01 JUL 2022
IRENA’s La Camera discusses global energy transition and COP28
Francesco La Camera, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), features in the latest edition of ADSW Talks, where he discussed the renewable energy technologies needed to achieve climate objectives and highlighted the UAE's leadership in the global energy transition.
“Technology innovations is a very important aspect of our work, we made very clear in our most recent World Energy Transition Outlook 2022, that two main drivers in the energy transition are the electrification of the energy system and energy efficiency, so reducing the demand," La Camera told ADSW Talks, a series of digital talks hosted and managed by Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), where influential figures from across the sustainability sector share their perspectives on the most pressing sustainability challenges.
“The technologies that are enabling this transition are renewables, so the new system will be dominated by renewables and complimented by hydrogen, mainly green hydrogen, and sustainable biomass," he added. “Innovation is how to make these technologies work more effectively but we have now the technology we need to achieve the Paris Agreement goals."
The UAE “is making history" through its leadership in the global energy transition, La Camera stated in the ADSW Talks episode, highlighting the UAE's hosting of the COP28 United Nations climate change conference next year.
“The UAE is supporting climate action through action. In this country, we have 70 percent of the renewables in the Gulf region. It is a matter of fact that the UAE is leading the process, where the intention is not just to unplug the old system but to build the new one. The biggest renewable plants are here, [as well as] experiments and pilot studies in green hydrogen. They have already started to export ammonia to the east part of the world, so they are leading by example," La Camera said.
Regarding the next two upcoming COPs, he said: “The COP27 in Egypt will be a very important one and I think the countries are already working together. The Egyptian one will be the African COP. And the COP28 will be the one with the West talking to the East, and the North talking to the South. I am proud that we are starting to collaborate strongly with the UAE, and I think it will be a very important next two years to show the UAE's [sustainable leadership]."
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.”