19 JAN 2019
UAE profile as a global sustainability leader strengthens as Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week continues to break records
The 2019 edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week successfully concluded on January 19, with the region’s largest sustainability gathering once again achieving new milestones for attendance, participation and business deals.
To align more closely with the UAE Vision 2021 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, ADSW 2019 took place under the theme “Industry Convergence: Advancing Sustainable Development” and on the six pillars of Energy & Climate Change, Water, Future Mobility, Space, Biotechnology and Tech for Good.
An estimated US$11 billion in project announcements and business partnerships were announced during the week, with a focus on opportunities in India.
Underlining the key role played by youth and entrepreneurship, two dozen clean-tech startups participating in the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) also received investment pledges of US$53.9 million, more than double the amount committed at its first event last year. CLIX is hosted by the World Future Energy Summit, the anchor exhibition of ADSW, and supported by the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment.
No fewer than 13 heads of state attended ADSW 2019, which began with the general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) from January 12-13 and concluded with the two-day Festival at Masdar City.
With 2019 declared the ‘Year of Tolerance’ in the UAE, ADSW provided a unique opportunity to promote the country’s inherent values of tolerance, acceptance and understanding, while carrying forward the late Sheikh Zayed’s rich legacy of inclusion.
By bringing 38,000 people together from 175 countries, representing a diversity of cultures and backgrounds, ADSW 2019 helped reinforce the UAE’s position as a haven of tolerance and a hub for opportunity and creativity.
Reflecting the critical importance of the developing world in mitigating climate change, ADSW this year welcomed the heads of state of Angola, Armenia, Comoros, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Montenegro, Namibia, Samoa and Tuvalu. IRENA bid farewell to its outgoing director general Adnan Amin, while welcoming his successor Francesco La Camera.
The President of China, Xi Jinping, was also represented by His Excellency Yang Jiechi, Special Envoy and Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, witnessed the Official Opening Ceremony of ADSW on January 14, together with the Awards Ceremony of the Zayed Sustainability Prize.
In keeping with the expanded mandate of ADSW beyond renewable energy, the Prize honoured winners in the five categories of health, food, water, energy and global high schools.
Since awarding the prize for the first time in 2009, its winners have had a direct and indirect impact on the lives of more than 307 million people around the world and have been able to contribute significantly towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 1 billion tons. They have also saved 1.2 billion megawatts of clean energy, while expanding access to energy to 27.5 million people in some of the poorest communities in Africa and Asia.
Now established as one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, ADSW hosted more than 850 exhibiting companies from 40 countries this year, as well as 180 government ministers and 300 conference speakers.
ADSW also welcomed several new and high-profile additions to its week-long programme, including the Future Sustainability Summit, the inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum, hosted by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and the WiSER Forum, a Masdar-led initiative dedicated to the advancement of women in the sustainability sector.
The Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum witnessed ADGM launch the Abu Dhabi Declaration on Sustainable Finance to position the MENA region as a hub for investment into the sector. The announcement was well timed with Saudi Arabia energy minister Khaled Al Falih announcing at ADSW that the Kingdom intends to deliver as much as 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
Once again, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (‘Masdar’) was proud to host Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. This year’s event coincided with a number of key business announcements, including the selection of the consortium led by EDF Renewables and Masdar to develop Saudi Arabia’s and the region’s largest wind energy project, the 400-megawatt Dumat Al Jandal wind farm.
Masdar also announced its entry into North America, with the acquisition of a stake in two wind projects in Texas and New Mexico, a strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Power Corporation and Mubadala Investment Company related to new power and water infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, and the unveiling of the third cycle of development under the US$50 million Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, the largest clean energy initiative in the Caribbean.
14 JAN 2019
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed attend Opening Ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019
- Global heads of state, senior UAE government and business leaders convene for launch of the largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East.
- ADSW 2019 takes place under the theme ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development’ and the six pillars of Energy and Climate Change, Water, Future Mobility, Space, Biotechnology and Tech for Good
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 14 January 2019: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, today welcomed global heads of state, local dignitaries and business leaders to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019.
Attending the opening ceremony for ADSW 2019, which is being held under the theme of “Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development”, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said sustainability was a key pillar in the UAE based on the legacy of sustainability established by the nation’s Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is a platform that brings together the whole world in the UAE to discuss responsible and serious efforts and innovative ideas aimed at building a sustainable world that will ensure future generations a stable and secure life of energy, water and food,” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said. “Supporting all efforts to achieve concrete practical steps to ensure the implementation of sustainability objectives remains a fundamental approach in our country.
"We look forward to working with our partners around the world to find the solutions that will help us achieve the happiness and comfort of our people and ensure their future," His Highness added.
His Highness Sheikh ohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that under the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE supported global efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and continued to play a leading role in stimulating various initiatives that served humanity.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed stressed that it was the role of the UAE to establish a culture of sustainability in society and to empower women and young people to continue the process of sustainability in all sectors and at all levels.
He pointed out that Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019 represented a platform for stimulating global dialogue and mobilising energies to develop strategies and frameworks to achieve sustainable development, while this year's focus was on integrating sectors and uniting efforts to reach solutions to meet global challenges.
Distinguished guests included His Excellency President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Republic of Mauritania; HE Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia; HE Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta; the President of the Republic of Mali; HE Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda; HE Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia; HE Milo Ðukanović, President of the Republic of Montenegro; and HE Yang Jiechi, Special Envoy to the President of China, Xi Jinping, and Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China.
Delivering the welcome address to the ADSW Opening Ceremony, His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, said: “The UAE’s pursuit of renewables is a natural extension of our existing energy leadership and commitment to sustainability. It is a reflection of our leaders’ dedication to addressing global challenges, in close partnership with the global community. We are building bridges across borders and bringing the public and private sector together around a single common cause.
“As we enter the fourth industrial age, artificial intelligence, big data and the internet of things are multiplying efficiencies and redefining possibilities, across each and every industry. This era of industrial convergence has the potential to completely transform the sustainability landscape. And at this year’s ADSW we are focusing on the symbiotic relationship between sectors to create lasting and tangible impact.
“The UAE is committed to partnering with the international community in the pursuit of sustainable development. We are committed to advancing research and development of promising and commercially viable forms of clean technology. And we are committed to investing in the next generation of sustainability innovators. This commitment is embedded in the defining principles of a progressive, inclusive, tolerant and forward-thinking United Arab Emirates.”
HE Yang Jiechi, Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China, also delivered a keynote speech, stressing that China would work with the UAE and the international community to fully implement the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is an important forum where development philosophies and brilliant ideas are shared,” he said. “Through this platform, the world sees a high-yielding oil producer that keeps fuelling the global economy and an incubator of new development ideas that provide intellectual impetus to human progress.
“The late [UAE] President, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, understood the importance of planning for the future as the oil would eventually end. It is exactly this kind of vision for a sustainable future that has shaped the pioneering spirit of the UAE government today and made the country a vanguard of sustainable development in the region.
“For today’s China, the pursuit of green, low-carbon, sustainable development has become a responsibility essential for the building of a shared future for mankind. It is imperative that all parties pull strength to precipitate a scientific and technological revolution in the energy sector as that is the only way to bring about a disruptive technological breakthrough needed for us to attain net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“China advocates a win-win, equitable and balanced level government system in climate change and regards it as the first possible example of a community with a shared future where all parties enjoy intertwining interests, shared responsibilities and great harmony.”
The opening ceremony was followed by a high-level luncheon hosted by senior government officials and business leaders in the UAE and brought together some of the world's top sustainability leaders from the public, private and academic sectors to discuss trends and measures to promote sustainability around the world.
This year’s edition of ADSW will explore how digitalisation and innovative technologies are converging to provide new opportunities and solutions to drive economic growth, sustainable development and prosperity.
