Since 2008, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) has grown to become one of the largest platforms of its kind in the world. Through its year round initiatives and events, ADSW brings members of the global community together to accelerate sustainable development.
Working with its public and private partners, ADSW hosts a series of events that welcome heads of state, policy makers, business leaders and technology pioneers, providing them with a global platform to share knowledge, showcase innovation and outline strategies for delivering climate action.
Global events and initiatives
Global delegates attend the Opening Ceremony
The number of heads of state, members of royalty, and prime ministers ADSW has welcomed since 2008.
The number of homes Masdar, the host of ADSW is powering with clean energy
invested by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development in global renewable energy projects across 65 countries
Global delegates attend the Opening Ceremony of ADSW
• Partnership between Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) and Emirates Water and Electricity Company represents first step on ADSW’s journey to become carbon neutral; in alignment with UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development hosted by Masdar, has today announced that the World Future Energy Summit, a key event at ADSW 2022, was powered by clean energy, thanks to a partnership with Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC).
EWEC provided ADSW with Clean Energy Certificates covering the energy used by the event, reflecting the platform’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral. ADSW, which took place earlier this week, brought together heads of state, policy makers, and international business leaders, as the UAE aims to drive the global sustainability agenda forward and accelerate pathways to net zero
Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of EWEC, said "We are delighted to see Clean Energy Certificates used to offset the carbon footprint of WFES, continuing the rapid expansion of the CEC market to date, with the events sector joining the energy, real estate and healthcare sectors. We see the potential for many more sectors and entities looking to decarbonise to enter the market, as the UAE strives to meet the goals of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative and UAE Energy Strategy 2050"
EWEC is currently working on a range of clean energy projects, including the Al Dhafra Solar PV IPP project, which will be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, using around 4 million solar panels to generate enough electricity for 160,000 homes across the UAE. Upon full commercial operation, Al Dhafra Solar PV is expected to reduce Abu Dhabi’s CO2 emissions by more than 2.4 million tonnes per year, equivalent to removing approximately 470,000 cars from the road.
ADSW 2022, the first major sustainability event after the COP26 climate change conference, will act as a global catalyst for COP27, which will be held in Egypt this year, and COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE next year. Held annually since 2008, ADSW has become one of the latest sustainability platforms in the world, with more than 45,000 people from 175 countries participating in ADSW 2020.
ADSW is a key component in the UAE’s positioning as a regional and global leader in sustainability and climate action. Last October, the UAE announced its Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the first such initiative in the MENA region. The UAE was also the first Arab country to set voluntary clean energy targets, and the first Gulf state to sign the Paris Agreement.
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.
ADSW took place from January 15 – 19, 2022. Events and sessions from the week can be watched again on the platform’s new channel - ADSW Live - https://adsw.live/all-videos.html
By Eugene Willemsen, CEO Africa, Middle East and South Asia, PepsiCo
It comes as no surprise that climate change directly affects the future of security. A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) clearly outlines the role that the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather-related disasters, such as droughts, cyclones, and wildfires, play in multiplying threats for the low-income demographic, particularly the undernourished. Combined with the global pandemic and ongoing regional conflict, climate change has devastating effects on food production and availability. Amongst the most significant of its effects, asides from reducing crop yields, is the havoc it wreaks on quality and nutritional value, stability of food systems, water availability, livelihoods and access to food.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a global temperature rise of 1.38 to 5.55 degrees Celscius is forecasted in the next century. And as temperatures increase, yields for the world’s most essential crops, which provide over 66% of the world’s calories, will take a nosedive. A NASA studypredicts a projected decline of maize yields to 24% as early as 2030 under a high greenhouse gas emissions scenario. Currently, one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the rising temperatures, come from the global food system. So, if we want sustainable food security for our children and generations to come, it’s high time we come together to find far reaching solutions and take large-scale action.
At PepsiCo, our business relies on a stable and healthy climate to grow nutritious ingredients that go into our food. Therefore, we cannot afford to sit idle waiting for climate change solutions – we need to act. We are doing our part through pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) – PepsiCo’s end-to-end transformation with sustainability at the center of how we create shared value.
