Search

18 MAY 2022

Decarbonizing Transportation is Key Sustainability Challenge, Costa Rican Minister tells ADSW Talks

In Masdar’s most recent episode of ADSW Talks, a recurring video series in which influential global sustainability figures share their perspectives, Her Excellency Paola Vega Castillo, Costa Rican Minister of Science, Technology, and Telecommunications, said transportation is one of the biggest issues facing Costa Rica in its decarbonization journey.

Like the UAE, Costa Rica is already considered a global sustainability leader, named the second-most sustainable country in the world by the World Energy Council in 2017, and ‘UN Champion of the Earth’ in 2019.

Today, “about 98 percent of the energy we produce comes from renewable resources,” HE Castillo said. “The problem is that, when it comes to transportation, we have strong carbon emissions that we want to decrease. That’s why decarbonization is very important for us as a country.”

Last November, Costa Rica joined the UAE in adopting its own plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To do that, the Central American nation has prioritized “strong progress” in electrified transportation by the end of the decade to both dramatically reduce its carbon footprint and support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Innovation will remain critical, HE Castillo said: “By means of innovation, we must find ways to be more effective in terms of productive, in terms of consumption, and also think about the new product and services that will help us face our current challenges without taking from nature what is not necessary to take from it.”

In addition, HE Castillo emphasized the importance of global initiatives like Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which “are very important in order to, on the one hand, raise awareness of the consequences of our way of living, and also to provide these opportunities for networking—because we need all the knowledge and talent worldwide.”

Related-ADSW-Talk

08 FEB 2024

Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the broader GCC region have a critical role in the energy transition space, says Rishi Kapoor, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Investcorp.

“I can think of no other region in the world that is better suited to drive that adaptation and transition through the necessary innovation and flow of capital supporting that innovation, when it comes to addressing climate change,” Kapoor says.

He clarifies the term climate financing as the allocation of capital such that it delivers a prudent, inclusive energy transition and drives innovation in terms of new technologies, products and services – to help both consumers and corporates adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change and reduce their carbon footprints.

Climate financing, Kapoor says, is also capital that is necessary to commercially scale up these new solutions across the world, whether in the Global South or the developed West.

Investcorp’s goal is to reach net zero by 2050 in line with global commitments, but perhaps even more impactful is its support for the companies in its portfolio, to help them reduce their carbon emissions.

The global investment company is also establishing “a new platform to invest capital in companies that are solely devoted to establishing and scaling up decarbonization solutions for consumers and corporates worldwide,” Kapoor says.

Growth at all costs was once the mantra of corporations. Later, it was “inclusive” growth that leaves no one behind. Kapoor’s vision for the future goes a step further. Growth that is both inclusive and sustainable, he says, is the future not only of business, but of humanity and civilization at large. “So that not only do you not do any harm, you actually do good.”

Related-ADSW-Talk

03 NOV 2023

UAE’s drive to establish ‘green certified’ schools will instill sustainability within younger generation, says country’s Minister of Education on ADSW Talks

Teaching the next generation about sustainability at an early age will help protect the planet’s future, says Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi on ADSW Talks.

With the global population forecast to reach 10 billion by 2050, it is vital that young people are equipped to drive the energy transition and lead sustainable lifestyles, he adds.

“We need to work on our students today because they will be the ones making the future 20 years from now,” says Dr Al Falasi.

“We are integrating sustainable behaviors at a very early stage to really make students aware of the impact that each of them has on their lives and on the globe.”

This is done inside and outside the classroom, he adds. For instance, students are encouraged to conduct experiments to help them appreciate the importance of sustainability.

Describing the UAE’s ‘Green Education Partnership’, Dr Al Falasi talks about four pillars, including ‘greening’ schools so they reduce their carbon footprints and train teachers to impart sustainability knowledge and encourage environmentally friendly practices.

“We want our schools to become anchors within the communities,” he says.

He adds that the UAE has targets for half of all schools to be ‘green certified’ and to train 2,800 educators and 1,400 school principals. The plan also involves supporting 70 students and teachers to spread the sustainability message globally.

The UN climate change conference COP28, to be hosted in the UAE in November and December, will be the first COP to have an ‘Education Pavilion’. Dr Al Falasi hopes this development will leave a positive legacy.

“We truly believe that a platform is required to convene educators, students, experts, policymakers, and government officials to really work together and integrate sustainability into education,” he says. “This will be a first, but we hope that this will be a consistent theme in all COPs going forward.”

He also shares his dream for future generations to live sustainably, following in their ancestors’ footsteps.

“My wish is that in years from now, my grandchildren and their grandchildren will live a very comfortable life and will go back to our DNA in the UAE,” he says. “We’ve always lived a sustainable life. I would love for us in the future to go back to that lifestyle. To really appreciate every resource that we have, whether it is water, whether it’s energy, whether it’s food and to create an environment where we collaborate for a brighter future.”

Related-ADSW-Talk

28 JUL 2023

Sustainability is “the responsibility of everyone,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, HE Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, tells ADSW Talks

Only by working together and making sustainability the responsibility of everyone can we advance the sustainability agenda, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade told ADSW Talks.

Dr Al Zeyoudi’s comments come as the UAE celebrates the Year of Sustainability and prepares to host the upcoming COP28 where the world will undertake the first Global Stocktake (GST) to review progress on the Paris Agreement where countries agreed to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Sustainability is an integral part of the UAE’s economic growth targets alongside sustainable technology which will play a “major role” in maintaining water and food security as the UAE addresses the climate challenges ahead, he added.

“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has been an instrumental tool in pushing the agenda of renewable and clean energy forward, not just for the region but for the globe,” he said, “a platform where you can bring everyone on board.”

Commenting on the areas which investors need to consider around the sustainability profile of their capital, Dr Al Zeyoudi added, that whilst most investments are driven by sustainability or net zero, consumer demand and conservation, are equally important considerations.

Returning to the responsibility of everyone to support sustainability, and his personal and ministerial net-zero commitments ahead of COP28, Dr Al Zeyoudi says, that both at home and within the Ministry “we lead by example” to embed the best sustainability practices.