The ministerial conference is an outgrowth of the ASPA Summits of Heads of State and Government in Doha in 2009 and Lima in 2012. The summits identified energy as the backbone for Arab and South American dialogue and collaboration.
“Energy is the foundational sector for development, and both South American and Arab countries will see explosive energy market growth rates in the next 20 years, led by renewable energy deployment,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy of Energy and Climate Change and chief executive officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy company. “Given our commonalities in resource development potential, this inaugural ministerial will identify the investments, policies, R&D, data, and cooperation that South American and Arab countries need in order to leverage their endowments for sustainable development.
“Synchronising the ministerial with Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week creates an exceptional opportunity to enhance regional cooperation. During this week, the United Arab Emirates will host the world’s top political and business leaders, policymakers, and experts in energy, water and sustainable development. We will draw on a tremendous pool of ideas and individuals to design and drive our partnership,” Dr. Al Jaber added.
The UAE is accelerating progress towards sustainable development, as reflected in its leadership in clean energy deployment and resource efficiency, highlighted during the 2012 Rio +20 Earth Summit and the UN climate change negotiations in Doha. In addition to announcements of domestic initiatives and regulations, the UAE co-authored plans for landmark Sustainable Development Goals, which will build on the Millennium Development Goals. The UAE in 2012 has launched the application for over US$350 million concessional finance for renewable energy projects in fellow developing countries.
Taking place 13-17 January 2013, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) will offer a global platform not only to highlight the activities of participating governments, businesses and organisations, but also to strengthen cooperation in the move towards sustainable development, focusing on the interconnected challenges of energy and water. ADSW will attract an anticipated 30,000 participants from 150 countries to Abu Dhabi for what will be the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East. Its activities will include the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the International Water Summit (IWS), the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC), the Zayed Future Energy Prize (ZFEP) award ceremony, and the inaugural energy ministerial of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA).