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.

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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.

 

 -Ends-

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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.

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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.