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WFES 2013: The time is now

The 2013 World Future Energy Summit attracted thousands of participants who came together to discuss practical &sustainable solutions to energy challenges facing the world

| | Feb 16, 2013 | 2:24 pm
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The 2013 World Future Energy Summit attracted thousands of participants, including global leaders, industry players, members of the academia and journalists, who came together to discuss practical and sustainable solutions to energy challenges facing the world. The event also served as a forum to address the issue of climate change and to share insights and work towards progress. Jerome Sanchez has the story.

The sixth World Future Energy Summit (WFES 2013), held from January 15 to 17 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, served as a venue for different sectors of the society to come together and discuss, debate and present the latest perspectives in renewable and clean energy.

The event, hosted by the green energy research entity Masdar, a subsidiary of government-owned Mubadala Development Company, officially opened with a ceremony attended by various heads of states and important personalities from over 150 countries.

H. H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, opened WFES 2013, and French President François Hollande delivered the keynote address on the importance of new energy technology.

Other global personalities who spoke during the opening ceremony were Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina; Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; and Global Development Expert and Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs.

According to an official communiqué from the organisers, President Hollande in his keynote address, driving home the point that the world needed to spend more on renewable energy, said, “If we don’t spend … we will have a catastrophe.” He added that failure to spend on renewable energy would cause a spike in the demand for fossil energy, thus “making its prices unaffordable”. Furthermore, he reportedly proposed establishing joint funds between oil producing and consuming countries for the purpose.

In her speech, President Fernández de Kirchner said that the main contributions must come from developed nations because their energy consumption and emissions were much higher than those of developing nations. “Responsibility lies on all, but not in equal shares … developed nation’s contributions must be much higher,” she reportedly said.

Queen Rania of Jordan, on the other hand, called for finding sustainable solutions to energy needs. She reportedly added that without these solutions, progress would be slow and uneven, not only in the Middle East, but also everywhere around the world. “Today, 1.4 billion people – one in five in the world – still cannot access grid electricity. For a billion more, access in unreliable,” she said, according to the official release.

WFES 2013 provided an opportunity for over 650 exhibitors from 40 countries in the renewable energy, energy-smart technology and environment sectors to showcase their products and introduce innovative technologies. The event served as an avenue for these companies to come together and promote climate change technologies and present their research and development projects.

WFES 2013 also served as a platform for government bodies to discuss existing regulatory policies and speak to the participants about their core functions and how they contribute towards sustainability.

The organisers said that 20 countries had set up national pavilions during the event to showcase their country’s innovations. These included Japan, Republic of Korea, USA, Russia, Germany, Norway, France, India, China, and Sweden.

At the close of the event, the organisers announced that WFES 2013 saw an increase in attendee and exhibitor numbers. According to an official release, Naji El Haddad, WFES Show Director for event organiser Reed Exhibitions, said: “WFES continues to go from strength to strength as the leading world event for the renewable energy and sustainable industries. With 91 official government delegations at the opening ceremony and increased attendee and exhibitor numbers, WFES’s importance on the future energy calendar has been reinforced.”

Climate Control Middle East used the event as an opportunity to stay tuned to the latest developments and serious concerns in the energy sector, both national and global. As part of its mission to have its ear to the ground, it also caught up with people in the government and private sectors to conduct in-depth interviews to gain significant insights into the future of energy and its conservation.

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