Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week to accelerate climate action
Abu Dhabi: The ninth edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings at Abu Dhabi next week, will help address the challenges of climate change and accelerate sustainable development, top officials announced here at a press conference on Monday.
Themed ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development’, the event at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec) from January 12 to 19 will attract participants from 175 nations, including heads of states and governments, senior ministers, business leaders and experts.
Under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the event will begin with the ninth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) from January 11 to 13 and end with the two-day festival at Masdar City on January 18 and 19.
“The upcoming edition has expanded its scope to take a holistic approach to sustainability. Its new pillars are: Energy and Climate Change, Water, Future Mobility, Space, Biotechnology, and Tech for Good, in addition to Youth and Digitalisation, which will run across all other pillars,” said Dr Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
The second edition of the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX), the ministry’s global initiative for enabling the youth to innovate and effectively contribute to sustainability solutions, is expected to receive $20 million (Dh73.4 million) investments, he said.
“During CLIX 2018, we aimed to secure $300,000 to fund individual entrepreneurs and $3.2 million for group enterprises. By the end of ADSW 2018, investors expressed their intent to invest $17.5 million in the showcased innovations in the first year and $45.5 million over three years,” Al Zeyoudi said.
For its 2019 edition, CLIX has received more than 811 submissions, a 222 per cent increase over last year. We chose 48 applicants — 78 per cent more than last year — including nine Emiratis to display their innovations on the CLIX stage. To date, 15 investors have confirmed their participation in this edition, he said.
Adnan Z. Ameen, director-general of the Irena, said the ADSW would help identify a common pathway to a more equitable, low-carbon and sustainable economic future. “The Assembly, Irena’s ultimate decision-making body that brings together 180 countries, takes place each year at ADSW — a reflection of its significance as a leading global platform for policy dialogue and a catalyst for action.”
Mohammad Juma Rashid Bin Jarsh Al Falasi, Undersecretary at the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Energy (DoE), said the department is developing the right strategy and regulations in place to minimise the consumption of oil and gas, and to benefit from renewable sources, particularly solar.
Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “Hosting ADSW is our proud duty to the UAE. More and more industries, including many youthful start-ups, are committing themselves to taking action on sustainability. Only by making a commitment, together, can we realise tangible progress on mitigating climate change,” he said.
Richard Teng, CEO of Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Abu Dhabi Global Market, said Abu Dhabi Global Market will host and curate the inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum as part of the ADSW.
“The Forum will provide a platform that brings together and creates open dialogues among governments, innovators, service providers, investors and industry professionals on sustainable investment and long-term economic growth,” he said.
Last year, a record 38,000 people representing 175 countries attended ADSW, including 180 ministers and 300 high-level speakers. Commercial projects worth $15 billion were announced during the week.