24 NOV 2016

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 to convene first Advisory

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the Middle East’s largest gathering on sustainability, will host an elite group of industry experts to advise on the event’s continued success in translating the global mandate for renewable energy and clean technologies into concerted policy and business action.

Held every January, ADSW welcomes heads of state, government ministers and international trade delegations – among a diversity of other stakeholders – to address the world’s most critical sustainability issues on the themes of Policy, Leadership, Business, Academic Research, and Community Awareness.

The first ADSW Advisory Council will take place on January 17, the day after the event’s formal opening ceremony, and every year thereafter. It will also follow Global Action Day, a high-level event aimed at translating global aspirations for sustainability into practical and innovative policy, investment, technology and partnership solutions.

The Council’s membership comprises both international and Middle East-based opinion leaders, all long-standing supporters of and speakers at ADSW and in many cases, passionate advocates of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which distributes an annual prize fund of US$4 million to exceptional companies, individuals and schools implementing renewable energy and sustainability solutions.

The Council members are Adnan Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for SEforALL; Her Excellency Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi; Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency; Marie Jose Nadeau, Chair of the World Energy Council; Michael Liebreich, Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Board Member, Transport for London; David Sandalow, Inaugural Fellow, Columbia University; Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University; Dr Saif Al Sayari, Acting Director General, Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority; Dayae Oudghiri, Management Board Member of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN); Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future; and His Excellency Dr Nasser Saidi, Chairman of the Clean Energy Business Council.
ADSW 2016 received nearly 36,000 attendees representing 170 countries, 382 exhibiting companies, more than 200 high-level speakers and 80 government ministers.

“As a global platform for addressing the interconnected challenges of clean energy, water and sustainable development, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has developed lasting partnerships with many of the world’s most admired experts and opinion formers on sustainability issues,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company and the host of ADSW.

“As we mark ten years of the World Future Energy Summit in 2017 and embark on the next decade of our expansion at Masdar, it is an honour to bring together some of our must trusted associates in charting the future evolution of the MENA region’s largest sustainability gathering.

“The guidance of the ADSW Advisory Council, representing the broadest cross-section of the sustainability domain, will ensure that ADSW continues to set the action-agenda from both a policy and business perspective – this is particularly important now that the clean energy sector has moved from the margins into the mainstream as a dynamic, commercially viable growth market,” Al Ramahi added.

ADSW 2017 takes places on the theme ‘Practical Steps Towards a Sustainable Future’ from January 12-21. The opening ceremony will initiate four days of presentations, discussions and workshops on a range of pressing topics across energy, water and waste. These include strategies to drive investment, implementation of the Paris Agreement, and the challenges of adapting existing infrastructure to the new market reality of small-scale, distributed power.

“As a long-standing supporter of ADSW and a keen advocate of the UAE’s efforts to advance the clean energy agenda, I am delighted to deepen my involvement in ADSW, and to help chart the course of its continued success,” said Michael Liebreich, Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Board Member, Transport for London.

“Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s research has shown developing countries are overtaking the wealthiest economies in attracting clean energy investment, with the Middle East & North Africa playing a growing role. The global profile of ADSW is valuable in bringing emerging market opportunities to a wider stage, thereby enabling greater cooperation between developed and developing economies.”

ADSW 2017 will be the first global platform to debate practical approaches to the outcomes of COP22, the first UN climate summit to be held in the MENA region, with the agenda informed by the challenges of both emerging markets and developed economies, as well as the practical lessons they have learnt.

ADSW 2017 will also be an opportunity to reflect on the response to the Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey, unveiled at COP22, the first international study on the attitudes of 18-25-year-olds, the demographic cohort known as Generation Z, towards climate change, sustainability and renewable energy.

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.

19 JAN 2021

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit discusses ways to achieve a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 19, 2021: In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit got underway this morning as part of ADSW 2021, the global platform for accelerating the pace of sustainable development. Hosted by Masdar, the event is being held virtually this year due to restriction in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
His Highness welcomed the leaders, officials and experts participating in the sessions of this year’s summit to discuss how to enact a ‘green recovery’ to help economies rebound from the pandemic and build a more sustainable future for all.

His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasized that the UAE is continuing its efforts under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to stimulate sustainable development, and said that ADSW is particularly relevant this year as it represents a global platform for dialogue and setting the sustainable development agenda based on the principles of the green recovery.

