24 JAN 2023
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023 Successfully Concludes Setting UAE on Road to COP28
• Held under the patronage of UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ADSW 2023 opening ceremony was attended by His Highness and 13 heads of state and prime ministers
• Across six days, a series of landmark agreements were signed, positioning the UAE as a leader on climate action
• Anchor event, ADSW Summit, covered the upcoming COP28, pathway to net zero, transformative tech, financing climate action, and food and energy security
• ADSW’s first Green Hydrogen Summit convened global leaders to discuss the development of the UAE hydrogen economy, green energy in Africa and hydrogen’s value chain
• ADSW 2023 hosted 36,000 participants from 170 countries, including 13 heads of state and more than 600 global speakers
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), successfully concluded its fifteenth edition, with a resounding show of commitment to climate action ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), to be held in the UAE later this year.
Under the theme of ‘United on Climate Action Towards COP28,’ the six-day event was the first global sustainability gathering of a critical year, and it served as the first official platform for the recently announced COP28 leadership team, led by H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Chairman of Masdar. In his keynote at the Opening Ceremony, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber called for the world to come together around COP28 to cooperate and collaborate and turn rhetoric into tangible results.
Global dignitaries, including 13 heads of state and a record number of attendees, convened to progress dialogue on the transition to a net-zero future. The event was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE who attended the opening ceremony with Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, and Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan delivering keynote speeches.
Championed by the UAE and its clean energy powerhouse, Masdar, ADSW 2023, also welcomed world leaders including: Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles; João Manuel Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola; Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia; Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana; Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; Surangel Whipps Jr., President of the Republic of Palau; Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique; Aziz Akhannouch, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco; Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; and Tiemoko Meyliet, Vice President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire.
During the opening ceremony, 10 winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize from five continents were recognized for their achievements in driving innovative and scalable sustainability solutions.
Other major events that took place throughout the week included the 13th IRENA Assembly, the supreme decision-making body of the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA members confirmed their readiness to support the UAE’s COP28 presidency and committed to leveraging international cooperation through the Agency’s global platform.
The Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, which annually convenes the world’s top energy and foreign policy decisionmakers hosted its seventh meeting at ADSW. Guests including H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy for the UK, John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and Bernard Mensah, President of International for Bank of America discussed the geopolitical and geo-economic implications of the energy transition.
The flagship ADSW Summit brought together global decision-makers and thought leaders in sustainability to discuss innovative pathways to net zero, practical solutions to finance climate action, and transformative tech for food and energy security. The event featured past and present leaders of COP, including H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, H.E. Laurent Fabius, President of France’s Constitutional Council, H.E. Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and COP27 President, and Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. Collectively they highlighted the need to build on past successes and leverage the COP process to deliver on the Paris Agreement, ahead of the UAE’s hosting of COP28 and the highly anticipated Global Stocktake.
The inaugural Green Hydrogen Summit was also held during ADSW. Hosted by Masdar’s green hydrogen business, the Summit convened more than 50 leading global hydrogen players, gathering key representatives across regulation, policy and the green hydrogen value chain.
Masdar, the host of ADSW, announced multiple global projects and agreements showing it is on track to meet the target of 100 GW of clean energy by 2030. These included up to 5GW of renewable energy projects with three African nations under the Etihad 7 UAE-backed funding umbrella.
Also announced were agreements with the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Energy to develop renewable projects with a capacity of up to 1 GW, an agreement with the Kazakhstan Investment Development Fund to develop a wind power plant with up to 1 GW capacity, and an agreement with Azerbaijan state oil company SOCCAR to develop up to 4 GW of renewable energy projects.
A first wave of investment of US$20 billion was also announced as part of the US-UAE Partnership to Accelerate Clean Energy (PACE), with Masdar and a consortium of US private investors leading the funding and development of 15 GW of clean energy projects in the US by 2035.
ADSW provided a platform for engaging and empowering young people and women in sustainability in the lead-up to COP28. The Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) Hub brought together more than 3,000 leaders, experts, entrepreneurs, and young delegates to discuss ways to advance youth engagement across climate action. The annual Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Forum hosted influential figures from around the world for a roundtable discussion on ‘Empowering Women to Lead Climate Adaptation’.
Returning to an in-person format this year, Abu Dhabi Global Market hosted the fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum to conclude the week’s events. It convened 50 global institutional investors, government leaders, regulators, and financial institutions.
ADSW was supported by the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, COP28 UAE, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, TAQA, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, Mubadala Investment Company, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, General Electric, The Climate Pledge, Investcorp, Expo City Dubai, TotalEnergies, Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau, Schneider Electric, 1PointFive, Fertiglobe, PepsiCo, Emirates Development Bank, HSBC, Baker Hughes, BEEAH, UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Ne’ma, Emirates Water and Electricity Company, McKinsey and Etihad Airways.
