Facilitating Dialogue, Inspiring Action

Since 2008, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) has grown to become one of the largest platforms of its kind in the world. Through its year round initiatives and events, ADSW brings members of the global community together to accelerate sustainable development.

Working with its public and private partners, ADSW hosts a series of events that welcome heads of state, policy makers, business leaders and technology pioneers, providing them with a global platform to share knowledge, showcase innovation and outline strategies for delivering climate action.

10

Global events and initiatives

45,000

Attendees

175

Countries represented

500+

Global speakers

850+

Exhibiting companies

500+

Registered media

3,000

Students

4000+

Global delegates attend the Opening Ceremony

Events

ADSW is a collection of events, tailored for different global audiences and trends shaping the world’s sustainability agenda

Facts and Figures

50+

The number of heads of state, members of royalty, and prime ministers ADSW has welcomed since 2008.

4M+

The number of homes Masdar, the host of ADSW is powering with clean energy

$ 1.28B

invested by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development in global renewable energy projects across 65 countries

4,000

Global delegates attend the Opening Ceremony of ADSW

What's new

Check out ADSW latest news and insights

UAE Leadership in the Energy Transition and Commitment to Net Zero

By Cornelius Matthes, Chief Executive Officer, Dii Desert Energy

With the recent announcement to commit to net-zero by 2050, the UAE once again shows leadership in the energy transition. This is the first gulf state to do so and for a major oil & gas producer, the challenges to reach this objective are of course considerable. The interesting next step to watch is how this translates into a roadmap to execute, particularly for this decade.

Indeed, what will be achieved by this decade counts most, as many effects of climate change will not be possible to reverse. 2030 is the crucial date and the good thing is that the UAE in the past have shown to deliver and even over deliver, e.g. with groundbreaking solar projects at the world's lowest prices. Some of the world’s largest solar parks are already operational today in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, making the UAE one of the global centers of the energy transition.

With COP 28 now to take place in the UAE in 2023, very positive news came out of Glasgow. Again, a lot is expected to happen until then. But most importantly, we saw the other GCC countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain actually already followed suit, committing to net zero by 2060 respectively, with Saudi Aramco doing the same by 2050. All really exciting news with hopefully more to come soon, including a clear roadmap for this decade.

Cornelius Matthes
Chief Executive Officer
Dii Desert Energy

 
10 priorities for a successful energy transformation pathway

Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (lakes, forest, deserts, agricultural landscapes) that host multiple kind of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals).

But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses - diseases transmitted from animals to humans- while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually. The slogan for Biodiversity Day 2021, celebrated on May 22, is “We’re part of the solution #ForNature.”

Below are 10 key facts around biodiversity

Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Only ten species provide about 30 per cent of marine capture fisheries and ten species provide about 50 per cent of aquaculture production.
Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60 per cent of energy intake.
As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-¬‐based medicines for basic healthcare.
Human activity has altered almost 75 per cent of the earth’s surface, squeezing wildlife and nature into an ever-smaller corner of the planet and increasing risks of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19.
Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas. Poor rural women depend on common pool resources and are especially affected by their depletion.
Currently, land degradation has reduced productivity in 23 per cent of the global terrestrial area, and between $235 billion and $577 billion in annual global crop output is at risk as a result of pollinator loss.
Illicit poaching and trafficking of wildlife continues to thwart conservation efforts, with nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants reported in illegal trade involving 120 countries.
Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction.
Of the over 80,000 tree species, less than 1 per cent have been studied for potential use.
In 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) flagged a worldwide increase in zoonotic epidemics as an issue of concern. Specifically, it pointed out that 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic and that these zoonotic diseases are closely interlinked with the health of ecosystems.

10 priorities for a successful energy transformation pathway

Biological diversity is often understood in terms of the wide variety of plants, animals and microorganisms, but it also includes genetic differences within each species — for example, between varieties of crops and breeds of livestock — and the variety of ecosystems (lakes, forest, deserts, agricultural landscapes) that host multiple kind of interactions among their members (humans, plants, animals).

But loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses - diseases transmitted from animals to humans- while, on the other hand, if we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

While there is a growing recognition that biological diversity is a global asset of tremendous value to future generations, the number of species is being significantly reduced by certain human activities. Given the importance of public education and awareness about this issue, the UN decided to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity annually. The slogan for Biodiversity Day 2021, celebrated on May 22, is “We’re part of the solution #ForNature.”