To align more closely with the UAE Vision 2021 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ADSW has widened its scope beyond renewable energy. ADSW 2019 will address global sustainability challenges and opportunities on the six pillars of Energy and Climate Change, Water, Future Mobility, Space, Biotechnology and Tech for Good. The topics of Youth and Digitalisation will inform each of these pillars and the programmes running throughout ADSW.
ADSW’s anchor event, WFES, will feature more than 850 exhibiting companies from 40 countries. Under the umbrella of WFES, the inaugural Future Summit is being held on 15-16 January, bringing together leaders from government, the non-profit community, institutional investors and the private sector to debate accelerating the transition to a sustainable society.
The first Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF) will also be held during ADSW 2019, and is designed to focus on increasing the adoption of sustainable financing and directing capital towards activities with positive economic, social and environmental impacts, setting the stage for Abu Dhabi Global Market to unveil its plans to create a robust and global sustainable finance hub.
The Youth 4 Sustainability Hub (Y4S) will provide a platform for students, young professionals, innovators and entrepreneurs to become more educated about the future of the sustainability industry. As part of the Hub, CLIX (the Climate Innovations Exchange) will again connect youth, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors to enable partnerships that will power climate change solutions through knowledge, innovation and funding.
This year, the expanded CLIX programme has received a record 811 applications from across 83 counties in categories including Sustainability in Space, Future of Energy, and Future of Food & Agriculture.
Meanwhile, the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform will host its annual Forum on 16 January under the theme “The Role of Women in Advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
23 MAY 2018
ADSW to explore role of industry convergence in accelerating sustainable development
Abu Dhabi, May 23, 2018: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, has announced its theme for its next edition, which takes place from 12-19 January 2019.
ADSW 2019, under the theme titled ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development’, will explore how industries are adapting to the digital transformation under way in the global economy, and the new opportunities it is presenting to address global sustainability challenges.
At a suhoor reception for UAE dignitaries, foreign ambassadors and senior business leaders from more than 37 countries, the Zayed Sustainability Prize also introduced its five new award categories in health, food, energy, water and global high schools, while seeking to encourage both local and international support during its 11th annual awards cycle.
ADSW is widening its scope to align more closely with the UAE Vision 2021 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The pillars of ADSW now address Energy and Climate Change, Water, the Future of Mobility, Space, Biotechnology, Tech for Good, Youth and Digitalisation.
“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has grown into one of the world’s most influential sustainability platforms, with each year being more successful than the last,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, the host of ADSW. "This growth is a reflection of the increased importance of sustainability internationally, as well as the impact of ADSW in promoting knowledge exchange and action on the most critical issues shaping the sustainability agenda.
“We welcome the expanded pillars of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week as a means to attract an even broader range of stakeholders to join the sustainability discussion and to innovate new approaches to addressing the challenges of climate change, resource scarcity and energy access,” Al Ramahi added.
The theme of digitalisation runs across the 2019 event. The rise of big data, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT) is allowing the global community to gain deeper insights into how our electricity grids, transportation systems and climate function, while presenting additional opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration. With the world generating more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, digitisation is leading to more informed decision making and improved approaches to sustainability.
Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director for Brand & Strategic Initiatives at Masdar and Director, Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The rise of big data is revealing ever deeper insights into how the critical systems of our society and economy, from energy to health and to transport, function and interact. Digital convergence enabled by artificial intelligence offers an unprecedented opportunity to further accelerate sustainable development through the positive impact of technological innovation. Weare excited about the potential of technology to drive human progress as technology used for good can bring us a step closer to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
To ensure the sustainability discussion is maintained all year around, ADSW will host a series of activities throughout the year, in the UAE and internationally. ADSW 2019 will also retain the emphasis of January’s event on youth, with jobs for the future a particularly relevant topic for young people.
Guest speaker at the Masdar-hosted suhoor, His Excellency Frode Mauring, UN’s Resident Co-ordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, welcomed the expanding scope of ADSW 2019 and the evolution of the Zayed Sustainability Prize.
“The UAE has embraced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from the beginning, and has shown commitment to leaving no one behind,” he said. “Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, however, will not be achieved by government efforts alone. The active participation of NGOs, the private sector and even individuals working relentlessly to sustain our planet for the future generations is needed.”
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018 hosted a series of youth-related initiatives including the Student Exclusive, the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) and the Youth Circle. All three will be part of the expanded ADSW programme next year.
ADSW 2018 was the most successful event to date, attracting 38,000 attendees from 175 countries and more than 300 high-level speakers.
ADSW 2019 is expected to build on these achievements by bringing together policy makers, industry specialists, technology experts and future sustainability leaders to address the global opportunity of industry convergence.
21 JAN 2018
ADSW 2018 draws to a close after delivering on promise to “Drive the global energy transformation”
- More than 180 Government Ministers and 500 business leaders convened at Opening Ceremony to address key issues defining the sustainability agenda
- More than US $15bn of business deals announced during the week, with over 850 companies showcasing their expertise during World Future Energy Summit
- Most inclusive sustainability gathering inspired youth to be future industry leaders
Abu Dhabi, January 21, 2017: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2018, hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, came to a successful conclusion on 20 January after further cementing its role as the world’s most inclusive sustainability gathering. The event brought together more than 38,000 attendees representing 175 countries, ranging from Heads of State and leaders of industry to students and local communities.
Under the theme of ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’, this year’s edition of ADSW addressed key global trends which are impacting the shift to sustainable energy, including climate change, urbanisation, and digitisation. Youth were a key focus throughout the week, with a series of high profile events aimed at ensuring young people are equipped to be future sustainability leaders.
ADSW 2018 began on 13-14 January with the sixth General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency. The Opening Ceremony took place on 15 January in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. Also present were HE Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the President of Mauritania, Danny Faure, the President of Seychelles, and His Royal Highness Prince Al-Hussein Bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as well 500 senior business executives from 150 countries, representing a 20% increase on 2017.
HH Sheikh Mohammed announced the focus on youth at the Opening Ceremony, and a series of youth-focused events took place throughout the week, including a dedicated Youth Panel, a Youth Circle and the Student Exclusive. This year’s Student Exclusive was held over three days, and was integrated as part of the first Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX), in order to inspire and enthuse young people about new sustainable technologies and the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation.
As part of the World Future Energy Summit, under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, CLIX proved to be huge success, achieving its aim of providing emerging entrepreneurs with a platform to forge partnerships and secure funding from leading global investors. In total, a quarter of the 27 semi-finalists for CLIX were from the UAE, demonstrating the strong potential for home-grown entrepreneurs to help drive industry innovation.
Throughout the week of ADSW, 22 global events were held including eight exhibitions and special zones; five conferences; six leadership and policy events; and three community events. Commercial deals worth more than US$ 15 billion were announced, while more than 10,000 business meetings were organised, cementing ADSW’s reputation, both as a catalyst for clean-tech innovation and a global platform for business development and industry growth.
This was further demonstrated by the participation at ADSW of major delegations from Asia, including more than 30 companies from China, as well as strong representation from India and Japan. For the second successive year, the week also attracted strong participation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with more than 18 companies and organisations represented.
As host of ADSW, Masdar played a prominent role throughout the week, underlining its position as a global industry leader which is supporting UAE’s drive to establish a resilient, knowledge-based economy. The company’s executives announced multiple business deals and memorandums of understanding, while its experts shared their knowledge and thought leadership across the conference and event programmes.
The World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the anchor event of ADSW, celebrated its 11th edition this year from 15-18 January. This took place alongside the sixth International Water Summit which is held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority and the fifth EcoWaste exhibition, held in partnership with TADWEER – Centre of Waste Management, Abu Dhabi. International pavilions were hosted within the exhibitions from 20 different countries.