The resurgence of sustainable agricultural practices has shown that the ability to transform global agriculture while making a positive impact on our climate ambitions to reach net zero is within reach. As a result, one of our key pep+ pillars – Positive Agriculture – is grounded in advancing regenerative agriculture across our entire footprint, approximately seven million acres. We estimate this effort will eliminate at least three million tons of greenhouse gases by the end of the decade, and help improve the livelihoods of those in our global agricultural supply chain.
An example of this work in action that’s especially close to my heart is She Feeds the World (SFtW), a program we developed together with the PepsiCo Foundation and CARE to teach, equip, train and advocate for sustainable agriculture, women’s empowerment and gender equality in agriculture across the world. SFtW helps women gain access to land rights, financing, and markets; acquire quality inputs and equipment; implement sustainable agriculture practices; and supports women in growing more with less so they can feed their families themselves and grow their incomes. The program supports food security and economic opportunity in the long-term and helps communities respond to systemic shocks like COVID-19. It is anchored in PepsiCo’s pep+ goal to spread regenerative practices across all our land, support women small-scale producers, and strengthen farming communities. As of 2020, the program has provided more than 700,000 women small-scale producers and their families in Egypt, Peru, and Uganda, with the tools and training they need to foster sustainable, long-term growth.
The farmer is the center point for regenerative agriculture, and the voices of farmers must be at every table when developing policy, regulations, and financial incentives. We are doing this because we know that regenerative agriculture can protect farmers from catastrophic climate change effects – and therefore sustain their livelihoods for long-term food security and also reducing environmental impact.
But we also know that embracing regenerative practices comes with a cost for farmers. It usually takes farmers about two to four years of using regenerative agriculture practices before they start to see a benefit to their profit and loss sheet. So, we need to help them bridge the gap.One thing we have tried is cost-sharing up to $10 per acre. This gives farmers the resources they need to implement cover crops that increase soil health and resilience to climate change. We’ve had farmers in this program tell us that their fields are green, while their neighbours’ are brown, or that they now grow the best soybeans they’ve ever had. Not only has this put more money in the pockets of farmers, but it has also demonstrated a 38% reduction in greenhouse gasses.
We are very proud of pep+ and believe it is the future of our business. However, no sector can do this alone; addressing climate change requires a systems approach. Action is absolutely vital, now more than ever. Infact, we have vowed to increase scrutiny over our business’ climate policies and have offered learnings in decarbonization through our participation at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). By working together—private sector, governments, development agencies, farmers, consumers — we can unlock climate solutions at the scale that is needed, drive systemic changes in energy and food systems, and have a sustainable meaningful impact on people’s lives.
H.E. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation
Global energy leaders, policy makers, business, innovators and industry are set to converge in Abu Dhabi for the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) this week to discuss strategies and solutions that support a global transition to clean energy.
In what has widely become known as the ‘decade of action’ for climate change, pressure on governments and business has been mounting, and over the course of 2021, we reached a significant tipping point in global attitudes towards climate change. Now more than ever before, citizens are demanding that government and business leaders deliver meaningful action on climate change. Action being the key word.
Impatience, particularly among youth, is growing as they become increasingly frustrated at targets being set for the distant future, often decades ahead, when tangible solutions are needed today. This is further compounded by indecision on the best way forward, and few recognizing that collaboration, not competition, is key to winning this race against the climate clock.
While many countries continue to debate the best way forward, focused more on political preferences than data-driven decisions, the UAE is decisively leading the way towards a more sustainable future. In particular, its proactive and evidence-based approach to energy, adopted more than a decade ago, means the nation is quietly carving out a role for itself as a global clean energy leader.
This position would have been unthinkable just a decade ago, when an oil rich nation such as ours enacted an energy policy that selected renewables and peaceful nuclear energy as the paths to diversification, security of supply and sustainability. Yet, as the first country in the region to sign the Paris Agreement in 2016 and more recently to release its national Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, the UAE has consistently chosen to prioritize a holistic, realistic and data driven approach to its energy sector.
This has given us a distinct advantage as we urgently work together to avoid the worst extremes of a climate disaster and navigate our way towards a cleaner energy future. We are already reaping the benefits of our clean energy investments – with thousands of megawatts of zero-carbon electricity being generated across the country every day, accelerating us towards our Net Zero goals.
