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.