The tenth edition of the Awards Ceremony for the Zayed Future Energy Prize took place alongside the Opening Ceremony, honouring the achievements of winners from across the world for their leadership in renewable energy and sustainability. Once again, this important event attracted significant media attention, particularly in the countries of the nine winners.
Held for the third consecutive year, ADSW also hosted the Women in Sustainability, Environment & Renewable Energy (WiSER) conference, which advocates the role of women in building a sustainable future. To round off a very busy and successful week, the Festival at Masdar City attracted thousands of attendees to enjoy fun, food and live entertainment for the whole community.
17 JAN 2018
Next generation of sustainability leaders join the Student Exclusive at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 17, 2018 – Hundreds of local and international students are congregating in Abu Dhabi this week for the Student Exclusive (16-18 January), the annual youth event which takes place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) to inspire young people’s engagement and involvement in issues relating to clean energy and sustainable development.
Youth is a core topic throughout this year’s ADSW, and the Student Exclusive is one of a series of high profile events which is working to empower young people and ensure they are equipped with the skills and tools they need to chart new pathways towards a more sustainable future.
The programme for the Student Exclusive was opened with a keynote address by His Excellency Dr Majid Sultan Al Qasimi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Food Diversity Sector at the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. He said: “2018 is the Year of Zayed, and his work was focused on agriculture and greening the desert. It is with this vision and determination that the CLIX event is trying to bring people who believe they can make a difference and those people who want to enable this difference. I aspire to seeing the innovative and creative ideas we see here today become part of our everyday reality.”
For the first time this year, the Student Exclusive is running run for three days instead of one, with an exciting programme which offers talks, breakout sessions and exhibits. Key speakers have included Toby Harward, Abu Dhabi head of the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR, and Tim Wilkinson, Senior Advisor for Hyperloop One, who discussed the company’s innovative transportation concept involving pods that could enable people to travel at speeds of over 1,000 kph using low-pressure tubes and magnetic levitation.
The Student Exclusive is located within the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) area – a unique marketplace which is providing emerging entrepreneurs in the areas of sustainable agriculture, clean mobility and air quality with the chance to forge partnerships and secure funding from leading global investors. CLIX entrepreneurs have been giving regular presentations about their business ideas as part of the Student Exclusive, thereby helping to inspire future generations of innovators and business leaders in the UAE and across the world.
Dr Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director of Brand and Strategic Initiatives at Masdar, the host of ADSW, said: “Engaging and empowering young people is part of the UAE vision for continuing the legacy of sustainable development and environmental protection which was established by our founding father, Sheikh Zayed. ADSW is supporting this vision, not only in the UAE but across the world. The Student Exclusive is a fantastic platform for inspiring youth and opening their eyes to the potential for new technologies to create a more sustainable future. By empowering young people today, we can help drive the industry forward for decades to come.”
The Student Exclusive event is this year being hosted by 35 Student Exclusive Ambassadors − senior high school students from Abu Dhabi who were chosen after a rigorous selection process in which they had to provide evidence of their strong interest in sustainability, as well as their willingness to learn and share knowledge with others.
The one-year Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme, which is supported by the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), is training and supporting the students to help drive the sustainability agenda across their peer group in the UAE and overseas. At the end of the programme, the student judged to have excelled the most will win an internship at a major international technology company.
Further youth activities during ADSW have included an international Youth Panel during the opening ceremony and a Youth Circle, in which around 150 young people discussed how climate change influences the UAE’s thinking about cities, mobility and resources. As part of the session, they identified ways for UAE youth to accelerate awareness and behavioural changes to address climate change, while encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
The final two days of ADSW (19-20 January) will see the return of The Festival at Masdar City, guaranteeing a memorable finale to the week. Dedicated to raising community awareness of sustainability, The Festival will be bringing in the crowds with food trucks, live entertainment, and educational games and activities. There will be different experience zones, including a souk selling local and organic produce as well as an innovation hub filled with high-tech gadgets.
Entrance is free to The Festival at Masdar City, open on Friday from 10:00-22:00 and on Saturday from 10:00-20:00.
The full list of CLIX semi-finalists is available on the World Future Energy Summit website: https://www.worldfutureenergysummit.com/CLIX.
For the full ADSW 2018 calendar, visit www.abudhabisustainabilityweek.com.
15 JAN 2018
HH Mohammed bin Zayed attends the Opening Ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week
HH Mohammed bin Zayed attends the Opening Ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week
Abu Dhabi, UAE, January 15, 2018 – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, today stated that His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, President of the UAE, has always guided the UAE towards educating young people on the principles of sustainable development, in line with the vision and approach of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
HH Sheikh Mohammed stressed this as he attended the Opening Ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which is being held this year under the theme ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’. ADSW 2018 will include government ministers, representatives of international organisations and industry experts, among more than 35,000 participants representing 175 countries.
HH Sheikh Mohammed welcomed policy and business leaders from across the world as they came together to discuss global sustainability challenges, to engage in constructive dialogue and agree viable and effective strategies for a more sustainable future. The ceremony was witnessed by HE Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the President of Mauritania, Danny Faure, the President of Seychelles, and His Royal Highness Prince Al-Hussein Bin Abdullah II, Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as well representatives of other countries.
HH Sheikh Mohammed pointed out that the focus of this year's ADSW on youth confirms the UAE’s confidence and belief in the role of young people as the cornerstone for maintaining the momentum of sustainable development. He stressed that the future cannot be discussed without ensuring an effective role for young people, including investment in developing their talents and equipping them with the skills to be sustainability leaders.
He stressed that Abu Dhabi is committed to continuing its pioneering efforts to ensure energy security through a diverse mix that includes hydrocarbons and clean and renewable resources, while the provision of strategic platforms such as the World Future Energy Summit and the International Water Summit, which is focused on water and food security, enables key stakeholders to discuss the issues defining the sustainability agenda.
The ceremony began with the national anthem of the UAE and included the participation of UAE student Alia Al Mansouri, winner of the "Genes in Space" competition, as an outstanding example of how talented UAE youth are actively helping to deliver practical solutions to sustainability challenges.
Delivering the welcome address to the ADSW Opening Ceremony, His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, said:
“As scientific breakthroughs become every-day reality, we must take full advantage of the energy, ingenuity and optimism of our young people. Investing in youth is always imperative, but this generation, the first to be digitally native, is very special. They are uniquely equipped to adapt to the rapid advances of this era. This year’s ADSW is therefore intentionally focused on “generation next”. Their outlook is not defined by the limits of the past, but liberated by the possibilities of the future.”
“Today we have the means and the technology to achieve even greater progress on the three fundamental pillars of sustainability: Economic, Social and Environmental,” Dr. Sultan added. “First and foremost, Artificial Intelligence is beginning to rival human intelligence, increasing productivity and stimulating smart growth. Ultra high speed internet is collapsing distances, linking businesses, connecting families and building virtual communities. And big predictive data is beginning to transform the energy sector, enhancing efficiency and optimizing resource use.”
The event included a recorded video address by renowned physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, who stressed the importance of engaging and supporting future sustainability leaders. This was followed by a diverse international Youth Panel in which representatives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, the USA and South Korea discussed their ideas about climate, energy and economic development. Despite their different cultures and backgrounds, they were united by a shared ambition to help create a more sustainable future.
The Opening Ceremony was followed by a high level lunch hosted by senior UAE government and business leaders, providing a platform for around 150 of the world’s foremost sustainability leaders from government, business and academia to engage in networking and discussion, while agreeing on the actions needed to meet increasing global energy demand growth.
The afternoon programme included a series of high level panel discussions, beginning with an opening address from His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and closed by H.E. Miroslav Lajčák, the 72nd President of the United Nations General Assembly and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Slovak Republic.
