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.

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.