His Highness said: "In light of the exceptional circumstances that the world is experiencing, there is an urgent need to take practical steps and initiatives that contribute to accelerating the application of the principles and foundations of sustainable development, with the need to take proactive steps, plan for a more flexible future and strengthen capabilities in order to efficiently face the existing and emerging challenges.
“The Emirati initiatives, present to the world a practical model on the economic feasibility of renewable energy, stressing the importance of cooperation and joint work to achieve tangible progress in the field of reducing the repercussions of climate change”.

His Highness said that Abu Dhabi continues, year after year, to consolidate its position and pivotal role as a platform that brings together the international community to discuss key issues in sustainability. He said that he hoped that this year’s ADSW would be the starting point for constructive global dialogue on building a secure and stable future for current and future generations.

H.S.H. Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, delivered the Summit’s keynote speech, thanked Abu Dhabi for hosting this event under these circumstances and said: “I believe the crisis we are experiencing is urging us to reinvent the ways we live, produce and travel in a more radical manner. It is urging us to rethink our relationship with nature and to reevaluate our priorities. In this respect, the coming year will be full of opportunities which we need to grasp.”

His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Special Envoy for Climate Change and Chairman of Masdar, delivered a speech in which he welcomed the guests and participants of the Summit, praising the wise leadership's support for sustainable development.

His Excellency said that the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to humanity as a whole, and that it demonstrated the importance of sustainability in its broadest sense, and revealed the interdependence between health and food and resource security. His Excellency explained how efforts made by the UAE  to face the pandemic, through proactive measures enacted by the wise leadership,  focused on enhancing resource security and supporting vital supply chains.
His Excellency stressed the concept of cooperation and building bridges of dialogue and communication, noting that the country will host the Dubai Expo later this year, with sustainability and the future as the main themes of this event.
His Excellency touched on the Zayed Sustainability Prize and its role in promoting global sustainability efforts, as it has achieved a positive impact on more than 350 million people around the world. He said that the award has a special place among the UAE’s leadership because it embodies the values and principles of the founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and especially his commitment to sustainable progress. His Excellency explained that the award will return in its usual form next year, with a focus on aspects of innovation and recovery for the post-COVID period.

The ADSW Summit comprises three sessions of two hours each, and focuses on three topics: restoring the circle of life (Live & Move), enhancing responsibility and interaction (Care & Engage), and doing business and investment (Work & Invest). Each topic addresses the main issues and topics that would open the way for the many social, economic and technological opportunities to achieve a post-pandemic green recovery.
As well as the Summit, ADSW, which runs from January 18-21, hosts a series of high-level virtual activities, including the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Abu Dhabi Forum for Sustainable Finance, and the Global Energy Forum of the Atlantic Council. the virtual forum for the "Youth for Sustainability" platform, and the World Future Energy Summit forums.

In addition to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco; speakers at the summit include: His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud, Chairman of the Board of Directors of "KBW" Investment; His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, Group Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Director of Mubadala Investment; Grace Fu, Minister of Sustainability and Environment of the Government of Singapore; Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and founder and CEO of Kalimat Group; His Excellency Engineer Aweidah Morshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy; Francisco Lacamera, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Maymouna Mohamed Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat; Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC Holding Group; Lawrence Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock; And Dr Lucas Juba, CEO of Environmental Practices at Microsoft,.

Through its various initiatives and events, ADSW advances the process of exchanging knowledge, implementing strategies, and developing realistic solutions to face the challenges of sustainability and climate change. As the first major global event in 2021, the year in which the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary, the week contributes a pioneering role in enhancing cooperation between the public and private sectors in order to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Since the launch of its activities more than a decade ago, ADSW has grown to become one of the largest gatherings concerned with sustainability in the world. The 2020 edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week attracted more than 45,000 participants from more than 170 countries, and saw the participation of 10 heads of state, in addition to 160 ministers and ambassadors.
To view the full program of ADSW 2021, please visit www.abudhabisustainabilityweek.com

26 JAN 2021

Reimagined Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week concludes with global commitment to deliver green recovery in 2021

  • ADSW welcomes royal addresses from H.R.H, Charles, The Prince of Wales and H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, Head of State, Principality of Monaco
  • Flagship ADSW Summit took place in the presence of HH Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council
  • ADSW featured more than 500 global leaders from government, business and technology

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; January 24, 2021: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global platform for accelerating sustainable development, hosted by Masdar, concluded on Thursday with a resounding global commitment to deliver a green recovery in 2021. From January 18 to 21, ADSW took place in a reimagined virtual setting and attracted more than 100,000 views across its online platforms from 175 countries, reiterating its importance as the annual global sustainability event that sets the agenda for the year.

