Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
A group of Emirati men walk in front of the stand of Masdar City at the World Future Energy Summit exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Karim Sahib / AFP Photo
A group of Emirati men walk in front of the stand of Masdar City at the World Future Energy Summit exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Karim Sahib / AFP Photo

Abu Dhabi welcomes the world to celebrate Sustainability Week

As well as talks on climate and clean energy, experts on water conservation will be in Abu Dhabi for the International Water Summit.

Government delegations from more than 140 countries are expected in the capital this week for the first Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Besides high-level officials from the United States, Germany, Denmark, China and India, senior representatives of international organisations such as the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Energy Agency are also attending.

The event was announced last June during Rio+20, a UN conference on sustainable development. It builds on the success of the World Future Energy Summit, which has been hosted by Abu Dhabi's clean energy company, Masdar, every year since 2008.

This year's event will be the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Masdar.

"With an estimated 30,000 attendees, we continue to reinforce our leadership role as an international hub for renewable energy and sustainability," he said.

"Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is an open global platform that seriously addresses the global energy challenge, while encouraging collaboration and innovation to accelerate the adoption of sustainable development and renewable energy."

The showcase coincides with the third session of the general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) today and tomoprrow.

Founded in 2009, the international clean energy body has 158 states and the European Union as members and is headquartered in Abu Dhabi.

On Tuesday, delegates will be welcomed to the World Future Energy Summit by Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE's Minister of Foreign Trade.

Delegates to the three-day event will also hear from Todd Stern, the US special envoy for climate change; Connie Hedegaard, the European climate commissioner; and Jeffrey Sachs, the economist.

On Wednesday, a discussion on the future of renewable energy, scheduled to be attended by Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the International Energy Agency, will open the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference.

Convened by Ren21, a network of organisations in the field of renewables, the event was previously hosted by Delhi, Washington and Bonn.

Today will also feature a discussion on clean energy finance, attended by representatives of the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and Saudi Arabia's Islamic Development Bank.

Tomorrow, the conference will continue with a discussion on future energy innovation, opening with a keynote presentation by Dan Arvizu, director of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

For the first time, Abu Dhabi will be welcoming water conservation experts to the International Water Summit, that runs from Tuesday to Thursday.

The event was announced last year by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Among the participants will be Michel Jarraud, the chairman of UN-Water, and Fahad Al Attiya, the chairman of the National Food Security Programme in Qatar.

Dr Rachael McDonnell, water policy and governance scientist at the Dubai-based International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture, said it is important for the discussion on water to happen alongside the dialogue on energy and clean energy.

Around the world, but especially in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf, energy and water are closely linked, said Dr McDonnell, who is also speaking at the event.

Most of the UAE's potable water is produced by desalination in combined-cycle power and water plants.

"This event is very useful for the region," said Dr McDonnell. "It is important that it will bring together business with government with researchers."

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

On our sixth birthday, today’s news told visually

Today in print, we are doing something different: we use only photos, graphics, illustrations and headlines to capture the news in a one-off collector’s edition.

 Rolling out the structure for the set. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Star Wars: Episode VII evidence in Abu Dhabi desert

After more than a week of speculation, The National has what are believed to be the first photos of a Star Wars shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert.

 Children walk past an Indian voter awareness mural in Mumbai ahead of the sixth phase of India’s national elections. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

Inside India: Election, Promoting the Vote

A view of news and daily life on the Indian subcontinent for the week of April 10, 2014.

 INVERNESS, SCOTLAND - APRIL 16:  A general view of Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit on April 16, 2014 in Scotland. A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country will take place on September 18, 2014.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Map of seperatist movements around the world

The conflict in Ukraine is a classic example of competing aspirations and identities – here’s a look at seperatist movements around the world.

 Hassan Abdullah, who goes by the name Abu Mahmoud, an Emirati fisherman, poses for a portrait at the Al Rughayalat Port. Abu Mahmoud was born and raised in Fujairah city and has been working as a fisherman since 1968. “I’m a shark man”, he says, “I was born in the sea.” Silvia Razgova / The National

In pictures: Fishing communities in the Northern Emirates

Fishermen in Fujairah and Umm Al Qaiwain worry that new regulations to protect fish stocks are harming their trade. We look at both communities through the lens of our photographers.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National