At the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), we are proud to contribute to the UAE’s clean energy vision with an abundant supply of clean electricity, generated 24/7 at our Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. Set to produce 25% of the UAE’s power needs, the Barakah Plant will also prevent the release of 21 million tons of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to the removal of 3.2 million cars off our roads. This proven ability to produce abundant, 24/7 clean electricity underpins the UAE’s growing intermittent renewables power supply today, and for the next 60 years.
Clean electricity is also a powerhouse for economic opportunity and competitive advantage. With the launch of its clean energy certification mechanism in September 2021, Abu Dhabi became the first market worldwide to recognize the role of nuclear as a form of clean energy – granting UAE companies new access to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) certification through the purchase of clean energy certificates. By doing so, these organizations are committing to a more sustainable future, while also improving their ESG reporting abilities, earning a competitive advantage with regional and global peers and opening up priority access to ESG-conscious markets around the world.
This clean electricity is not only rapidly decarbonizing the power sector, but also enabling hard-to-decarbonize companies access to clean electricity to power their operations. The announcement from ADNOC and the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), outlining how the organization will power itself with clean electricity, is a perfect example of how the clean energy we currently have available as a nation is contributing to a better, more sustainable future.
This is only one of many aspects where we are starting to see the competitive advantages of delivering abundant, reliable and commercially competitive clean electricity. In recent years, the UAE has transformed itself into a clean energy hub, where world leading solar plants and zero emission nuclear energy have increased the contribution of clean energy sources in the power generation mix.
This inclusive approach to the clean energy transition is why the UAE continues to invest in and deliver important platforms like WFES, and COP28 in 2023, offering opportunities to share our lessons with the world, and partner with other nations to drive further innovative climate solutions. This unprecedented challenge requires unprecedented collaboration – between nations, within and across industries and amongst clean technology providers. Events such as WFES are essential to this.
Ultimately, as we swiftly accelerate towards Net Zero—setting new and more ambitious goals and making clean electricity even more relevant in decarbonizing our economy—we call on our fellow governments, alongside businesses, industry, and organizations, to do the same. Together, we can collectively drive the transition and bring about the long-lasting change we need today.
The events of the last two years placed extraordinary stresses on food supply chains around the world. According to the OECD there were bottlenecks in farm labor, processing, transport, and logistics, as well as shifts in consumer demand , but policymakers and industry quickly responded to minimize the impact of these disruptions, and the world managed to avert a global food crisis.
Nonetheless, the pandemic might have pushed up to 132 million additional people into chronic hunger and the number of undernourished may have increased to as many as 811 million people in 2020 according to the FAO , a staggering 10.4% of world population. The FAO cite the devastating effects of the pandemic on jobs and income, especially in developing countries, as one of the main drivers for this increase.
This is a deeply concerning trend. But couple this with the risks posed by climate change and its impacts on the agriculture sector – for which we are still woefully underprepared according to a recent report by the Stockholm Environment Institute – the resulting impact on livelihoods, food prices, and global food security could be extremely severe.
Global investment firms, like Investcorp, must be a part of the solution to avoid widescale global food insecurity, by looking to deploy capital to support innovative farming techniques, technological innovation in food production, deeper supply chain integration, and widespread adoption of digital technologies and platforms. These will be key to providing food security and sustainability across the GCC region.
FreshToHome, an Investcorp portfolio company, and one of the world’s largest fully integrated fresh fish and meat e-groceries – with fast expanding farming, supply chain, and processing capabilities in Abu Dhabi – is an impressive example of how the use of cutting-edge technologies is furthering the availability, access, and quality of food in a sustainable manner in India and across the GCC.
Approximately 14% of all food globally is lost along the supply chain before it even reaches the consumer. According to the FAO, reducing food loss and waste is therefore critical to improving the food security situation of vulnerable groups all over the world.
By investing heavily to build a large cold chain infrastructure operation in India, FreshToHome has cut out several layers of middlemen to source directly from local farmers and fishermen from more than 125 harbors, reducing what was a multiday supply chain to less than 36 hours, and resulting in a waste yield of only 1.5%, approximately ten times lower than the global average.
