Abu Dhabi: UAE nationals are installing windmills in the middle of the sea in the UK and working on the solar power plants in Spain and elsewhere in the world these days. This work is a testimony to the UAE’s efforts in engaging its nationals in its investments abroad in sustainable developmental initiatives like the renewable energy projects, a top official said yesterday.
Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jabar, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said since the UAE established its renewable energy initiative Masdar in 2006, the country has been actively engaging its citizens in sustainable developmental projects, which has helped transform mindsets.
“It was a great achievement made by the country,” said Al Jabar, speaking at a press briefing about the UAE’s upcoming ambitious initiative of an international summit on sustainability which will be held in Abu Dhabi in January next year.
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will be the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the region. More than 30,000 participants from 158 countries, including globally recognised leaders from governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders will attend the event, which will run from January 13 – 17, 2013.
They will address the business, technology and financial challenges required for sustainable development, he said.
“The week builds on the momentum created at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil, particularly in advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will guide the sustainability agenda for the next 20 years. The UAE’s Rio+20 delegation played a key role in developing those goals which many have seen as one of the most important outcomes of the conference.”
Sustainable development goals highlight the need for sustainable access to energy, water and food. These challenges will be addressed in the conferences and events to be held during the week. The Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) January 13 - 14; the sixth annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) January 15 - 17; the International Water Summit (IWS) January 15 - 17; the fifth annual Awards Ceremony for the Zayed Future Energy Prize January 15; and the International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi (ADIREC) January 15 – 17 will be held along during the week. Together, these gatherings will act as a platform enabling governments, businesses and organisations to demonstrate their sustainability achievements and share their knowledge.
Al Jabar urged all UAE organisations and residents to join the important dialogue that will take place during the event.
Currently the UAE’s per person consumption of water and electricity is among the highest in the world. While a hot climate and scarce water are contributing factors, over-consumption is also part of the cause, which every resident can personally address by being more conscious of how much energy and water they use, he said.
For more information about Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, visit www.abudhabisustainabilityweek.com