Industry and policy leaders who participated in the panel discussions included His Excellency Shri Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Republic of India, and His Excellency Adnan Z. Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Addressing key global trends that are impacting the shift to sustainable energy, including climate change, urbanisation, and digitization, ADSW is this week hosting major delegations from China, India, Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as 650 exhibiting companies from 40 countries.
Numerous activities during the week are aimed at engaging young people, including the annual Student Exclusive, a Youth Circle, and the Student Ambassadors Programme. In addition, the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX), which is being held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, will provide emerging entrepreneurs and innovators with the chance to forge partnerships with leading global investors.
ADSW 2018 began on January 13-14 with the sixth General Assembly of IRENA. The anchor event of ADSW, from January 16-18, is the 11th World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the world’s foremost exhibition and conference dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. Other key events will include the 6th International Water Summit, the 5th EcoWaste exhibition and conference; the third UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science Awards ceremony; and The Festival at Masdar City.
For the full ADSW 2018 calendar, visit www.abudhabisustainabilityweek.com.
28 DEC 2017
Student Ambassador programme looks to empower tomorrow’s sustainability leaders
- Part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme will empower its participants to play an active role in driving a sustainable future
- The most outstanding ambassador will win an internship at a major international technology company
A group of 35 senior high school students from across Abu Dhabi have secured places in a new year-long ambassador programme which aims to inspire and engage UAE youth to become the next generation of sustainability leaders, it was announced today.
The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) and supported by the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), will provide training and support to enable its participants to help in driving the sustainability agenda across their peer group in the UAE and overseas. The programme supports the mandate of ADSW to help empower young people, in line with the UAE Vision 2021, by building on their creativity and talent so they can shoulder responsibilities, innovate and contribute to the welfare of the UAE's community.
Among their roles, the carefully selected ambassadors will be the hosts of the next Student Exclusive event during ADSW in January 2018 – giving them the opportunity to play an active role in the largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East. The Student Exclusive is an annual youth-oriented event that takes place in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) among other key ADSW activities. It will run for three days, with an exciting programme which focuses on sustainability and offers creative activities to encourage students’ involvement in areas such as renewable energy advancement, water and energy efficiency, innovative clean technologies and entrepreneurship.
His Excellency Dr. Yousef Al Sheryani, Acting Undersecretary at the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, stressed the importance of empowering youth with leadership and project management skills that are necessary to driving a sustainable and eco-friendly economy forward. “The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme is a pivotal initiative that will enhance community participation and effective leadership skills amongst students as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. Such skills will further support students in their future career paths, while preparing them to become international ambassador representatives for the UAE.”
Dr. Al Sheryani further added that the shortlisted participants in the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme have been selected based on their hard work and dedication, entrepreneurship skills and interest to excel. “We are proud of our students, whose progress will drive the nation’s economy further, through bringing about progress and further development in areas such as renewable energy, water and energy efficiency, innovative clean technologies and entrepreneurship skills. I am confident that through the programme our youth will build on their current knowledge and come-up with eco-friendly and sustainable solutions that will benefit the nation and the world.”
Shaima Al Jarman, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the host of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, adds: “Masdar is pleased to be managing the Student Exclusive Ambassadors Programme, and we already have held several training sessions in Masdar City. It is very rewarding to see the continuing growth in understanding and passion for sustainability issues among young people in the UAE. The Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme attracted fantastic entries from throughout Abu Dhabi, which made the selection process extremely challenging for the judging panel. Our winners are full of pride at the opportunity they’re being given, and if they can share just a small portion of their energy and enthusiasm they will have an impact which reaches across the world.”
After ADSW, the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme will enter its second phase, which includes an “eco-thon” in which the ambassadors can draw on their wider networks of peers to deliver sustainability related projects. At the end of the programme, an overall winner who has excelled throughout the year will be rewarded with a UAE-based internship at leading international technology company.
Participants in the Student Exclusive Ambassador Programme were chosen after a rigorous selection process which drew entries from public and private sector schools across Abu Dhabi emirate. To be shortlisted they had to provide evidence of their interest in sustainability, as well as their willingness to learn and desire to share knowledge with others.
The training of the Student Exclusive Ambassadors started in November with a series of workshops to teach them more about sustainability, while equipping them with the skills and knowledge they will need for their roles at the Student Exclusive during ADSW.
20 DEC 2017
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018 to focus on Driving the Global Energy Transformation
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: 20 Dec, 2017 – Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the next edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) will focus on ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’, it was announced today at a press conference to launch the event, which takes place from 13-20 January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The transition to sustainable energy sources will transform the way we power our economies, cities and businesses, requiring the global community to come together to build partnerships, share knowledge and deploy large scale projects. ADSW 2018 will therefore address key global trends that are impacting the shift to sustainable energy: Climate Change, Urbanisation, and Digitisation.
In order to support the next stage of the global energy transformation, one of the focus areas during ADSW 2018 will be youth, including a dedicated Youth Panel after the Opening Ceremony on 15 January, the annual Student Exclusive, a Youth Circle which is being run in collaboration with Ministry of Youth Affairs, and the Student Ambassadors Programme. In addition, the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX), which is being held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, will provide emerging entrepreneurs and innovators with the chance to forge partnerships with leading global investors.
His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, delivered a keynote speech at the press conference in which he stressed the importance of encouraging and inspiring future sustainability leaders.
His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi said: "Focusing on the youth and involving them in all sectors has been an important and vital aspect in the UAE since its inception. This value had been instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and has been recognized by the wise leadership as one of its top priorities. This is also clearly evident in the effective involvement of youth in various jobs across the public and private sectors and their contribution in developing and implementing future plans."
"Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week reinforces the country's strong position in the clean energy, climate and environment sectors and highlights its efforts to develop local talent and attract global expertise to find effective solutions to the most important challenges facing the international community", His Excellency added.
Dr. Al Zeyoudi indicated that the CLIX forum is one of the key and most important platforms within the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which will provide a competitive environment that brings together investors and innovative entrepreneurs in an effort to boost partnerships and innovation, as well as transform creative ideas into reality.
"The invitation we had extended during the launch of the forum initiative last October has been very well received, where 312 candidates from 65 countries sent 364 submissions throughout the initiative. These submissions focused on three core issues: air pollution, innovation in agriculture and innovation in transportation. I’m especially proud to see that the bulk of these submissions came from the UAE, in yet another validation of a local environment that fosters excellence and innovation. Through CLIX, we aspire to unlock funding of AED 1.1 million for individual entrepreneurs, and AED 12 million for owners of group projects with business expertise", His Excellency elaborated.
Adnan Z. Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), told attendees at the press conference: “The world has entered into a new age of energy transformation driven by falling costs of renewables and their clear social, economic and environmental benefits. These trends, which will be highlighted at the upcoming Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly, are proving that renewable energy is an engine for economic growth and job creation, which is of particular relevance at this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, given its focus on youth and development of the UAE knowledge economy.”
Also at the press conference, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), the host of ADSW, said: “The next edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will be historic because it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, as well as the tenth anniversary of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which was established in honour of his legacy. Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will once again provide a global platform to harness knowledge, helping nations and communities address our shared sustainability challenges effectively, affordably and collaboratively.”
ADSW, one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, is aimed at enabling the global community to realise viable and effective strategies to mitigate climate change – at the heart of which is the global transformation to low carbon energy solutions. The shift will determine the way we power our economies, cities and businesses in the future, requiring the global community to come together to build partnerships, share knowledge and deploy large scale projects.
On its theme of ‘Driving the Global Energy Transformation’, ADSW 2018 will come following a year of further steep declines in the cost of renewables. Combined with advances in other technologies, such as battery storage and electric vehicles, the opportunities for the global community to adopt commercially viable solutions to mitigate climate change are stronger than ever.