Furthermore, by leveraging predictive planning and precision agriculture and aquaculture technologies to optimize supply and demand more accurately, the company is not only able to reduce food loss and waste, but also ensure that fishermen and farmers gain higher utilization of their harvests, and therefore receive higher incomes.
Through its extensive online presence across more than 80 cities in India and the GCC, and an increasing number of “offline” stores, the company can ensure the continuous availability of fresh food, with higher nutritional value, to greater numbers of people.
While the world may have demonstrated successes in global coordination in response to successive lockdowns and movement restrictions, it is ventures like FreshToHome that can serve as an example of the sorts of companies that together could mean the difference between life and death for millions of people globally.
It is incumbent upon investors to recognize the contribution that such companies can make to local economic development, better livelihoods, and to the resiliency of both regional and global food systems.
By HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
Minister of Climate Change and Environment
Fundamental changes are taking place in the global energy system that will have significant geopolitical implications. These changes will affect almost all countries and will have wide-ranging consequences on economies and society. The geopolitical balance will shift and the dynamics of relationships between countries will also be transformed. Major oil-exporting countries will have to review their economic models and what it means for stability. On the other hand, many countries with large renewable potentials – whether high solar or wind power – still belong to the classic developing countries. How can the risk of geopolitical upheaval be prevented?
Let us start at the beginning. What do we mean by energy transition? At its most basic level, the new energy transition is a shift from hydrocarbons to electricity. To put it simply: our world order has been based on oil. That is gradually changing. The importance of electrons in the overall energy supply chain will continuously increase. The use of electricity is already surging. It provides about 20 percent of energy today, and will have to rise to 50 percent by 2050, if countries are to meet their climate commitments according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Electrification will be a decisive answer for net-zero.
The socio-economic impacts
The pace and scale of the transition has already shot past the most optimistic projections. Another reason for the fast-track transition is that the energy sector holds the key to averting the effects of climate change. We have reached a tipping point and the conversation around clean energy is higher on the agenda than ever. Currently, 14 members of the G20 had announced net zero targets by mid-century, covering 61 percent of global greenhouse emissions, according to Climate Transparency Report, 2021. How fairly and how fast the energy revolution happens is the biggest challenge of our time.
Properly designed and implemented, energy transition will ease progress towards all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals, not just the goal that relates to universal, affordable and clean energy. It will enhance energy independence for most countries and thus the number of energy-related conflicts is likely to fall. It will also promote prosperity and job creation; improve food and water security; and enhance sustainability and equity.
For example, the US and EU’s plans for green recovery will give a boost to several clean energy technologies. Same for China which is investing heavily in renewable energy technologies and cross-border interconnectors.
As countries prepare for their target of net-zero emissions by 2050, some regions such as the Middle East, are planning to trade more green fuels, such as hydrogen or green Ammonia. This gives rise to a whole new constellation of markets and bilateral trade relationships. We could see a new class of energy exporters that may emerge.
At the same time, the energy transition will generate new challenges. A rapid shift away from fossil fuels could create a financial shock. Workers and communities that depend on fossil fuels maybe hit adversely. That is why we need to develop technologies to enhance a smooth transition.
Countries leading the energy transition race
In the new energy world, technology will be an important differentiating factor. There will be three ways for countries to exert influence in the new system. One is by exporting electricity or green fuels. Another is by controlling the raw materials used for clean energy technologies, such as lithium and cobalt. The third is by gaining an edge in technologies such as electric vehicle batteries. With renewable resources so readily available.
How to transport this energy and ensure it reaches people in an efficient and affordable way is a big piece of the puzzle. Hence, trading power will also be on the rise with an increase in cross-border electricity interconnection projects.
For example, our engineers helped construct Nemo Link, the first high-voltage (HV) interconnector between Belgium and the UK, which can supply up to 1,000 megawatts of clean electricity. It is also one of the several HV transmission links connecting Britain’s electricity grid to the national grids of neighboring countries. In the middle of this transformation lie power grids, the true enabler of energy transition.
Opportunity for transformational change
To ensure the success of a global net-zero approach, we need also to understand some aspects:
1) Regions might take longer on the fossil fuel transition because of the specifics of their development or their energy landscape.
2) Legacy energy infrastructure will need attention and adequate investment.