16 JAN 2023
UAE President attends launch of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023
The inauguration, which was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), was also attended by Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea; Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan; Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles; João Manuel Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola; Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia; Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana; Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; Surangel Whipps Jr., President of the Republic of Palau; Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique; Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania; Aziz Akhannouch, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco; and Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Tiemoko Meyliet, Vice President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire.
H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; and a number of sheikhs and senior officials also attended the opening.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed heads of state, policymakers, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs to ADSW 2023, which will explore issues and aim to find solutions to the challenges the world faces as it looks to a more sustainable future for future generations.
He stressed that ADSW is a global platform, reflecting the UAE's commitment to convening the international community and ensuring collaboration in driving sustainable economic and social development.
The UAE is making intensive efforts to find feasible and pragmatic solutions to climate change issues, His Highness said, stressing that its strategic initiative to achieve Net Zero by 2050 was a natural progression of the comprehensive approach to sustainability the company has followed since its inception, inspired by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision. The UAE’s Founding Father laid the groundwork for building a prosperous and sustainable future through this commitment to protecting nature and preserving the environment.
His Highness the President stated that ADSW this year is an essential step towards the UAE hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). The country’s selection to host COP28 reflected the UAE’s continued efforts to promote practical climate action, sustainable economic development, and progress towards desired global goal, he said.
The opening ceremony began with the national anthem of the UAE, followed by a film on the importance of effective climate action and the need for concerted global efforts. The film included statements from global leaders and officials calling for urgent and serious action to confront the problem of climate change and strengthen collective action, in order to achieve a sustainable future.
During his keynote speech, Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, expressed his deepest gratitude for His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for inviting him to ADSW, and stressed the depth of the bilateral relations between the UAE and Azerbaijan. He also praised the UAE’s remarkable growth trajectory, particularly in the sustainability and renewable energy sectors.
President Aliyev highlighted his country’s ambition to strengthen its reliance on clean energy sources as an essential part of national development efforts, and to contribute to the global drive for a more environmentally friendly economy. He referred to the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Masdar and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) for the joint development of renewable energy sources, which aim to produce 10 GW of renewable energy in the long term.
ADSW 2023, hosted by the UAE's clean energy powerhouse Masdar, features a series of key events throughout the week that seek to engage all sections of society. It will be held under the theme of ‘United on Climate Action Towards COP28’ and will convene heads of state, policymakers, industry leaders, investors, youth, and entrepreneurs for a series of high-level sessions focused on key priorities for sustainable development ahead of the UN conference. Hosted by the UAE from 30th November to 12th December, 2023, COP28 aims to leverage the country’s strategic position as a connector between north and south, east and west, and its global position to facilitate dialogue and conversations that enable a consensus for the most pressing climate challenges of our time.
Delegates at ADSW will look to set global climate agenda priorities for COP28 – which will cement the UAE’s position as a bridge connecting the global North, South, East and West – and will discuss the need for all groups across society to be engaged, and determine how to leverage outcomes from the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement.
The ADSW Summit, the two-day flagship event of ADSW, focuses on a wide range of important topics, including food and water security, energy savings, decarbonisation of industries, health and climate adaptation.
ADSW 2023 will also see the arrival of a new platform for the global energy sector through the launch of the inaugural Green Hydrogen Summit, which will highlight green hydrogen’s role in the process of decarbonising key sectors and supporting countries' efforts in the journey to net zero.
ADSW 2023 seeks to involve young people in climate action through the Youth 4 Sustainability Forum and Hub, annually engaging 3,000 young men and women. ADSW will also include the annual forum of Masdar’s Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy platform (WiSER), aiming to give women more space to discuss sustainability, and ‘Innovate’ A Masdar City Initiative to showcase the latest global technologies. In addition, ADSW will focus on startups and SMEs, with more than 70 companies exhibiting, alongside Masdar’s ‘Innovate’ initiative which will showcase the latest groundbreaking technologies globally.
ADSW began with the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Energy Forum of the Atlantic Council on 14th and 15th January. The ADSW Summit takes place on 16th and 17th January, and the World Future Energy Summit, the “Innovate” initiative, and the Youth Center for Sustainability takes place on 16th to 18th January.
The (WiSER) summit takes place on 17th January, the Green Hydrogen Summit on 18th January, and the Abu Dhabi Forum for Sustainable Finance on 19th January, with the week concluding with the festival in Masdar City.