ADSW 2018 will provide a unique opportunity to hear from global leaders and network with policy makers, thought leaders, decision makers, experts, scientists, business leaders and academics to discuss, debate and ultimately address the energy and sustainability challenges of the future.
The event will bring together trade delegations from across the world, including strong participation from major Asian economies such as China, India and Japan, which have emerged as global leaders in innovation and deployment of renewable energy and clean technologies. The topic of Easternisation will be among the major social, economic and environmental trends to be debated during ADSW 2018. Other key topics during the week will include mobility, sustainable cities, energy efficiency and sustainable water.
The week’s anchor event, the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), will host more than 600 companies from 40 countries. At the Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly, government officials from more than 150 countries will gather to set the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition. ADSW 2018 will also see the return of important co-located events that promote a complete cycle of sustainability, including the 6th International Water Summit, held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), and the 5th EcoWASTE exhibition and conference, held in partnership with Tadweer, The Center of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi (CWM).
ADSW 2017 exhibitions and conferences hosted around 35,000 attendees from 175 countries. That represented a threefold increase since its inaugural edition in 2008, demonstrating the growth and maturity of the green economy, as well as the event’s success in supporting government and business to further advance the sector.
To learn more, visit www.adsw.ae or follow #ADSW and @ADSWagenda on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
22 JAN 2017
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 delivers on promise
Abu Dhabi, January 22, 2017: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2017, hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, came to a successful conclusion on 21 January after further building on its reputation as a significant platform for international dialogue, cooperation and action among governments and businesses.
This year’s edition, which ran under the theme “practical steps towards a sustainable future”, was the first global gathering dedicated to sustainability since the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, last November. It was appropriate, therefore, that ADSW 2017 began by bringing together government officials and policy makers at two key events: the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum on 12-13 January, held in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Energy and ADNOC; and the fifth General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency on 14-15 January.
The Opening Ceremony for ADSW, on 16 January, was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces. Six heads of state, from Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Seychelles and Nepal joined the event, as well as former presidents of Iceland and Mexico.
ADSW 2017 also welcomed 73 government ministers and 4,080 senior executives – an increase of 12% compared to 2016 – from 125 countries. International pavilions were hosted from 20 different countries, representing an 11% increase on last year, and initial indications show that the total number of attendees was consistent with pre-show estimates of around 38,000 visitors from 175 countries.
During the week, 15 global events were held including five exhibitions; three conferences; two country focused events; three leadership events; and two policy events. Business meetings were up by more than 60% year on year, totaling 8,600, showing that Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is now truly established as a global platform where commercial agreements are made.
The ninth edition of the Awards Ceremony for the Zayed Future Energy Prize also took place, honouring the achievements of winners from across the world for their leadership in renewable energy and sustainability. Once again, this important event attracted significant media attention, with around 1,200 local and international print and online articles, while reaching more than 2 million Twitter users and 50,000 Facebook users.
The World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the anchor event of ADSW, celebrated its 10th edition this year from 17-19 January. This took place alongside the fifth International Water Summit and the fourth EcoWASTE exhibition.
For the first time, ADSW welcomed a major delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was designated as a WFES Country Partner. The Saudi delegation was led by His Excellency Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco, who used the platform of ADSW to announce plans to invest up to $50 billion (Dh183.50 billion) in renewable projects by 2023 to generate 9.5 gigawatts, mainly from wind and solar plants.
The Saudi delegation’s 700 industry professionals, which included 405 chief executives, held more than 2,000 meetings with ADSW participants during the week. In addition, 14 workshops and business round tables were organised, while more than 100 investors and developers from five countries took part in a private investment meeting hosted by officials from the Kingdom.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, the other WFES Country Partner was India, whose senior-level delegation was led by Shri Piyush Goyal, the Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines. India’s clean energy plans make it one of the world’s most exciting markets for developers; its delegation provided details about the country’s target to have an installed capacity of 100GW of solar energy, 60GW of wind, plus 15GW from other renewables by 2022. In addition, high level meetings were held with Masdar and Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA).
As host of ADSW, Masdar used the occasion to announce a series of key business milestones on the sidelines of the event. These included: the purchase of a 25% stake in Hywind, an innovative floating offshore wind project in Scotland, from Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil; a 300,000-tonne waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah with environmental management company Bee’ah; a solar power project in the Seychelles; and an industry competition to devise new sustainable mobility solutions to serve Masdar City.
Together with DEWA, Masdar also announced the ground-breaking of Phase 3 of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The company signed a co-operation agreement with Qatar Electricity and Water Company and Nebras Power to develop renewable and sustainable energy projects, and announced the appointment of International Finance Corporation (IFC) to oversee the funding of Jordan’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) project. And on Thursday 19 January, Masdar unveiled its new Eco-Villa prototype at Masdar City – an energy and water-saving residential property that will set a new benchmark for sustainable real estate in the UAE and beyond.
ADSW also took the sustainability message into the community, staging the youth-themed “Student Exclusive” to more than 600 young people from across the UAE, and the Women in Sustainability, Environment & Renewable Energy (WiSER) conference – both events were being held for the second consecutive year. To round off a very busy and successful week, the Festival at Masdar City offered fun, food and live entertainment for all the family.
21 JAN 2017
The Festival at Masdar City takes sustainability into the community for fourth straight year
Abu Dhabi, UAE; January 21, 2017 – The Festival at Masdar City attracted its biggest crowds ever as this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week drew to a successful close this weekend.
Visitors enjoyed a fun-packed weekend of family-themed games, activities and live entertainment, as well as stalls selling arts, handicrafts and souvenirs, and delicious food and treats.
A sustainability message ran through all the attractions, and this year’s Festival also celebrated 2017 as the UAE’s “Year of Giving”.
Launched in 2014, the Festival at Masdar City promotes community awareness of sustainability and the adoption of more sustainable behaviour.
This year’s event also marked the launch of Masdar Park, an outdoor dining destination with outlets housed inside recycled shipping containers powered by solar panels. Open until April, the Park features a recycled musical instrument wall and a bicycle-powered cinema – it is also the starting point for a new 2.6km-long cycle and running track.
Activities at The Festival this year were divided into 10 different zones reflecting the 10th anniversary of Masdar in 2016 (and the 10th world future energy summit).
“It was a pleasure to see so many UAE residents join us for the fourth Festival at Masdar City; without doubt, it was the biggest yet,” said Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Executive Director for Sustainability & Brand at Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.
“Each year the Festival proves that sustainability can be fun, and that it is easy to incorporate into our everyday lives,” she added. “Masdar City is the ideal venue to take the sustainability message into the community. And with the Masdar Park now up and running, we hope to welcome even more visitors to Masdar City in the months ahead.”
The Festival marks the end of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017. This year’s event featured the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, the seventh General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) the ninth Zayed Future Energy Prize and the tenth World Future Energy Summit. A global platform for renewable energy policy and business, ADSW 2017 saw a 35% increase in exhibitors and a 19% rise in attendees compared to last year.
19 JAN 2017
Masdar appoints IFC to oversee funding of Jordans largest solar power project
Finance mandate letter signed today at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 18, 2017 – Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, has selected International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to oversee the funding of the largest solar power plant in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a 200-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic facility being developed by the wholly owned Masdar subsidiary Baynouna Solar Energy Company (BSEC).
At Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week today, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi and Niall Hannigan, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Masdar, respectively, signed a finance mandate letter with Eric Becker, IFC Manager of Infrastructure for the Middle East & North Africa.
Today’s announcement follows the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) in October between Masdar and National Electric Power Company, Jordan’s state electricity provider.
