foundations for the importance of sustainable development. The UAE continues on this path through the wise leadership of the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan by building bridges of collaboration with the international community in order to face the challenges facing the world today.”
He added that the Zayed Future Energy Prize re-affirms the UAE’s commitment towards supporting, developing and deploying renewable energy and sustainability solutions in the UAE and around the world; highlighting that addressing climate change is a shared responsibility and will require a large amount of continuous collaboration between governments, institutions and individuals to take action. He emphasized that success will only be achieved through innovation and unique action that will leave a lasting positive imprint on the world.
Since 2009, the Zayed Future Energy Prize ambassadors have positively impacted the lives of over 150 million people - delivering clean drinking water, electrifying rural areas, educating the next generation and creating hundreds of sustainable jobs.
His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of the Republic of Iceland and chair of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury, said, “The social inclusivity of the Prize allows even the next generation to play a role in delivering a sustainable future. By funding clean energy projects in schools, the Prize sets the tone for another generation of energy leaders who will continue its great work around the world.”
The Global High Schools category – now in its third year – was launched to recognise and encourage young people to incorporate renewable energy and sustainability into their schools.
Five schools, from five global regions, each received US$100,000 to fund their proposed sustainability projects. The winners are: Munro Academy from the Americas region; Petru Rareș National College representing Europe; Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (UWCSA) from Swaziland and representing Africa, Addu High School in the Republic of the Maldives for the Asia region; and Melbourne High School in Australia representing Oceania.
Finalists of the 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize were later awarded at a special ceremony by His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of the Republic of Iceland with a certificate of participation.