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.”

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08 AUG 2022

Focus on technology to solve “energy trilemma” GE’s Habayeb tells ADSW Talks

Greater technological innovation is required to solve the “energy trilemma,” Nabil Habayeb, GE Senior Vice President and President & CEO of GE International Markets, said in the latest edition of ADSW Talks.

The “energy trilemma” is the term coined by the World Energy Council referring to the need to ensure that energy is affordable, secure, and sustainable. “I’m committed to the sustainability effort and to making a difference around the energy trilemma,” Habayeb said. “The energy trilemma is about three parts. It’s about affordability, reliability, and sustainability. There are millions and millions of people that have no access to electricity, let alone affordable electricity, and let alone making it sustainable. Those three elements have to come together.”

Addressing that challenge, as well as others, requires technological innovation. “[What is really] important is the focus on technology, building upon the existing technologies to reduce emissions, for the purpose of reliability, affordability, and sustainability of energy in the future, but also investment into new technology -- renewable, nuclear, grid, and digital. I think this is where it all comes together,” he explained.

When asked how GE was supporting the global climate change agenda, Habayeb shared details on the company’s sustainable aviation fuel projects and added: “GE has made a commitment that by 2030 we will be net zero in our operations and by 2050 we have the ambition to achieve net zero in scope 3 with our products that we provide our customers. GE also made a commitment last year to exit new coal plants and to focus more on improving the emissions from gas turbines and combined cycle applications.”

In climate change mitigation, scope 1 refers to direct emissions from a company's owned or controlled sources, scope 2 refers to indirect emissions from the company's purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling, and scope 3 is all other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain.

The GE leader explained that another important way to accelerate climate action is through meaningful dialogue and collaboration, which is being facilitated through events like the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). “ADSW is a great forum... We feel it is important because it brings the different stakeholders that can really make a difference together, with diverse and different ideas, thoughts, debates, commitments, and this is what the world needs. We need the decision-makers in the countries, the technology providers, the experts, the suppliers, we need everyone to come together toward a common goal,” Habayeb revealed.

 
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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]."

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11 APR 2022

ADSW Talks: Advancing Argentina’s sustainability agenda

Argentina, which recently committed to a 2050 Net Zero target, has been implementing new regulatory frameworks and laws to advance the electrification of its mobility sector, expand electricity interconnectors, and ensure that environmental education is part of the curriculum across schools in the country. 

In the latest edition of ADSW Talks, HE Santiago Cafiero, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Argentine Republic, shares insight into how the second-largest country in South America is modifying regulation to advance its sustainability agenda.  

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.