Below are 10 key facts around biodiversity

Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Only ten species provide about 30 per cent of marine capture fisheries and ten species provide about 50 per cent of aquaculture production.
Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60 per cent of energy intake.
As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-¬‐based medicines for basic healthcare.
Human activity has altered almost 75 per cent of the earth’s surface, squeezing wildlife and nature into an ever-smaller corner of the planet and increasing risks of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19.
Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas. Poor rural women depend on common pool resources and are especially affected by their depletion.
Currently, land degradation has reduced productivity in 23 per cent of the global terrestrial area, and between $235 billion and $577 billion in annual global crop output is at risk as a result of pollinator loss.
Illicit poaching and trafficking of wildlife continues to thwart conservation efforts, with nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants reported in illegal trade involving 120 countries.
Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction.
Of the over 80,000 tree species, less than 1 per cent have been studied for potential use.
In 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) flagged a worldwide increase in zoonotic epidemics as an issue of concern. Specifically, it pointed out that 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic and that these zoonotic diseases are closely interlinked with the health of ecosystems.

IRENA Assembly

The Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and brings together heads of state, ministers, government officials and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organizations to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition.

IRENA, which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and has more than 170 member states, uses its decision making authority to agree its objectives and discuss how renewable energy can alleviate climate change and increase sustainability.

Opening Ceremony

The ADSW Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize awards ceremony will take place at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Bringing ADSW’s platforms to Expo 2020 will further highlight the UAE’s role in driving action on climate change locally, in the region and globally.

The events will bring together more than 600 VIPs from around the world, including heads of state, government ministers, industry leaders and country ambassadors.

The shift toward sustainable investments
By Cornelius Matthes, Chief Executive Officer / Dii Desert Energy

Is it often good to look at capital markets as an indicator for important future trends. They generally value companies on future expectations and sometimes anticipate important trends via massive shifts in flows and portfolio allocations. Last year has seen a crazy ride, with some of the strongest corrections in recent times, as also shown by the volatility indicator VIX at a historic high even above the financial crisis, so sometimes capital markets tend to exaggerate and create bubbles as well.

Early movers into renewable energy have been highly rewarded, as long term stock prices of companies like Orsted or Iberdrola show. This is in sharp contrast to utility and energy companies that did not move in this direction - while the early movers have multiplied their market value, the latter have lost in some cases up to over 80 percent and been completely marginalised. 

A recent study by the IEA/Imperial College finds that renewable energy stocks not only massively outperform conventional energy, but even at a lower volatility. The fact that climate change risks were finally widely recognized caused a big paradigm shift toward sustainable investments, accelerating this development.

While we need to be wary of greenwashing, this trend is very powerful and more and more banks completely abandon any financing of fossil fuels. Insurers dump utilities not exiting from coal and the question is how long capital will actually be available for fossil fuel projects.

All of this has profound implications and points towards a truly exciting and disruptive decade with fast defossilization.

We need to deliver the main chunk of the energy transition in this decade, otherwise it will be too late. So act now and fast and join us on our mission 'No Emissions'.

UAE and Netherlands discuss food and water security ahead of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2021

HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food  and Water Security and HE Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Water and Infrastructure for the Netherlands meet virtually during 2nd episode of ADSW Web Series 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 26, 2020 – The UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri was joined by HE Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Water and Infrastructure for The Netherlands, during the 2nd episode of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) Web Series, today.

Hosted by Masdar, the episode explored how the Covid-19 pandemic was affecting food and water security, how developing nations can address resource scarcity and the role innovation was playing to overcome challenges in the sector.

During the Web episode, HE Mariam Almheiri said: “The current Covid-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of the global food supply network, both its physical infrastructure and through the willingness of countries to continue exporting food because of increased domestic pressures. Now more than ever the global community needs to work together to both ensure the continued capacity of food chains and to share knowledge and expertise to develop countries’ own food systems, especially in the area of agricultural technology, as this will enhance their capacity to become self-sufficient with their food security needs.”

Her Excellency Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said, "The problems related to water are increasing. Water shortages, but also floods can propel instability in regions around the world. I believe that we need to cooperate, share knowledge, upscale proven technologies and build strong coalitions, especially in times like these. Global platforms, like Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, are important to delivering solutions and the Netherlands will host the first ever global summit of world leaders entirely focused on climate change adaptation. The Climate Adaptation Summit will be held on January 25, 2021, and we look forward to welcoming the UAE." 

Remaining committed to accelerating sustainable development, ADSW launched its Web Series to provide a year-round platform for maintaining dialogue on issues and topics that are shaping the global sustainability landscape and help drive a green recovery.  

To watch the full web series episode click here. 

The series kicked off in October with Co-Founder and Chair of IMAGINE, and former Unilever CEO, Paul Polman.

The next edition of ADSW will be held virtually January 18-21, 2021 to ensure the safety of all participants. 

For more information on ADSW 2021 and future web series episodes, please visit ADSW.ae or follow us @ADSWAgenda on social media.

ADSW Summit white paper Work Invest
The paper captures the key takeaways from the 2021 ADSW Summit (3/3).

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