“We are delighted to be working with IFC in the realisation of Jordan’s largest solar plant, further consolidating Masdar’s significant presence in the country,” said Niall Hannigan. “Our partnership with IFC will ensure that this landmark project will be developed according to the highest standards of financial best practice, while illustrating the strength of investor confidence in renewable energy.”
Expected to break ground later this year, the 200MW plant will be built 10 kilometres outside the Jordan capital of Amman. Once connected to the national grid, it will supply the annual power needs of around 110,000 homes and displace an estimated 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
“The Middle East and North Africa continues to face serious power shortages, and there is now even greater pressure on infrastructure services,” said Erik Becker. “We have been working with Masdar, a key partner, since 2013 and welcome this opportunity to further support the development renewable energy generation capacity across the region.”
The project follows the inauguration of the 117MW Tafila wind farm in Jordan in December 2015, the Middle East’s largest onshore wind power development. Masdar has a 31 per cent stake in Tafila with InfraMed (50%) and EP Global Energy (19%).
The combined output of Tafila and the Baynouna solar project will account for nearly 18 per cent of the 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy Jordan plans to install by 2020.
Masdar’s Clean Energy division is a leading developer and operator of utility-scale, grid-tied projects; applications providing energy access to communities away from the electricity grid; and carbon abatement projects. Since 2006, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects with a combined value of US$8.5 billion; Masdar’s share of this investment is US$2.7 billion.
Masdar’s renewable energy projects span the UAE, Jordan, Mauritania, Egypt, Morocco, the UK, Serbia and Spain. The electricity generating capacity of these projects, which are either fully operational or under development, is 2.7 gigawatts (GW) gross.
19 JAN 2017
Second annual Student Exclusive gives youth a voice on sustainability
UAE and international students gather for talks, performances and presentations at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 19, 2017 – More than 600 students from the UAE and countries around the world took part in the second annual “Student Exclusive” at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) on Wednesday. Now a signature event of ADSW, the Student Exclusive is focused on empowering young people to think and act sustainably.
His Excellency Dr Ahmed Belhoul, Minister of State for Higher Education, delivered the event’s keynote address, describing the Student Exclusive as integral to the success of ADSW.
“The culture of the UAE is based on sustainability. If you go back 100 years, people only consumed what they required; they only used what they needed. But today, we are all guilty of consumption that is not very responsible. The government is trying to help us by raising awareness, and by investing in renewable energy resources. But regardless of what we do as the government, a culture of sustainability needs to be embedded in you, our young people. You are the future, and sustainability starts with you.”
“When Masdar was established a decade ago, the UAE leadership wanted to create a company that would invest in renewable energy, but we cannot do that without human resources,” HE Dr Belhoul added. “So we took the decision to establish a holistic ecosystem, by not only creating Masdar but also the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. We are proud today to see the achievements of both Masdar and Masdar Institute, which are empowering our best young talent.”
Commenting on the success of the Student Exclusive, Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Executive Director of Sustainability and Brand at Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, also stressed the need for young people to take responsibility.
“The Student Exclusive is a platform that puts youth opinions at its core,” she said. “If we can empower young people to see how sustainability affects every aspect of their lives, then we can also empower them to be future advocates of sustainability.”
This year’s Student Exclusive was held on the theme “Creating a sustainable future by empowering young minds”.
“The culture of the UAE is based on sustainability. If you go back 100 years, people only consumed what they required; they only used what they needed. But today, we are all guilty of consumption that is not very responsible. The government is trying to help us by raising awareness, and by investing in renewable energy resources. But regardless of what we do as the government, a culture of sustainability needs to be embedded in you, our young people. You are the future, and sustainability starts with you.”
“When Masdar was established a decade ago, the UAE leadership wanted to create a company that would invest in renewable energy, but we cannot do that without human resources,” HE Dr Belhoul added. “So we took the decision to establish a holistic ecosystem by not only creating Masdar but also the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. We are proud today to see the achievements of both Masdar and Masdar Institute, which are empowering our best young talent.”
Moderated by Khalid Al Ameri, a prominent UAE national journalist and social media influencer, and fellow Emirati Waheeda Al Hadhrami, Creative Talent Developer at TwoFour54, this year’s event hosted a diversity of young talent, who shared their own distinct perspective on adopting sustainable behaviour.
The Student Exclusive welcomed calligrapher Diaa Allam, pianist Mona Alhashmi, futurist Lina Nahhas, musicians “G-beat”, parkour coach Amal Murad, artist Hessa Al Ajmani, and singer Khalifa Nasser.
Hasan Al Redaini, the UAE’s representative to Solar Impulse 2, the first aircraft to circumnavigate the world powered only by solar energy, and two previous student winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize – from Cashmere High School in New Zealand and the Korean Science Academy of KAIST – also presented to the Student Exclusive audience.
The Student Exclusive also featured a presentation by Fatema Al Mulla, Marketing Executive at Masdar, on the findings of The Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey, the first global study of youth attitudes towards sustainability, renewable energy and climate change; a talk by Dr Majid Al Qassimi, Director of the Animal Health & Development Department at the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment on “The natural world and sustainability”; and a presentation on the sustainability narrative of Expo 2020 by Alya Al-Ali, Director for Youth, Expo 2020.
The final community awareness event of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will be The Festival at Masdar City on January 20-21. Open to the public, The Festival will host sustainability-themed games and activities, live entertainment and food stalls.
19 JAN 2017
WiSER calls on women to be the drivers of innovation
UAE-founded initiative welcomes global experts to its second annual conference during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week
18 January, Abu Dhabi: Leaders from government, business and academia yesterday convened in Abu Dhabi for the second annual Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) conference under the theme ‘Practical steps towards sustainable innovation.’ The event was organised by Masdar in partnership with the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
The conference, a key event at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, sought to discuss the collaborative role that governments and businesses can play in fostering sustainable innovation, and the critical importance of including women in this dialogue.
Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, WiSER Programme Director, Executive Director of Sustainability and Brand at Masdar, and Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “At WiSER, we seek to ensure that women are the drivers of change for a sustainable future, enabling them to positively impact innovation and breakthroughs in policy, technology and business. Today’s event helps us understand the way forward to achieving this goal.”
“With greater mentoring and collaborative opportunities, our knowledge of the issues that uniquely impact women can be harnessed to deliver sustainable growth and innumerable societal benefits. Innovation in sustainability is critical to our future prosperity, and women have a central role to play in this regard,” Dr Al-Hosany continued.
Established in 2015, WiSER is an initiative that comes at critical point for women’s participation in renewable energy and sustainability. Women account for just 35% of the workforce in the renewable energy sector, according to the latest IRENA Renewable Energy Jobs Review 2016. The report concluded that while sector has seen a rise in the number of women employed, female labour force participation is still lower than the general economy average experienced by OECD countries (40-45 per cent).
WiSER partners with academic and research institutions, women’s networking groups and corporate interests in order to create education and training opportunities for women of all ages. Since its launch on the side lines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly, WiSER has been active in developing partnerships with a number of strategic organisations.
Recently, WiSER held a high-level event with Momentum for Change at the UN Climate Conference in Marrekech, COP22. The event came under a joint “Momentum for Change: Women for Results” and WiSER partnership, a key pillar of the Momentum for Change Lighthouse initiative, and recognised activities that demonstrate the critical leadership and participation of women in addressing climate change. The collaboration is designed to further the role of women in sustainability, with a focus on knowledge exchange.
Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute: “Creating opportunities for women in sustainability will allow us to unleash a wealth of knowledge and creativity within this industry. Particularly through our partnerships with private companies, Masdar Institute remains dedicated to nurturing the next generation of women to become sustainability leaders. Our public-private partnerships allow more women to gain the hands-on experience they need to join the ranks of innovators. With women playing an equitable role in the industry we can continue the momentum behind our transformation towards a fairer, more secure, and more sustainable future.”