3) We need also to tackle socio-economic aspects, so we do not end up having winners and losers.
For regions such as the Middle East, which is blessed with natural resources, but also has abundant renewable resources, the transition could be an economic gift. We see many countries working to leapfrog technologies based on fossil fuels with ambitious economic diversification plans.
We are actively supporting the countries of the region through piloting new projects to accelerate the energy transition. A few examples include our partnership with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and Expo 2020 to construct the region’s first solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis facility. The project also sets an example in public-private partnerships. We also joined forces Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Etihad Airways, German Lufthansa, Marubeni Corporation and Khalifa University to produce aviation eFuel. This is in addition to other agreements recently signed in both Egypt and Oman to develop their hydrogen economies.
Despite difficulties, the energy transition will ultimately move the world in the right direction by addressing climate change, combating pollution, promoting prosperity, as well as sustainable development. But it requires new frameworks, cross-sector partnerships between public and private sectors, and stronger international cooperation to underwrite our common journey.
Dr. Christian Bruch, President and CEO, Siemens Energy
By Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the climate platform hosted by Masdar, opens next week for its 14th edition. ADSW will be the first in a series of global events placing the Arab world at the center of the climate conversation over the next few years.
The dialogue at ADSW, which includes the IRENA General Assembly, the World Future Energy Summit and the Zayed Sustainability Prize, among other program elements, will be a continuation of the discussion from COP26 in November, and will lay the groundwork for COP27 in Egypt later this year and COP28 in the UAE in 2023.
This year, therefore, ADSW reaffirms the UAE’s leadership role at a defining time for the planet’s future. After all, as a nation at high risk from increased temperatures, rising sea levels and reduced rainfall, the UAE has for many years been acutely aware that climate change is a reality and a challenge that we must tackle alongside the global community. The ADSW platforms built by Masdar over the years such as the aforementioned Zayed Sustainability Prize, WiSER and Youth 4 Sustainability, are raising awareness of the need for a more sustainable world and for concerted response by all nations that is inclusive of all demographics.
As a global community, limiting the increase in global temperatures to just 1.5°C is our number one priority, and the pathway to Net Zero – identified as the most important measure needed to achieve this – will be a dominant conversation at ADSW. “Net Zero” is the state in which greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere each year are near zero levels, slowing down climate change and potentially reversing its course over time.
Reaching that target at a national level, never mind globally, is no easy feat. The UAE has long been a pioneer and regional model for climate action, taking steps to lead the way . We were the first Gulf country to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement, setting out targets for nations to begin the process, and the first Arab country to set voluntary clean energy targets – and overachieve them. Last November, the UAE became the first Arab nation to launch a “Net Zero by 2050” strategic initiative, putting the country resolutely on the path to a low carbon future.
At Masdar, we are proud of our role since our founding in 2006 as a major contributor to the UAE’s climate change mitigation and Net Zero efforts. We have been addressing the challenge from multiple fronts – allocating capital to impactful projects, leveraging new technologies at scale, building awareness for behavioral change, and supporting policy-makers around the world. Our projects in the UAE are directly helping achieve the UAE Energy Strategy targets which aim to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050. Overseas, too, we are helping some 40 nations achieve their own clean energy goals, with our projects and investments reaching a gross value of more than US$20 billion.
Now, in 2022, and with the spotlight on the Arab world, Masdar is primed to further leverage its position as a global leader in clean energy. Under an investment deal announced in December, Abu Dhabi’s energy heavyweights ,ADNOC and TAQA, will join the emirate’s sovereign investment company, Mubadala, as partners in our Clean Energy business. By summer, when we expect our new shareholders to be formally on board, Masdar will be Abu Dhabi’s clean energy powerhouse, with a portfolio of 23 GW of clean energy capacity and ambitions to reach at least 50GW by 2030.
Further, with the support of ADNOC and TAQA, Masdar will consolidate Abu Dhabi’s efforts in exploring green hydrogen as a fuel of the future – another major topic of this year’s ADSW. The promise of hydrogen is huge: according to study by Dii Desert Energy, Roland Berger and Masdar, GCC countries alone could generate as much as US$200 billion in revenue from hydrogen by 2050, with the creation of between 400,000 and 900,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region.
