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Policymakers call for sustainable development before ADSW 2019

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019 will take place on the theme ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development’, the organisers say

| | Jan 7, 2019 | 4:25 pm
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Abu Dhabi, UAE, 7 January 2019: It is vital for the global community to commit to working together to address the challenges of climate change and accelerate sustainable development, UAE ministers and senior business leaders said, ahead of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), through a Press communiqué.

Dignitaries at the ADSW press conference

ADSW 2019 will take place from January 12 to 19, in Abu Dhabi and explores the major social, economic and environmental trends impacting the sector on the theme ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development’, the communiqué said. Held under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the global platform hosts heads of state, government ministers, policymakers, industry experts, innovators and future sustainability leaders, the communiqué further said.

Speaking at the press conference to launch the event, H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Every year at ADSW, the UAE joins forces with the rest of the world to accelerate the pace of sustainable development. Platforms such as this one enable the country to keep pace with the increased global uptake for innovative climate technologies, and lead the way to a cleaner and better tomorrow. This year, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is proud to present the second edition of the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) initiative that facilitates seamless sourcing, funding and monetisation of pioneering climate solutions.”

The ninth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) takes place from January 11 to 13 and ADSW 2019 ends with the two-day Festival at Masdar City on January 18 and 19, the communiqué said.

Adnan Z Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency, said: “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is one of the world’s pre-eminent gatherings of policy, industry and academic leaders that aims to identify a common pathway to a more equitable, low-carbon and sustainable economic future. The Assembly, IRENA’s ultimate decision-making body that brings together 180 countries, takes place each year at ADSW – a reflection of its significance as a leading global platform for policy dialogue and a catalyst for action.”

This year’s edition of ADSW will explore how digitalisation and innovative technologies are converging to provide new opportunities and solutions to drive economic growth, sustainable development and prosperity, the communiqué said.

To align more closely with the UAE Vision 2021 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ADSW has widened its scope beyond renewable energy, the communiqué said. ADSW 2019 will address global sustainability challenges and opportunities on the six pillars of Energy and Climate Change, Water, Future Mobility, Space, Biotechnology and Tech for Good, the communiqué further said. The topics of Youth and Digitalisation will inform each of these pillars and the programmes running throughout ADSW, the communiqué added.

ADSW’s anchor event, WFES (World Future Energy Summit), will feature more than 850 exhibiting companies from 40 countries. As part of WFES, the inaugural Future Summit is being held on January 15 and 16, bringing together leaders from government, the non-profit community, institutional investors and the private sector to debate accelerating the transition to a sustainable society, the communiqué said. Confirmed speakers include heads of state, alongside a host of UAE and international government dignitaries and global business leaders, the communiqué further said.

A new addition this year is the inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF), designed to focus on increasing the adoption of sustainable financing and directing capital towards activities with positive economic, social and environmental impacts, the communiqué added.

Richard Teng, CEO, Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Abu Dhabi Global Market, said: “Abu Dhabi Global Market is pleased to host and curate the inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum as part of the eminent Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. As a leading international financial centre, ADGM recognises the importance of driving sustainable financing and investments and working with key local and international stakeholders to facilitate initiatives that deliver long-term benefits for the well-being of society and the economy.”

The Youth 4 Sustainability Hub (Y4S) will provide a platform for students, young professionals, innovators and entrepreneurs to become more educated about the future of the sustainability industry, the communiqué said. It will also feature Future Skills 2030: an engaging and interactive mentorship opportunity for students and young professionals to network with industry experts, and gain key skills to pursue a career in sustainability, the communiqué further said.

As part of the Hub, CLIX (the Climate Innovations Exchange) will again connect youth, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors to enable partnerships that will power climate change solutions through knowledge, innovation and funding, the communiqué said. In 2018, the 27 finalists exhibited their inventions, resulting in nearly half the finalists receiving funding pledges from investors, totalling more than USD 17.5 million, the communiqué further said. This year, the expanded CLIX programme has received a record 811 applications, from across 83 countries, in categories including Sustainability in Space, Future of Energy, and Future of Food and Agriculture, the communiqué added.

Following the ADSW Opening Ceremony on January 14, the Zayed Sustainability Prize, which also adopted an expanded mandate earlier this year, will recognise winners in the Global High Schools category and the four new categories of Health, Food, Energy and Water, the communiqué said.

The Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform will host its annual Forum on January 16, under the theme ‘The Role of Women in Advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’, the communiqué said. To stimulate further debate and action beyond ADSW 2019, the global #WeAreCommitted campaign is being launched involving UAE ministers, international industry leaders and members of the local community, the communiqué further said. Besides promoting the sustainability pledges of opinion formers, the campaign invites members of the public to highlight their own commitments to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, while promoting respect for the right of all communities to enjoy cleaner land, air and water in 2019, the Year of Tolerance in the United Arab Emirates, the communiqué added.

According to the organisers, bringing ADSW 2019 to a close will be The Festival at Masdar City, promising a weekend of family entertainment encouraging environmental awareness. The communiqué said, the activities will focus on seven thematic zones – the Energy Cluster, Sustainability Cluster, Water and Agriculture Cluster, Urban Community, Market Place, Main Stage and Masdar Park.


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