“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week” Strengthens International Dialogue on Sustainable Development
Saadiyat Island- Abu Dhabi suburb (United Arab Emirates), 13 to 17 January – Was the venue of the maiden edition of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). The ADSW is a universal platform for dialogue between policy makers, academics, and the private sector on business, technical and financial issues that are key to advancing renewable energies and sustainable development worldwide.
Graced by the effective presence of 12 Heads of States and Governments and 80 Energy Ministers and attracting close to 30,000 attendees from 150 countries, this first edition of the ADSW is a milestone in the history of the Middle East and is recognised as one of the foremost international fora for the promotion and use of renewable energies and clean technologies worldwide. It also included the first energy ministerial conference of Arab and South American countries, as well as the “Global Green Growth Institute” Council meeting on sustainable development.
The ADSW not only provided a forum to continue international dialogue on sustainable development, but was also a response to the United Nations Secretary General’s call for substantial commitments to support the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
The ADSW equally included the third general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the sixth World Future Energy Summit (WFES), the first edition of the International Water Summit (IWS) and the fifth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards and lastly the International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC) of REN21.
One of the special features of the sustainability week was China’s signing up to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). As a global leader in the manufacture of technology and use of wind, solar and hydro power, China’s addition is a major development for the sector. Furthermore, IRENA has launched its new roadmap aimed at doubling the share of renewable energy by 2030 and has released a free online global atlas that will help countries evaluate their renewable energy potential. The atlas which will add other forms of renewable energy in the coming months already covers wind and solar resources and compiles data and maps from public and private players across the world.
Established officially in 2011, IRENA is the first major international organisation to be headquartered in the Middle East. It currently comprises 160 member States and has been mandated by 159 countries and the European Union to promote the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy and to serve as a global platform for cooperation on renewable energy and information sharing. The internet-based platform is accessible via the following link: www.irena.org/GlobalAtlas It is designed to raise awareness on the potential of renewable energy worldwide and to support corporations seeking to invest in new markets: A video and a brochure will equally be available at the web portal: www.irena.org/GlobalAtlas www.res-atlas.org .
The Emirates have provided several platforms for dialogue on sustainable development.
By way of reminder
The announcement of the “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW)” initiative was made by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Assistant Minister and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and CEO of Masdar. He presented the initiative at a reception honouring UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in recognition of his Sustainable Energy for All initiative, as part of the Rio +20 Declaration-Masdar: the main agency in Abu Dhabi specialised in renewable energy.
Further reading …
♦ Masdar and the International Peace Institute launch an energy and security task force at the World Future Energy Summit. The team’s task is to study the impact of energy issues on security and examine various ways of anticipating energy-related conflicts. It aims to examine the link between energy and security and strengthen multilateral mechanisms to foster cooperation, and to prevent or defuse energy-related conflicts. The task force secretariat will be based in Vienna (Austria), a major hub for energy security which is home to the headquarters of IAEA, OPEC, UNIDO and the new Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All, Mr Kandeh Yumkella. More...
♦ The United Arab Emirates approve the IRENA Headquarters Agreement, thereby confirming its position as the main hub for renewable energy: The United Arab Emirates today announced the formal ratification of the its headquarters agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This agreement confirms IRENA’s position as the global hub for renewable energy and the first international organisation headquartered in the Middle East. The announcement was made on the first day of the IRENA annual assembly held in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of ministers and senior officials from 150 countries. Translations of the release should not be considered as official documents. The only version of the release which shall be legally binding shall be that of the original language. The translation must always be compared with the source text, which shall prevail... More...
Image credits: Lemonde
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