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04 MAR 2022

ADSW Talks: Accelerating the energy transition

The global energy transition is leading to the greater adoption and penetration of renewable energy around the world. Deploying clean technologies like wind and solar is now cost competitive against traditional forms of energy, opening up opportunities to further reduce carbon emissions, while expanding new avenues for job creation and investment.

In this edition of ADSW Talks, we hear from HE Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, where he shares insights into how the UAE is taking a leading role in the global energy transition. His Excellency also explains the country’s own clean energy strategy, which will increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050 and reduce carbon footprint of power generation by 70 percent, saving AED 700 billion.

The ADSW Talks series hosts influential figures from across the sustainability sector to share their perspectives on the most pressing sustainability challenges facing the world and the collective willpower and solutions needed to build a more sustainable future for all.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.