The Secretary-General’s return to Abu Dhabi underscores the importance he places on energy issues, most notably his new Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. The Secretary-General has set three objectives for his Initiative to be achieved by 2030: ensure universal access to modern energy services; double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
“I commend the UAE for hosting this important event,” said the Secretary-General. “The World Future Energy Summit brings together the key stakeholders needed to make both the Initiative and the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All a success.”
“I expect this Summit to bring forth serious commitments to the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative….commitments that reduce energy poverty, foster economic dynamism, and protect our planet,” the Secretary-General said. “That is why I am here, and why this Initiative is among my top priorities.”
The Initiative is mobilizing commitments from business, the financial sector, government, and civil society in the run-up to the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, seeking to catalyze actions across the public and private sector that further his objectives.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar and the UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, said “We are honored to welcome the Secretary-General to Abu Dhabi and WFES. His return is a clear indication of the importance the UN places on sustainable energy. It also underscores that the UAE is being recognized across the world as a catalyst and hub for sustainability, green growth, innovation, and energy efficiency.
“The return of the Secretary-General for a second consecutive year to WFES is a testament to the success of the vision of the UAE leadership to build bridges and forge lasting relationships.
“Achieving energy security through renewable energy and energy efficiency are the core of our strategy towards diversifying our energy mix in the UAE. Launching the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All from Abu Dhabi at the World Future Energy Summit presents a perfect fit. We are honored that the Secretary-General chose Abu Dhabi for this crucial activity.”
Access to energy is a global issue and one that is an often overlooked in the issue of poverty. According to the United Nations, worldwide, more than 1.4 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, approximately 3 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating and up to a billion more have access only to unreliable electricity networks. The “energy-poor” suffer economic consequences of insufficient power for productive income generating activities and for other basic services such as health and education.
The UAE has prioritized the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency. In the past five years, it has broadened its energy portfolio to deploy renewable energy projects locally and internationally, including the 10MW solar plant in Masdar City, the largest in the region, Shams1, a concentrated solar power plant capable of generating 100MW of power, Gemasolar, 19.9MW concentrated solar power plant, the first commercial-scale plant in the world to apply central tower receiver and molten salt heat storage technology, and London Array, a 1GW off-shore wind farm. In addition, it has invested in intellectual capital at Masdar Institute to create new, green technologies and has brought together private and public funding on research and development and deployment.
Now in its fifth year, WFES is the world’s foremost annual meeting committed to promoting advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the water and waste sectors.
Alongside his keynote address at the World Future Energy Summit, the Secretary- General is scheduled to deliver remarks to the 2nd Session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) also taking place in Abu Dhabi on January 14,15, 2012.More than 26,000 attendees, including 3,000 delegates, 650 exhibiting companies and 20 national pavilions, are expected to participate in the Summit