17 NOV 2022

“Nature can be our ally in the fight against climate change,” H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak tells ASDW talks.

Climate change and biodiversity loss should be tackled together, said Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak.

For billions of years our planet, its climate and the fabric of life have evolved together, said H.E. Razan, President, International Union for Conservation of Nature.

But in the past 150 years this “rich tapestry of life” has started unravelling, she added in her ADSW talk about climate change and biodiversity loss.

“Nature, the foundation upon which life is based, is in a state of crisis,” she said. “We see it in the rapid decline of species and habitats, and this is happening at a time when we realize that we need nature now, more than ever.”

She called for urgent action to address climate change and biodiversity loss on a local and global scale.

H.E. Razan said that the UAE has long recognized the critical role that “natural capital” plays in the nation’s development and well-being.

That is why the UAE has committed to protecting 30 percent of its land and sea by 2030, by investing heavily in its fisheries and wildlife, she added.

“We need to protect our wild spaces, and restore our degraded habitats, so that nature can be our ally in our fight against climate change,” she said.

The UAE’s role as host of COP28 next year also presents an opportunity for the country to see climate change as a driver of its economic transformation.

H.E. Razan said Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which is in its 15th year, has demonstrated its capacity to convene, to communicate and to inspire collaboration on climate action issues and innovation.


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.


07 JUL 2023

Clean energy is “the road to progress” and COP28 President-Designate has an “extraordinary track record”, says Iceland’s former president on ADSW Talks

Iceland stands as a “model of sustainable energy” because 100 percent of its electricity comes from clean sources, the country’s former President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, told ADSW Talks.

Mr Grímsson, who also described his hopes for COP28, said things hadn’t always been this way.

“Over 80 percent of our energy came from imported oil and coal,” he said. “We are now number one in the world in terms of clean energy transformation, we can offer constant energy prices 10, 20 years into the future.”

He said the core lesson from Iceland is that “a comprehensive clean energy transformation is good business, it’s the foundation of our prosperity, it’s the foundation of our economic success, it’s the foundation of our entrepreneurship.”

Mr Grímsson added, “sustainability is the road to progress through prosperity, to good health to good education, to food. We can create a good life for everybody and save the future of the planet.”

Speaking about the task ahead for HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of Masdar and COP28 President-Designate, he said “Even if he is the CEO of an oil company, people should not forget that he is one of a very small group of leaders in the clean energy transformation with an extraordinary track record… and what’s extraordinary about Dr Sultan’s appointment is that he is willing to let himself come forward and let the world test his leadership, that takes courage…” and a “strong vision.”

Commenting on the effects of climate change in the Arctic, he said, “The climate challenge is fundamentally all about ice, the reason why we have these extreme weather patterns all over the world and rising sea levels is that the glaciers on the ice are melting… It’s the interaction between the ice and the rest of the world, the reason why the monsoon system is now in disarray.”

He sees the role of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week as pivotal in bringing all parties to the table. He added that ADSW had developed into “the biggest annual gathering of the sustainability leadership in the entire world.” It’s success, he said, is tied to its inclusive approach through, “the political leadership, the environmentalists and the scientists, but also the businesses and the young people, which is in itself very important.”

Reflecting on Masdar’s progress since it was first formed in 2006, Mr Grímsson said, “It is a symbol of the 21st century… we don’t have to wait decades for the technologies to be creative… we can do it, we don’t have to wait for new technology that will solve all these problems.”


31 MAY 2023

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) is important for Africa, Angola’s Minister of Energy and Water says on ADSW Talks

Bringing politicians, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and financiers together at ADSW is important if we are to tackle climate change, says Angola’s Minister of Energy and Water, Mr Hon Joao Baptista Borges.

“We have to congratulate the authorities of UAE on hosting sustainability week, which will undoubtedly become important to everyone,” he told ADSW Talks.

Countries like Angola, “need to come [to ADSW] not only to seek solutions but also to come and get funding, to get assistance so that we can undertake measures, actions and projects that aim to ensure that living conditions for future generations are as good as those we currently have”, he added.

The effects of climate change are particularly stark for Africa even though the continent generates a smaller carbon footprint compared to the rest of the developed world.

Countries like Angola in the southern region of Africa are already experiencing the effects of climate change with people forced to migrate from one region to another.

“Some die from these forced displacements and my wish is undoubtedly, to live in a country where, regardless of where we live, we have the conditions to ensure our survival,” said Mr Borges.

“Angolans want to live in a country where we have the possibility of preserving the climate as it is today or as it was a few years ago. We cannot let our world become uninhabitable for future generations, for our children and grandchildren.”

Mr Borges said his responsibility, as the person in charge of the electrical industry in Angola, was to work to allow all technological solutions and all investments that are adopted by the country to be low emission solutions.

In a recent speech to the UAE Climate Tech forum, HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Chairman of Masdar, and COP28 President-Designate, stressed that the global south should not be left behind in clean tech investment.

He pointed out that developing economies received only 20 per cent of clean tech investments in 2022, despite representing 70 percent of the world’s population.

“Technology is essential to helping the most vulnerable communities build capacities and leapfrog into a low carbon economic development model,” he said. “But to maximize technology adoption in these countries, we need public, multilateral and private sectors to supercharge climate finance, making it much more available, more accessible and more affordable.”