The UAE has significant natural advantages in the development of green hydrogen, with excellent solar resources allowing for competitive solar power . The nation’s clean hydrogen initiatives are also facilitated by its strong existing infrastructure, export facilities and central location between key export markets. Masdar, with its know-how, is well positioned to deliver on this promise.
Last year, this led to the signing of agreements with the UK’s bp and France’s ENGIE to develop up to 4GW of green hydrogen projects, while we also partnered with Siemens Energy and other stakeholders to build a green hydrogen demonstrator in Masdar City that will establish the commercial viability of sustainable fuel.
Masdar’s successes in clean energy and sustainable urban development in Masdar City are an important element in the UAE’s overall climate mission and will be fully on display at ADSW. Broad adoption of renewables is a vital component of climate mitigation efforts, and it is critical that this comes with equitable and sustainable economic development. In emerging markets, notably, Masdar acts as a catalyst, working hand-in-hand with developing nations looking to advance their clean energy roadmaps. ADSW is also putting the financing of Net Zero goals in the developing world at the top of the global agenda.
While the journey has just begun, we already have much to be proud of in showcasing the Arab world’s commitment to overcoming the challenges posed by climate change at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2022.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, today attended the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainability hosted by Masdar – Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.
The opening event was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum welcomed the leaders and experts meeting in the UAE to discuss issues related to sustainability and intensify collaborative efforts to find solutions for moving the world towards a more sustainable future.
Highlighting the importance of ADSW, the first global gathering of its kind after COP26, Sheikh Mohammed said, "Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week lays a pathway for COP28 when the UAE will welcome the world in 2023. The continued success of ADSW, which every year sets the sustainability agenda for the year to come, fully reflects our nation’s leadership in the field of climate action. This year’s convening of ADSW as part of Expo 2020 Dubai provides an opportunity for the convergence of global expertise to stimulate constructive dialogue and push efforts towards implementing innovative solutions."
"The UAE, guided by the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was and continues to be one of the pioneering countries in the fields of climate action, energy transformation and the adoption of renewable energy as a solution for addressing environmental issues and their impact on people's lives and the health of the planet. The UAE has continued to express this commitment by developing a group of the world’s largest and most innovative clean energy projects. These efforts culminated in the launch of the Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, which reflects our commitment to create a future free of emissions," His Highness added.
The opening ceremony, held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre at Expo 2020 Dubai, was also attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and a number of senior officials.
The opening ceremony began with the UAE National Anthem followed by a short film centred on international cooperation to confront global challenges, especially those related to climate change and sustainable development.
Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, thanked the UAE for welcoming him to the country and inviting him to participate in the opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. In his keynote speech, he said, "As the first event of its kind since COP26, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is a kick start to carbon neutrality this year, offering strength through unity. This event holds great significance with the UAE hosting COP28 in 2023 - a milestone for the country’s journey over the next 50 years. The UAE is a powerhouse of sustainable development for the Middle East and beyond, with pathways showing the way for the rest of the world."
He continued, "Last year, the UAE became the first one in the Middle East to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050. Korea too in 2020 declared its commitment to carbon neutrality. And the UAE and Korea both committed to cutting methane by 30 percent by 2030. The UAE and Korea, as special strategic partners, have been working together in the fields of construction, oil field development, national defence, agriculture, health, and much more. This demonstrates the robust relations between our two nations. For our sustainable future, Korea hopes to hold hands together with the UAE even more tightly. Now our two countries are working together to build an economy based on hydrogen - a potential new source of energy in the age of carbon neutrality."
In his keynote address, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and Chairman of Masdar, addressed the challenge of maintaining economic progress, while turning back the clock on emissions.
He said, "Finding the answers to these questions has been the mission of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the Zayed Sustainability Prize. A mission that builds on the UAE’s position as a pioneer in clean energy. When we began investing in the renewables space more than 15 years ago, our leadership had a theory of the future that has been proven right over time. Today, the UAE is home to the largest and lowest cost solar plants in the world. And globally the future of renewable energy is just as bright."
The objectives of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week are in line with the ‘Principles of the 50’, the 10 principles that represent the UAE’s strategic path in a new era and reflect the country’s vision and determination to promote development efforts in various economic, political and social fields.
