Government officials, policymakers, business executives and more than 3, 000 visitors come together at the annual World Future Energy Summit to address issues at the core of sustainable development in the energy field. The summit is part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020 (ADSW), a programme that runs from January 11th to 18th.
At the opening ceremony on January 13th, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, highlighted the pioneering role that the United Arab Emirates have played in the advancement and transformation towards more sustainable and clean sources of energy.
“Here in the United Arab Emirates, we have taken this challenge head on. We were a first-mover in promoting and investing in advanced energy. (…) We have launched renewable energy projects totalling almost 12 gigawatts, here in the UAE and across 25 countries in the world,” he said.
“Because it is right and it makes perfect economic sense”
The UAE has taken a proactive and forward-thinking approach to matters of sustainability, which have reflected in policy changes and initiatives across the country. Within the last ten years, the renewable energy portfolio has expanded by 400%. In 2020, complementing its clean energy portfolio, the UAE will become the “first country in the region to deliver safe, commercial and peaceful nuclear power.”
Al Jaber summarised the practical and fruitful approach that the UAE has taken, “In short, the UAE not only talks the talk, but walks the walk, when it comes to delivering sustainable, clean energy. We do this because it is right and it makes perfect economic sense.”
Sustainable oil and gas production
Owing to the legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE is now one of the least carbon intensive oil and gas producers in the world. The country is committed to further decreasing its impact on the environment by reducing its greenhouse gas intensity by another 25% and limiting national fresh water consumption to less than 0.5 % of total water consumption and use. Moreover, it aims to increase the capacity of the carbon capture utilisation and storage programme.
Another planned practical measure is the planting of 10 million mangroves in the Al Dhafra region to prevent coastline erosion and to protect the on- and off-shore biodiversity.