ADSW comprised high-level virtual events: ADSW Summit, which took place in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; IRENA’s 11th Assembly; Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum; Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum; Youth 4 Sustainability Virtual Forum; and World Future Energy Summit Back to Business Webinar Series.

The ADSW speaker program featured more than 500 global leaders and decision-makers from policy, industry and technology, including: H.E. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Chairman of Masdar; H.R.H, Charles, The Prince of Wales; H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, Head of State, Principality of Monaco; António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations; H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO, Mubadala Investment Company; Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP, COP26 President; Laurence Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock; Bernard Looney, CEO, BP; Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Bank of America; and Mark Carney, Finance Adviser to the UK Prime Minister for COP 26 and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.

These global leaders spoke across ADSW’s high-level event platforms, each designed to focus on different elements of the global sustainability agenda.  

The International Renewable Energy Agency held its 11th IRENA Assembly, which brought together heads of state, government, ministers and energy decision-makers to discuss the global energy transition and the further adoption of renewable technologies.

The flagship ADSW Summit featured more than 90 global leaders from around the world and ran over three sessions focusing on the pillars of “Live & Move,” “Care & Engage,” and “Work & Invest,” with each pillar exploring social, economic and technological opportunities for delivering a green recovery.

The third edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum hosted by Abu Dhabi Global Market was held under the theme ‘Financing Sustainable Recovery and Future Resilience’ and highlighted the importance of a sustainable and equitable approach to rebuild the global economy.

The Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Forum and World Future Energy Summit Webinars highlighted the opportunities for advancing the energy transition and race to net zero.

Masdar’s Youth 4 Sustainability Virtual Forum was led by members of the global youth community and explored ways for young people to play an active role in the implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE’s 50-year Development Plan. The forum covered topics across leadership and sustainability, skills and future of work, and innovation challenges including the Ecothon Pitch, which was supported by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Energy, Khalifa Fund and The Catalyst, a venture fund in partnership with Masdar City and BP.

ADSW 2021 also featured The Global Innovation Award, which is organized on behalf of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, named Cambrian Innovation from the US the overall winner of Award.

The week welcomed several commercial announcements relating to the adoption and development of hydrogen in the UAE.  Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and ADQ announced the signing of an MoU to establish the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance (the Alliance), with the view to establish Abu Dhabi as a trusted leader of low-carbon green and blue hydrogen in emerging international markets.

Building on the Alliance, Masdar, the world’s leading renewable energy companies, announced it would join forces with Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa Group, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Siemens Energy, and Marubeni Corporation, in an initiative designed to support the development of the green hydrogen economy in Abu Dhabi. The initiative aims to establish a demonstrator plant at Masdar City.

Building on the 2020 Abraham Accords, Masdar also signed a strategic agreement with French group EDF Renewables to explore renewable energy opportunities in Israel and support the country’s clean-energy objectives. Israel is targeting 30 percent of its energy coming from renewable sources by 2030, up from a previous target of 17 percent, as it looks to phase out coal use. Achieving the new target will require an additional 15 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity being developed over the period.

Masdar also released during ADSW its 2020 Annual Sustainability Report, which revealed it had more than doubled its clean energy capacity in the last two years, generating enough electricity to power over four million homes.

For over a decade, Abu Dhabi has provided a sustainable platform for the global community that has grown through its initiatives and events to emerge as a thought leader and catalyst that accelerates sustainable development around the world.

As a manifestation of the UAE’s proactive, forward thinking approach to sustainability and mitigating the impact of climate change, ADSW is committed to the sharing of knowledge, implementation of strategies and the delivery of real-world solutions. As the first global event in the UAE’s Golden Jubilee year, ADSW provides a global platform to set the sustainability agenda for the year and help deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.