As one of the largest gatherings concerned with discussing sustainability issues, ADSW provides a global platform for cooperation, knowledge exchange, investment and innovation, as it attracts more than 45,000 participants annually representing more than 170 countries and hosts nearly 1,000 international companies.
Key ADSW dates include: January 15-16 – IRENA Assembly; January 17 – Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony, ADSW Summit; January 17-19 – World Future Energy Summit, Innovate, Youth 4 Sustainability Hub; January 18-19 Atlantic Council Forums; January 18 WiSER Forum, Exclusive Panel Session with the President of COP26 and 27 and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber; January 19 – Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum.
• As part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the virtual ADSW Summit will bring together heads of state, policy makers, global business leaders and technology pioneers
• Agenda will explore the social, economic and innovation opportunities for taking climate action and delivering pathways for a net-zero future
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development hosted by Masdar, will hold the ADSW Summit virtually on Monday January 17, 2022, helping to set the global agenda for addressing the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.
The ADSW Summit will bring together heads of state, policy makers, business leaders, and technology pioneers, to engage in dialogue and outline actions to achieve a net-zero future. The ADSW Summit will be broadcast online across different time zones to engage audiences across a broad range of geographies and markets.
Delivering global net zero commitments and the journey to the COP28 climate change conference will be key topics for driving discussions at the ADSW Summit. Sessions during the ADSW Summit will also include important sessions on the global energy transition, the future of transportation, the health energy nexus, carbon capture and storage, the blue economy, and the increasing importance of environmental, social, and governance criteria in making decisions.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “We have entered a new era of sustainability, where we must work together across policy, business and technology to mitigate climate change. We are already witnessing the acceleration of clean energy deployment around the world, which Masdar is helping to lead, and this level of pace will be reflected in other industries over the coming months and years as we work together towards a net-zero future.
“The UAE is taking a leading role in delivering climate action and has a proven record of turning challenges into opportunities. Global events like these will help prepare the ground for COP27 in Egypt and COP28 which will take place in the UAE in 2023, and will further cement our nation’s position as a sustainability hub.”
The confirmed speakers at ADSW Summit include: HE Halimah Binte Yacob, President of Singapore, HE Eng. Awaidha Murshed Ali Al Marar Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, HE Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Catherine MacGregor, CEO of ENGIE, Dr.-Ing. Christian Bruch, President and CEO, Siemens Energy, Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman, and Dr. Sylvia Earle, President & Chairwoman of Mission Blue. The full list of speakers will be published in early January 2022.
The 2021 edition of the ADSW Summit, which took place virtually, received over 3 million views online and included keynotes from HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, COP26 President, HE Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Managing Director & Group Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala Investment Company, and Laurence Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, Inc.
As a global platform supporting economic development, knowledge sharing and innovation, ADSW is aligned with the UAE’s ‘Principles of the 50,’ which chart a course for the nation’s prosperity over the next five decades.
As one of the largest gatherings of its kind, ADSW provides a global platform for cooperation, knowledge sharing, investment and innovation, welcoming each year more than 45,000 participants from over 170 countries, with more than 1,000 international companies represented.
Alongside the ADSW Summit, ADSW will feature a series of high-level events running from Saturday January 15 – Wednesday January 19, 2022, including: January 15-16 - IRENA Assembly, Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, January 17 - Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony, January 17-19 - World Future Energy Summit, Innovate, Youth 4 Sustainability Hub, January 18 - WiSER Forum, January 19, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum.
Registration details for the ADSW Summit and other ADSW events can be found on www.adsw.ae.
By Cornelius Matthes, Chief Executive Officer, Dii Desert Energy
With the recent announcement to commit to net-zero by 2050, the UAE once again shows leadership in the energy transition. This is the first gulf state to do so and for a major oil & gas producer, the challenges to reach this objective are of course considerable. The interesting next step to watch is how this translates into a roadmap to execute, particularly for this decade.
Indeed, what will be achieved by this decade counts most, as many effects of climate change will not be possible to reverse. 2030 is the crucial date and the good thing is that the UAE in the past have shown to deliver and even over deliver, e.g. with groundbreaking solar projects at the world's lowest prices. Some of the world’s largest solar parks are already operational today in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, making the UAE one of the global centers of the energy transition.
