Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development, has concluded with a resounding commitment to accelerate climate action and net-zero efforts.
As the first major sustainability event following the COP26 climate conference, ADSW 2022, hosted by Masdar, brought together the global community, with participants including country presidents and prime ministers, policy makers, industry specialists, technology pioneers and young sustainability leaders.
Setting the tone for the year ahead, ADSW hosted a special COP session at the ADSW Summit, featuring: Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and Chairman of Masdar; Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Egypt and President Designate COP27; and Alok Sharma MP, COP26 President.
During the session, the leaders discussed their ambitions to use these critical editions of COP to drive the global sustainability agenda forward by translating policies, strategies, and plans into real tangible results, and scaling up viable solutions around the world.
The ADSW speaker programme featured more than 600 global leaders and decision-makers, including: Iván Duqe Márguez, President of the Republic of Colombia; Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of The Netherlands; Armen Sarkissian, the President of Armenia; Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Representative of His Majesty the King for Humanitarian Works and Youth Affairs of Kingdom of Bahrain, President, Bahrain Olympic Committee; António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO, Mubadala Investment Company; Ban Ki-moon, President of the Assembly and Chair of the Council of the Global Green Growth Institute, Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Al Mheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
Throughout the week – which acted as a countdown to COP27 in Egypt and COP28 in the UAE – ADSW hosted 30,000 participants from 150 countries, including eight country Presidents and Prime Ministers, and 50 government ministers.
For more than a decade, ADSW has provided a sustainable platform for the global community that has grown through its initiatives and events to emerge as a thought leader and catalyst for sustainability. The week is aligned with the ‘Principles of the 50’, which charts the strategic roadmap for the UAE’s new era of economic, political and social growth.
The opening ceremony of ADSW, which took place at Expo 2020 Dubai – was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, with the keynote speech delivered by Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea. During his opening speech, Dr Jaber highlighted Masdar’s goal of delivering 100 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy projects around the world.
During the ceremony, the 10 winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize were announced, recognising sustainability pioneers from around the world. The Prize winners across its five categories included: Mamotest from Argentina (health), S4S Technologies from India (food), SOLshare from Bangladesh (energy) and Wateroam from Singapore (water). In the final category of global high schools, there were six winners from different regions across the world – with each school securing up to $100,000 to start or further expand their project.
Other major events taking place at ADSW included the Irena Assembly, the supreme decision-making body of the International Renewable Energy Agency, which took place virtually under the pertinent theme of ‘Energy Transition: From Commitments to Action.’ Irena, which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and has more than 170 member states, explores how renewable energy can alleviate climate change and increase sustainability.
The World Future Energy Summit (WFES), which took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, welcomed around 8,000 attendees and hosted over 300 exhibiting companies, alongside dedicated pavilions from nations including China, India, Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Nigeria. The exhibition was fully powered by clean energy through a partnership with Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC).
Innovate, a new global Masdar City initiative, provided a platform at WFES for innovation-focused companies to showcase their technologies to international investors. With a focus on the key areas of urban mobility, clean energy, artificial intelligence, and agritech and food security, Innovate grants exclusive access to the dynamic Abu Dhabi technology ecosystem for companies.
On the concluding day of ADSW, the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum – a flagship initiative by Abu Dhabi Global Market – was held under the theme ‘Plotting the Path to Meet Net-Zero Targets: Energising Efforts for Action’. The event is representative of the UAE financial sector’s commitment to assisting the nation in delivering on its national climate goals and programmes – notably the Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the first national net-zero target in the Middle East and North Africa region.
ADSW also hosted a series of Masdar led strategic initiatives, aimed at engaging young people and women at a grassroots level. The Youth 4 Sustainability Forum held inspiring and thought-provoking sessions around a variety of topics, including reimagining and futureproofing education, accelerating social entrepreneurship and innovation, and youth inclusion in climate solutions.
The annual 'Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy' (WiSER) Forum was held under the banner ‘Energy Access for All: Empowering Women to Accelerate Sustainable Development’. The Forum examined how improving women’s access to energy has the potential to supercharge the global economy and accelerate action to combat climate change.
ADSW welcomed a series of high-level commercial agreements, including Etihad 7, a multi-billion dollar strategic programme launched by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) aimed at securing funding for renewable energy projects across Africa. The Etihad 7 programme aims to supply clean electricity to 100 million people by 2035.
During the World Future Energy Summit, a series of multi-million dollar projects and partnership agreements were signed. These included Aldar, the real estate development, management and investment company, launching a new global programme to reduce its energy consumption by 20% across 80 of its assets worldwide, realising more than $10 million in cost savings per year. During the exhibition, Taqa also reiterated its commitment to invest over $10 billion in infrastructure development as it focuses on expanding its renewable energy portfolio.
As the host of ADSW, Masdar further demonstrated its global leadership in the sustainability sector by announcing a series of global projects and agreements.
These included a collaboration agreement between Masdar, Engie and Fertiglobe to explore the development of a green hydrogen facility in the UAE, with a capacity of as much as 200 megawatts (MW) to support the production of green ammonia.
Masdar also announced an agreement with Cosmo Energy Holdings Co, one of Japan’s largest energy companies, to explore the development of renewable energy initiatives, including offshore wind projects, in the Far East nation.
Masdar also formed a joint venture with Indonesia’s Mitrabara to target commercial and industrial customers in the island nation, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore’s Tuas Power, France’s EDF Renewables, and PT Indonesia Power, around the development of renewable energy within Indonesia for export to Singapore.
At part of its Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit), Masdar City signed a financing deal worth $200 million with First Abu Dhabi Bank to expand its sustainable real estate portfolio through additional property acquisitions in Masdar City.
ADSW was supported by Abu Dhabi Department of Energy; Aramex, Bloomberg Media, Bee’ah, Crédit Agricole, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation; Emirates Water and Electricity Company; Engie, Etihad Airways, General Electric, InvestCorp, McKinsey & Company, Mubadala Investment Company, PepsiCo, Power China; Tabreed, and the UAE Space Agency.-- TradeArabia News Service