The event in Abu Dhabi was designed as a platform so that participants could learn from experts who have dedicated their life to sustainability and furthering women’s participation in innovation. Speakers included: Graciela Chicilnisky, CEO and Co-Founder, Global Thermostat; Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office; Dr Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute; Neha Misra, Co-founder and Chief Collaboration Officer, Solar Sisters; Dr Arwa Y. Al-Aama, Director, Smart Solutions Consulting; Jonathon Porritt, Founding Director, Forum for the Future; Dr Joao Carlos, Secretary of Energy and Mining, Sao Paulo; Maher Ezzeddine, Chairman and President, Harvard Business School Aerospace Alumni Group; Dr Barbara Buchner, Executive Director, Climate Finance, Climate Policy Initiative; Jamila Bargach, Director, Dar Si Hmad; Moza Al Naimi, Masdar Institute Phd student, and Dr Laura Stachel, Executive Director and Co-Founder of We Care Solar.
In the UAE, there has been an emphasis placed on education and training as a way to ensure more women are working in sustainability. In the fall enrollment of students at Masdar Institute, 68 per cent of the UAE nationals were women. Over 70 per cent of the UAE government university students are now women and among post-graduates, UAE National women account for 62 per cent in government universities.
Dr. Arwa Y. Al-Aama, Director, Smart Solutions Consulting: “Initiatives such as WiSER are critical if we want women to have access to the skills needed to be future leaders of innovation and sustainability. They also underline the leading role the UAE is playing in establishing platforms that place an emphasis on knowledge exchange and learning.”
Founded by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, and the Zayed Future Energy Prize, WiSER aims to empower and inspire women to be catalysts of innovation and the drivers of commercial solutions that will address climate change and secure access to food, energy and water.
17 JAN 2017
High level discussions on energy collaboration between UAE
- Saudi delegation led by Energy Minister His Excellency Khalid Al-Falih
- VIP guests participated in bilateral talks aimed at expanding energy knowledge-sharing during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017
- His Excellency Khalid Al-Falih says Saudi Arabia will collaborate with UAE and leverage on their experience in optimizing potential of renewable energy in driving mutual sustainable development agenda
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 14, 2017 – A delegation of senior government and business leaders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was yesterday given a tour of Masdar City, before taking part in high-level discussions aimed at supporting knowledge transfer and collaboration on energy programmes.
The delegation was led by His Excellency Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry & Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Saudi Aramco.
The visit was a part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Middle East’s largest gathering focused on addressing the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate change and sustainable development.
The delegation was welcomed by HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, and a number of Masdar’s executives.
“On behalf of the Kingdom we appreciate your spirit of collaboration and your willingness to support the growth and development of new and critical industries,” said HE Khalid A. Al-Falih.
“We are in Abu Dhabi because we have a great deal of admiration for the work this nation has done to deploy renewable energy and apply clean technologies. Through this dialogue, we will achieve mutual benefit in terms of process improvisation in together reaching the ultimate goal of positioning renewable energy prominently within the energy mix.”
He added: “Saudi Arabia is incredibly close to launching its National Renewable Energy Program’s first round of tendering, and believes this to be an ideal opportunity at the perfect time for the Kingdom to gain insights from UAE’s renewable energy experiences.”
HE Dr Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, said: “The UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have a deep-rooted and long-standing relationship built on collaboration and economic partnership. Among our many areas of common interest, we share the same ambitions for delivering a diversified energy mix that offers the most compelling commercial proposition for our economies. Today’s meeting during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week was a valuable opportunity for us to discuss our goals, exchange ideas and explore avenues of collaboration that will enable us to achieve our objective.”
In a panel discussion the Saudi delegation outlined the Kingdom’s clean energy roadmap as part of the Vision 2030, which includes installing a number of renewable energy projects.
The panel also heard a presentation on the UAE’s recently-announced unified 2050 Energy Strategy.
Attracting more than 38,000 attendees representing 175 countries, including more than 80 government ministers, and 880 exhibiting companies from 40 countries, ADSW is the Middle East’s largest gathering focused on addressing the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate change and sustainable development.
17 JAN 2017
SWEET TASTE OF SUCCESS Three school teams from Al Gharbia win Solar Oven Challenge
The winning teams in a school contest to build an electric oven powered by solar energy received their trophies and cash prizes at Shams Solar Power Company in Madinat Zayed yesterday.
Sixteen schools from Al Gharbia in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region challenged themselves over four weeks to create a safe, working oven powered only by the sun.
Grade 11 and 12 students competed in teams of four, with at least two of the team-members UAE nationals, and a budget of AED500.
The three winning schools who will be showing off their students’ solar-powered cooking technology at The Festival at Masdar City on January 20-21 are: Qatr Al Nada school from Madinat Zayed came in the 1st and 3rd place with two different teams; Al Baya school from Sila came in the second place.
Shams Solar Power Company, operator of the Shams 1 solar power plant, organised the “Solar Oven Challenge” to mark this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which takes place from January 12-21.
The winning team received a cheque for AED10,000. Second-place earned AED5,000 and the school in third received AED2,000. At least half of the winnings must go towards a school project.
To win the challenge, teams had to build an oven that could reach temperatures of between 150 and 200 degrees Celsius for at least one hour. They also had to be able to bake a dish for the judges to eat, and explain how their cash prize would be spent to help their class or school.
“We were amazed at the ingenuity of all the competing teams and extremely impressed that so many school teams took part,” said Abdulaziz Al Obaidli, General Manager of Shams Power Company.
“The Solar Oven Challenge was a fun way to raise awareness of the potential of renewable energy. And there was serious message too, because millions of people around the world don’t have access to reliable and affordable sources of cooking fuel. Solar-powered cooking technology if applied on a wide scale could transform the quality of life of countless people.”
15 JAN 2017
Global business and policy leaders gather for official opening
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 15, 2017 – Global leaders in government and business will gather for the official opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in the UAE capital tomorrow. Taking place on the theme “Practical steps towards a sustainable future”, this year’s ADSW is expected to receive 38,000 attendees representing 175 countries, including five heads of state, more than 80 government ministers, and 880 exhibiting companies from 40 countries.
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar, is a global platform addressing the interconnected challenges and opportunities of sustainable development, renewable energy and water security. Held every January under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the event is based on the key pillars of Policy, Leadership, Business, Academic Research, and Community Awareness.
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 began with two key policy events: the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum on January 12-13, held in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Energy, and the 5th General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency, on January 14-15.
Tomorrow’s ADSW Opening Ceremony is immediately followed by the Awards Ceremony of the 9th edition of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. The afternoon programme is dedicated to Abu Dhabi Global Action Day, a high-level conference aimed at turning the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into practical and innovative solutions in policy, investment, technology and partnerships – with a focus on the steps to be taken by both government and business.
The Opening Ceremony, Presidential keynotes and Global Action Day programme on January 16 will include five heads of state. Addressing delegates at the Opening Ceremony will be His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Also in attendance will be His Excellency Horacio Cartes, President of the Republic of Paraguay and His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka.
Keynotes will also be given by His Excellency Luis Guillermo Solís, President of the Republic of Costa Rica; Her Excellency Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal; and His Excellency Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro. His Excellency Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCE), will open Global Action Day.
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Having marked our tenth anniversary last year, we are proud to host ADSW as we embark on the next ten years of our success in the UAE and international markets. ADSW 2017 is one of the first global platforms to debate the outcomes of COP22 in Marrakech, and to take further action to adopt renewable energy, clean technologies and sustainable development following the ratification of the Paris Agreement. It is also a gateway to the opportunities of the Middle East & North Africa, today one of the fastest growing and most cost-competitive markets for renewable energy and clean technology.”