With COP 28 now to take place in the UAE in 2023, very positive news came out of Glasgow. Again, a lot is expected to happen until then. But most importantly, we saw the other GCC countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain actually already followed suit, committing to net zero by 2060 respectively, with Saudi Aramco doing the same by 2050. All really exciting news with hopefully more to come soon, including a clear roadmap for this decade.
Chief Executive Officer
Dii Desert Energy
The Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and brings together heads of state, ministers, government officials and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organizations to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition.
IRENA, which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and has more than 170 member states, uses its decision making authority to agree its objectives and discuss how renewable energy can alleviate climate change and increase sustainability.
The ADSW Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize awards ceremony will take place at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Bringing ADSW’s platforms to Expo 2020 will further highlight the UAE’s role in driving action on climate change locally, in the region and globally.
The events will bring together more than 600 VIPs from around the world, including heads of state, government ministers, industry leaders and country ambassadors.
Is it often good to look at capital markets as an indicator for important future trends. They generally value companies on future expectations and sometimes anticipate important trends via massive shifts in flows and portfolio allocations. Last year has seen a crazy ride, with some of the strongest corrections in recent times, as also shown by the volatility indicator VIX at a historic high even above the financial crisis, so sometimes capital markets tend to exaggerate and create bubbles as well.
Early movers into renewable energy have been highly rewarded, as long term stock prices of companies like Orsted or Iberdrola show. This is in sharp contrast to utility and energy companies that did not move in this direction - while the early movers have multiplied their market value, the latter have lost in some cases up to over 80 percent and been completely marginalised.
A recent study by the IEA/Imperial College finds that renewable energy stocks not only massively outperform conventional energy, but even at a lower volatility. The fact that climate change risks were finally widely recognized caused a big paradigm shift toward sustainable investments, accelerating this development.
While we need to be wary of greenwashing, this trend is very powerful and more and more banks completely abandon any financing of fossil fuels. Insurers dump utilities not exiting from coal and the question is how long capital will actually be available for fossil fuel projects.
All of this has profound implications and points towards a truly exciting and disruptive decade with fast defossilization.
We need to deliver the main chunk of the energy transition in this decade, otherwise it will be too late. So act now and fast and join us on our mission 'No Emissions'.
• HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security and HE Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Water and Infrastructure for the Netherlands meet virtually during 2nd episode of ADSW Web Series
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 26, 2020 – The UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri was joined by HE Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Water and Infrastructure for The Netherlands, during the 2nd episode of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) Web Series, today.
Hosted by Masdar, the episode explored how the Covid-19 pandemic was affecting food and water security, how developing nations can address resource scarcity and the role innovation was playing to overcome challenges in the sector.
During the Web episode, HE Mariam Almheiri said: “The current Covid-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of the global food supply network, both its physical infrastructure and through the willingness of countries to continue exporting food because of increased domestic pressures. Now more than ever the global community needs to work together to both ensure the continued capacity of food chains and to share knowledge and expertise to develop countries’ own food systems, especially in the area of agricultural technology, as this will enhance their capacity to become self-sufficient with their food security needs.”
Her Excellency Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said, "The problems related to water are increasing. Water shortages, but also floods can propel instability in regions around the world. I believe that we need to cooperate, share knowledge, upscale proven technologies and build strong coalitions, especially in times like these. Global platforms, like Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, are important to delivering solutions and the Netherlands will host the first ever global summit of world leaders entirely focused on climate change adaptation. The Climate Adaptation Summit will be held on January 25, 2021, and we look forward to welcoming the UAE."
Remaining committed to accelerating sustainable development, ADSW launched its Web Series to provide a year-round platform for maintaining dialogue on issues and topics that are shaping the global sustainability landscape and help drive a green recovery.
To watch the full web series episode click here.
The series kicked off in October with Co-Founder and Chair of IMAGINE, and former Unilever CEO, Paul Polman.
The next edition of ADSW will be held virtually January 18-21, 2021 to ensure the safety of all participants.
For more information on ADSW 2021 and future web series episodes, please visit ADSW.ae or follow us @ADSWAgenda on social media.