Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) will see global policy and business leaders convene in the capital of the United Arab Emirates from January 16 to take the next steps in identifying and implementing solutions to the world’s most pressing sustainable development challenges.
The conferences, events and exhibitions comprising ADSW will be based on the key pillars of policy, leadership, business, academic research and awareness – reflecting the breadth and depth of the week.
Hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, ADSW will gather heads of state, ministers and international delegations to address critical sustainability issues, including growing energy and water needs, the challenges of urbanisation, and the priorities of climate change mitigation.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar said, "The UAE is delivering on its goal of achieving the long-term economic prosperity and welfare of its people, guided by the vision of its leadership and a long-standing commitment to diversify all sectors of the economy, including renewable energy. Sustainable development is integral to our continued advancement as a nation, and reflects our core national values of peace, prosperity, stability, tolerance and unity.
Thirty three thousand delegates, more than 80 ministers, and visitors from over 170 countries are expected to attend the policy dialogues, conferences, exhibitions and events that will make up ADSW 2016.
As the first major international gathering of 2016, ADSW will be a timely platform to sustain the forward momentum achieved in 2015, especially following the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement aimed at mitigating climate change.
"There is no single solution to meeting the world’s growing energy needs. As a leading hydrocarbon exporter, we have long recognised the importance of investing in new technologies to maintain our energy leadership and ensure a diversified, secure energy future. ADSW is an important reflection of the UAE leadership’s economic and energy diversification goals, which are aimed at achieving sustainable development. Our experience shows that advancing these goals presents an unparalleled economic opportunity, one that will lead to more jobs, more innovation, and more prosperity," added Dr. Al Jaber.
ADSW will be dedicated to transforming these visionary international goals into practical and commercially driven solutions that can be implemented by the private sector.
The main events of ADSW 2016 are anchored on the following themes: Policy. The week will launch with the core activity of the policy pillar – the sixth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on January 16-17. The assembly will advance policy-dialogues and governance frameworks surrounding renewable energy access and deployment. Headquartered at Masdar, IRENA is the world’s first intergovernmental organisation dedicated to renewable energy and counts 171 countries as members.
Leadership. The ADSW Opening Ceremony on January 18 will inaugurate four days of debate, discussion and cooperation among the world’s energy leaders. The ceremony will be followed by Abu Dhabi Global Action Day, a high-level event aimed at turning the ambitious global goals into practical and innovative policy, investment, technology and partnership solutions, will inaugurate the leadership pillar.
Winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize will also be announced during ADSW, at an awards ceremony on January 18. The US $4 million prize was established by the UAE leadership to recognise and rewards excellence in renewable energy and sustainability.
The Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy initiative will host its first full-day conference on January 20, which will include the announcement of new partnerships aimed at empowering more women to become leaders in the sustainability field.
In addition, the Young Future Energy Leaders – a program led by Masdar Institute – will convene local and international representatives on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit for conferences and other programmes.
Business. Reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s position as an international energy and sustainability hub, ADSW 2016 will once again host the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), International Water Summit (IWS) and EcoWaste exhibition will take place January 18-21, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
WFES, in its ninth year, is the world’s foremost event dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. The four-day conference programme will address a range of key themes across clean energy. It will include sessions on the future of global energy in a low hydrocarbon price environment; financing the future of energy; new projects in the MENA solar sector and climate change and the UAE.
The fourth edition of IWS will focus on addressing the challenge of water scarcity through sustainability; developments in sustainable desalination and water reuse; long term investment and development opportunities in the MENA water market; innovations in the water-food-energy nexus and strategies to manage urban water supply resilience.
Awareness & Research. A core mission of ADSW is to raise the awareness in the UAE about the importance of sustainability and energy diversification. ADSW will carry out this mission through a variety of programs to engage youth, such as Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in Schools, The Student Exclusive, a program just for students which will include a debate between leading sustainability figures and local youth, and The Festival at Masdar City on January 22-23.
Masdar Institute will also maintain its commitment to broadening and deepening knowledge, research and development, and training students through its numerous research centres. The innovative capacity of these centres are bolstered through strong partnerships with international governmental and private-sector institutions.