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week hosts the World Future Energy Summit, which this year marks its 10th anniversary, the 5th International Water Summit, and EcoWaste.
More than half of the exhibiting companies are small and medium sized business (SMEs) from leading clean-tech nations including Germany, France, Japan, the United States and the UK, further illustrating the commercial dynamism and growing maturity of the sector.
“ADSW 2017 will shed light on the practical steps needed to unlock further expansion of the renewable energy and clean technologies sectors, and to deliver sustainable solutions in water and waste,” added Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi of Masdar.
10 JAN 2017
President of Costa Rica to speak during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 10, 2017 – His Excellency Luis Guillermo Solis, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, will discuss the future of sustainable development and reflect on his nation’s success in adopting renewable energy during a presidential address during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2017.
Costa Rica achieved a historic milestone when its electricity grid ran solely on renewable energy for more than 250 days in 2016, with a continuous 110-day stretch from 17 June until 6 October. This was the second time in two years that the country had been powered by renewable energy continuously for at least two months.
In a recorded address in advance of his attendance at ADSW, President Solis said: “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is a true global forum that connects cultures, geographies and philosophical concepts. This creates strong synergies among political leaders, policy makers, business people and society as a whole in order to address today’s challenges in renewable energy and sustainable development. This is a key component of growth, the creation of job opportunities and the improvement of living conditions for younger generations.”
The Republic of Costa Rica has long been an advocate of renewable energy and environmental conservation, promoting their adoption in Latin America since the establishment of its geothermal laws in December 1976. The laws, which authorised the exploration of geothermal energy sources, were among the very first to drive the need for clean energy in the region.
Renewable energy sources supply 98 per cent of Costa Rica’s electricity demand, according to the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the country’s state-owned utilities provider. More than 80 per cent of Costa Rica’s energy mix is comprised of hydroelectric power, with geothermal, wind and solar energy making up the rest.
Geothermal energy has the smallest greenhouse gas footprint per kilowatt of any power generation technology, according to the Geothermal Energy Association. With a string of hotspots, mountains and active volcanoes identified in Costa Rica, and the greater Latin America region, geothermal can play a critical role in delivering a clean, limitless and continual supply of energy in the country.
Home to Central America’s largest hydroelectric power project, the 305.5-megawatt (MW) Reventazón Dam, Costa Rica has a total renewable energy capacity of 2.5 gigawatts, according to the latest figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
17 DEC 2016
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 targets new technologies in meeting
Abu Dhabi, UAE, December 17, 2016 – Ground water scarcity exacerbated by increased water demand due to population growth and the effects of climate change – droughts, higher temperatures – is a critical sustainability challenge for many regions of the world. The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) is no exception.
As the gap between water demand and availability in the Arabian Gulf widens, the pressure on desalination technologies to meet water consumption needs inevitably grows.
At the next Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), taking place from January 12-21, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar will present technical data from an innovative pilot programme that could pave the way for the commercial adoption of seawater desalination powered by clean energy.
The programme, which last month completed one year of operations, was announced at the inaugural International Water Summit (IWS) – one of the co-located exhibitions at ADSW – in January 2013.
It started with four small-scale desalination plants testing innovative energy-efficient desalination technologies; a fifth was launched in October this year, run by the French engineering company Mascara.
“The Mascara project uses reverse osmosis technology and is a showcase of an off-grid solution,” said Dr Alexander Ritschel, Head of Applications Development at Masdar’s Clean Energy division. “It can be operated independently, off-grid; it’s a 100% photovoltaics-powered desalination system. It also works without batteries and chemicals, so it’s a solution for remote locations.”
Mascara’s new plant produces 30 cubic metres of desalinated seawater per day, bringing the combined daily output of all five pilot plants in Ghantoot, Abu Dhabi to 1,500 cubic metres. The other partners in the programme are Abengoa, Suez, Sidem (Veolia) and Trevi Systems.
Altogether, four companies are evaluating reverse osmosis technology, while the fifth is researching forward osmosis. Reverse osmosis is a more energy efficient alternative to the thermal technology currently used for large-scale seawater desalination across the Arabian Gulf.
Forward osmosis is still an emerging technology but could be a viable long-term solution for hard-to-treat water sources such as highly saline water (including certain groundwater sources in the UAE or the brine stream ejected by desalination plants) or water containing significant amounts of organic matter.
“The results of our pilot programme after one year are very encouraging; performance in terms of reliability has been very high,” added Dr Ritschel. “The programme is preparing the ground for the transition expected to take place over the next decade from integrated water-and-power-generation plants to standalone, membrane-based desalination facilities powered only by electricity.”
With many conventional desalination installations nearing the end of their operational life over the next few years, and with potable water consumption in MENA expected to increase from 42 cubic kilometres per year in 2012 today to 200 cubic kilometres by 2050, the opportunities to deploy more energy-efficient alternatives, commercially and at scale, are increasingly coming under the spotlight.
The technologies being tested in Masdar’s Renewable Energy Desalination Programme are up to 40%-less energy intensive than thermal seawater desalination, according to Dr Ritschel.
The practical steps needed to advance clean-energy desalination will be a key topic at the next International Water Summit in January, which will focus on the needs of the MENA region. Other issues on the conference agenda include water project financing, waste water strategies and recycling, smart infrastructure, and water in the urban environment.
In parallel with adopting more sustainable methods to produce drinking water, the UAE is rolling out initiatives to reduce water demand. Unveiled at IWS two years ago, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi is implementing a “water budget” aimed at the more responsible management of the emirates’ finite water resources.
The “budget” is based on a combination of strategies including reducing waste, increasing the efficiency of irrigation technologies and methods (forestry, agriculture and landscaping alone consume more than 80% of Abu Dhabi’s water supply) and reducing utility subsidies for residential consumers.
“Abu Dhabi’s daily rate of domestic water consumption is about 563 litres per capita, still the highest in the world, and domestic water demand will more than double by 2030,” said Dr Mohammed Abdel Hamyd Dawoud, EAD Advisor for Water Resources, Environment Quality Sector. “The new tariff structure that has been introduced is helping to reduce this rate.”
“EAD is working with TRANSCO [Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company] in the Liwa strategic water reserve project [a five-billion-gallon aquifer made up of injected desalinated water], which will be completed this month,” added Dr Dawoud, who will address a panel on energy-efficient desalination in the Middle East at IWS 2017.
Today, Abu Dhabi’s available fresh groundwater resources stand at barely 0.5%, and water access is becoming increasingly stretched for around a quarter of the world’s population.
According to a World Bank report, the average person in the MENA region has only 1,000 cubic metres of fresh water available per year, compared with the global average of 7,000 cubic metres.
Concerns over water scarcity and the sustainability challenges associated with conventional seawater desalination methods are motivating greater collaboration to find workable, commercially viable solutions.
Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar was a co-founder of the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance (GCWDA) at COP21 in Paris along with the French government and the International Desalination Association. Today, the Alliance has 141 members from dozens of countries.
At the COP22 international climate conference in Morocco last month, the GCWDA signed the Marrakech Declaration of Global Alliances for Water and Climate (GAWC) stipulating cooperation in three strategic areas: stakeholder mobilisation to secure a place for water in climate summits, negotiations and financial mechanisms; the exchange of lessons learned and existing best practices; and the identification and support for new actions.
Marking the one-year anniversary of the Alliance, His Excellency Michel Miraillet, the Ambassador of France to the UAE, said: “The Alliance is a benchmark for effective international cooperation, offering a multilateral platform for both government and the private sector to work together on policy and technical innovation.”
The Alliance will host its next board meeting at ADSW 2017.