Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 13, 2019: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, today welcomed global heads of state, local dignitaries and business leaders to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2020.
The opening ceremony at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre was attended by a number of distinguished guests, including HE Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia; Armen Sarkissian, President of the Republic of Armenia; HE Danny Faure, President of the Republic of Seychelles; HE Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of the Republic of Mali; HE Julius Maada Bio, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone; HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda; HE Anna Brnabić, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia; HE Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bangladesh; HE Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji.
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, also attended the opening ceremony, as well as HH Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman; HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah; HH Sheikh Suroor Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan; HH Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; HH Lt. General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; HH Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office; and HH Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed that the UAE continued its vital role under the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in uniting efforts to find solutions to the major challenges facing the world today, as well as charting a common path to building a promising and sustainable future for all.
His Highness said: “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week reflects the UAE’s leading position as a strong supporter of global sustainability initiatives and has transformed into a global platform that catalyses sustainable strategies and real-world solutions to help drive human progress. It is a dedication to the approach of the late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who adopted sustainability as a way of working to achieve progress in all areas.
His Highness added: “We look to the future with more determination and confidence to continue the path of the leading nation and achieve what is best for our future generations and all of humanity.”
His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, delivered the keynote address, in which he thanked the UAE leadership and expressed his happiness to participate in the Masdar-hosted Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
“We need to work together to address the repercussions of climate change and find alternative energy sources to meet the world’s growing needs,” President Widodo said, noting the active role that Indonesia plays in supporting the transition to biofuels.
He added: “Our time is short and environmental challenges will define this century. This creates challenges but also opportunities to clean the air, to reduce the noise and to build new cities for new generations. That is why we are undertaking one of the biggest initiatives in our country’s history – building a new capital city from the ground up. This new capital city will be the showcase of the most advanced technologies and way of living. In building our new capital city, we will learn from urban planners, including our hosts Masdar City.
During his welcome address at the opening ceremony, His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, outlined how the UAE was harnessing energy and technologies of the future to drive sustainability.
“In the first two decades of the 21st century, we saw life expectancy reach new heights, global child mortality cut in half and the middle class more than double. However, while human progress is accelerating, another key challenge is emerging – how to produce the energy and resources the world needs, while protecting the world we all share together.”
HE Dr Al Jaber added that the UAE had taken this challenge head-on and was a first mover in promoting and investing in advanced energy.
“Through initiatives such as the Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Masdar, and others, we have launched renewable energy projects totalling almost 12 gigawatts here in the UAE and across more than 30 countries around the world. Nationally, we have grown our renewable energy portfolio by over 400 percent in the last 10 years and we are well on track to double it again in the next 10 years.
“And to complement our clean energy portfolio, this year we will become the first country in the region to deliver safe, commercial and peaceful nuclear power. In short, the UAE not only talks the talk, but walks the walk when it comes to delivering sustainable, clean energy. We do this because it is right and it makes perfect economic sense,” HE Dr Al Jaber added.
The opening ceremony was followed by a high-level luncheon hosted by senior government officials and business leaders in the UAE and brought together some of the world's top sustainability leaders from the public, private and academic sectors to discuss trends and measures to promote sustainability around the world.
To align more closely with the UAE Vision 2021 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ADSW has widened its scope beyond renewable energy. ADSW 2020 will address global sustainability challenges and opportunities on the six pillars of Energy and Climate Change, Water and Food, Future of Mobility, Space, Biotechnology in Health and Tech for Good. Cutting across ADSW’s 2020 programmes and pillars will be Artificial Intelligence, Youth and Community.
ADSW’s anchor event, the World Future Energy Summit, will feature more than 800 exhibiting companies from 40 countries. Under the umbrella of WFES, the Future Sustainability Summit is being held on January 14-15, bringing together leaders from government, the non-profit community, institutional investors and the private sector to debate accelerating the transition to a sustainable society. The 2020 theme for the Summit is Rethinking Global Consumption, Production and Investment.
New to ADSW 2020 is the Smart Cities Expo & Forum, which will bring forward-thinking governments and municipalities together with pioneers in smart infrastructure, future transportation and next-generation building technology to develop the potential of connected communities – from sustainable planning to smart mobility.
The second edition of the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF) will continue the momentum generated by last year’s event. ADSFF 2020 will highlight the latest progress in Abu Dhabi’s Sustainable Finance Agenda, promote the second edition of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, and exclusively reveal new UAE Sustainable Finance Principles.
The Youth 4 Sustainability Hub (Y4S) will provide a platform for students, young professionals, innovators and entrepreneurs to become more educated about the future of the sustainability industry. As part of the Hub, CLIX (the Climate Innovations Exchange) will again connect youth, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors to enable partnerships that will power climate change solutions through knowledge, innovation and funding.
Meanwhile, the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform will host its annual Forum on January 14.
ADSW has also expanded its programmes and activations aimed at engaging local communities across the UAE. These include an “Eco-Bus” tour of the seven emirates, designed to educate young children and families around the importance and opportunity of sustainability, while Masdar has built the world’s largest mosaic out of recycled materials with the help of people from around Abu Dhabi. As part of the 2020 calendar, the Festival at Masdar City will be extended to three days, running from January 16-18.