- Emirates News Agency (WAM))
DUBAI, 28th September, 2022 (WAM) -- Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) and Honorary President of the Emirates Energy Award (EEA), inaugurated the 8th edition of the World Green Economy Summit (WGES) today.
The two-day event is organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO), and the DSCE at the Dubai World Trade Centre. A large number of ministers, officials, and experts from around the world are taking part in the summit.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, MD & CEO of DEWA and Chairman of WGEO, delivered the keynote speech at the summit.
'This year, we organise the 8th edition of the World Green Economy Summit under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan who said in 2015, 'There will be a time, 50 years from now, when we load the last barrel of oil aboard a ship. If our investment today is right, I think – dear brothers and sisters – we will celebrate that moment'. This summit also supports the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to launch the 'Green Economy for Sustainable Development' strategy to build a green economy in the UAE under the theme 'A Green Economy for Sustainable Development'. The World Green Economy Summit is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and his directives to expand dialogue and promote concerted efforts to develop solutions for a better and more sustainable future for us and for generations to come. Held under the theme of 'Climate Action Leadership through Collaboration: The Roadmap to Net-Zero,' the World Green Economy Summit this year will explore opportunities for collaboration and exchange of knowledge and expertise among stakeholders, international and regional organisations, as well as public and private sectors, with the goal of promoting the transition towards a green economy. The theme reflects the need for international cooperation to combat climate challenges which affect the entire world,' Al Tayer said, in his keynote speech.
Al Tayer said that the world has witnessed major crises across all sectors due to climate change, which has caused natural disasters in various regions worldwide. Last month, Europe experienced its worst drought in at least 500 years, shrinking water levels in key rivers. This negatively impacted trade across rivers and canals, which contributes around $80 billion to the Eurozone economy. Just recently, one third of Pakistan was completely and deeply flooded with rainwater binging widespread destruction and misery. According to the World Health Organisation, water scarcity impacts 40 percent of the world's population, and as many as 700 million people are at risk of being displaced due to drought by 2030. The Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2022 indicates that climate change will impact water quality and availability. Globally, 800 million to three billion people are projected to experience chronic water scarcity due to droughts at 2 C warming.
'Although climate change is the defining crisis of our time, yet we are not powerless in the face of this global threat. The UAE has been leading global efforts in tackling climate change and has always pioneered efforts to address global challenges and promote quality investments in the green economy. Selecting the UAE to host the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) underlines the world's recognition of the UAE's efforts and its effective role in combating climate change. Last year, the UAE announced the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, with investments of more than AED600 billion in clean and renewable energy until 2050. This makes it the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to launch such an initiative. The announcement comes as the pinnacle of the UAE's efforts and journey in climate action over the past three decades since it acceded to the UNFCCC in 1995. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed also launched the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 to drive sustainability, innovation, and transformation towards a sustainable green economy, as well as provide 100 percent of the energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050,' Al Tayer added.
Al Tayer explained that Dubai has succeeded in reducing carbon emissions by 21 percent in 2021, exceeding the target set in the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021, which aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 16 percent by 2021.
Al Tayer noted that the UAE hosts specialised international institutions in the green economy, such as the International Renewable Energy Agency in Abu Dhabi and the WGEO in Dubai, among other leading organisations. The UAE consistently supports global efforts to address climate change by announcing effective solutions that enable low-carbon sectors, as well as leading projects that support the country's future strategies and aspirations, such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. Last March, the UAE Government, represented by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the WGEO, and DEWA, hosted the first-ever MENA Climate Week. The event achieved remarkable success and attracted over 15,000 participants from 40 countries worldwide and 500 global speakers and experts. The event was organised in collaboration with the UNFCCC and other international partners.
'The solutions necessary to reach net zero in the future are within our reach, but we are running a race against time. Guided by the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, green hydrogen has become one of the key enablers to achieving Dubai's plan to reach net zero by 2050. In this regard, DEWA is developing a strategy and roadmap for green hydrogen in cooperation with international consultants. The 8th WGEO Summit focuses on four key pillars of the green economy: Energy, Finance, Food Security, and Youth. In the Energy pillar, we will look into solutions to enhance energy efficiency and decarbonise the energy systems. The finance pillar will focus on attracting and encouraging green investments. In the Food Security pillar, the Summit will examine approaches and methodologies to build resilience and sustainability into value chains to meet the growing challenges in this area. The fourth pillar will highlight the need to support and empower the youth who are the driving force of sustainable development and positive change in order to prepare the next generation of climate action leaders,' Al Tayer added.
Al Tayer emphasised that given the vital role young people play in the effective implementation of climate action, the World Green Economy Summit is hosting the Regional Youth Conference, which brings together which brings together MENA youth to discuss their priorities. This precedes the World Youth Conference that will be held in conjunction with COP27 in November in Egypt, as well as the UAE's preparations to host COP28 next year in Expo City Dubai.
'Over the years, the World Green Economy Organisation has mobilised global efforts to promote joint action to combat climate change. In cooperation with the UNFCCC, WGEO established the Regional Cooperation Centre for the Middle East and North Africa in Dubai, which provides technical support to stakeholders to increase investments in technologies, solutions and partnerships to reach a carbon-neutral economy,' Al Tayer continued.
Al Tayer also thanked Sheikh Ahmed for inaugurating the Summit.
During the Summit's official opening ceremony, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, CEO of Alliances For Global Sustainability, delivered the UAE Representative in a video message, while Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, delivered the International Representative speech.
The first day also featured a panel session titled 'Implementing the Paris Agreement: Building a MENA climate action legacy'. Dr. Muawieh Khalid Radaideh, Minister of Environment in Jordan; Kavydass Ramano, Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change in Mauritius; Dr. Dena Assaf, Resident Coordinator, UN Resident Coordinator in the UAE; James Grabert, Director, Mitigation Division, UNFCCC, and Hana Al Hashimi, Chief Climate Negotiator, Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, took part in the session, which was moderated by John Defterios, Professor of Business, NYU Abu Dhabi and World Economic Forum Energy Fellow. The panellists discussed topics related to climate action in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and the significance of hosting COP27 in Egypt later this year and COP28 in the UAE next year.
Sheikh Ahmed honoured winners of the 4th cycle of the award. EEA is organised by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, under the theme 'Inspiring Innovation for Sustainable Energy'. Saeed Al Tayer, and Ahmed Al Muhairbi were present. The ceremony was also attended by officials from the government and private sectors as well as experts in renewable and clean energy. The ceremony was held during the 8th World Green Economy Summit 2022 in Dubai. A total of 28 winners in 10 categories were recognised for their achievements and innovations in providing the best energy efficiency and alternative energy solutions.
The inauguration was attended by Dr. Muawieh Khalid Radaideh, Minister of Environment – Jordan; Kavydass Ramano, Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change – Mauritius; Bhupender Yadav, Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change - India; Matar Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of DEWA, Abdulla Al Basti, Secretary-General of The Executive Council of Dubai; Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy; Mohammed Saleh, Director-General of Etihad Water and Electricity; Dawood Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality; Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai's Department of Economy and Tourism; Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; HE Saif Humaid Al Falasi, CEO of ENOC; Ahmed Bin Shafar, CEO of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower); Abdulla Bin Kalban, Managing Director of Emirates Global Aluminium; Ali Rashid Al Jarwan, CEO of Dragon Oil; Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power; Mahmoud Yahya al Thuhli, Administrative Development Adviser to Oman's Environment Authority's Chairman, and a number of ministers from around the world as well as local and international officials.