His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has stressed that the UAE seeks to achieve sustainable economic diversification as part of UAE Vision 2021.
Sheikh Mohammed explained that the UAE, under the wise leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, committed to contributing to meet the growing global demand for energy through the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies.
In a speech during the opening of the 9th World Future Energy Summit, one of the major events of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016, Sheikh Mohammed said that Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is a key platform for the promotion of international partnerships that will drive innovation and achieve prosperity in the long run for the state and the international community as a whole.
Sheikh Mohammed hailed the role played by Masdar in strengthening the UAE's leadership in the energy sector as a whole, particularly the renewable ones, in less than a decade - and has become a key player in the international renewable energy sector.
Earlier: In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), an Abu Dhabi government initiative to address the interconnected challenges affecting energy, water and sustainable development, opened today (Monday) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
ADSW, the Middle East’s largest gathering on sustainability, is built around four key platforms: Policy, Leadership, Business and Awareness. These platforms will be reflected in the activities, announcements and conversations taking place throughout this year’s programme.
Hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, ADSW is a global platform that addresses challenges and opportunities of sustainable development, the wider adoption of renewable energy and water security.
This is the first global gathering where the adoption of renewable energy and sustainable development can be advanced following the Paris Climate Conference, COP 21, in December. It is set to reinforce the economic opportunity behind clean energy adoption and climate change mitigation.
More than 33,000 people from 170 countries, including 60 ministers of state, are attending the activities of ADSW, which also encompasses the World Future Energy Summit, the International Water Summit and EcoWaste, as well as the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
Winners of Zayed Future Energy Prize honoured
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attended the awards ceremony of the 8th Zayed Future Energy Prize in the presence of a number of world leaders and heads of delegations participating in Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in the presence of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, an energetic blend of stateswoman, physician, manager, politician, and international activist, due to her role in leading the world on issues of global significance. The former Prime Minister of Norway Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland received the Lifetime Achievement award for her long-term and steadfast commitment to sustainability and sustainable development. Today, Dr. Brundtland is the Vice Chair of the UN Foundation and Deputy Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights.
After receiving the award, Dr. Brundtland paid rich tributes to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for his work in the field of sustainable development and renewable energy.
The Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto, handed out the awards to other recipients.
In the Global High Schools category, there were five winners who were each awarded $100,000. For Oceania, the winners were the Cashmere High School, New Zealand, in the Asia region, the winners were the Korea Science Academy, in the Africa region, the SOS HG Sheikh Secondary School, Somaliland, in Europe, The Student Research Centre, South Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, and in the Americas, the Institucion Educativa Gabriel Plazas in Columbia.
In the category of non-profit organization (NGO) Kopernik of Indonesia won this year's award, valued at $1.5 million, while Off Grid Electric (OGE) won the $1.5 million prize in the Small and Medium Enterprises category.
BYD Company Ltd. of China won the Recognition Award (No monetary value) in the Large Corporation category.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed underlined that the UAE will continue to be a leader in driving sustainable innovations across the globe: "At this critical time in the global dialogue around sustainability and clean energy, the UAE has shown farsighted leadership in ensuring innovation plays a central role in addressing the world’s common concerns. Because of this, Abu Dhabi is a focal point for action that carries us along the path of sustainable development. This is a journey that we began under the farsighted vision of our founding father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose legacy defines the UAE’s past and will continue to define its future."
Sheikh Mohamed continued: "Through the Zayed Future Energy Prize, we are recognising the pioneers that dare to push the boundaries of what is achievable through clean energy innovation. These pioneers are the individuals and organisations at the forefront of the transition to a more secure and sustainable world."
For the latest edition of the prize, a record 1,437 entries were received from 97 countries. The $4 million prize, that empowers and rewards innovators in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, has now recognised 48 pioneers since its inception in 2008. In the 8 years since, the prize has seen unprecedented growth and a total of 8,502 entries submitted.
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of the Republic of Iceland and Chair of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury, said: "This has been another outstanding year for the Zayed Future Energy Prize. The record number of submissions is a testament to the leadership shown by the UAE in this field. This is made all the more impressive because of the sheer length and breadth of those that apply to be part of this global community. Those whose innovations are shaping their community today right through to those young people who are the next generation of leaders, innovators, and individuals willing to make a difference to the world around them."
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize: "The prize was established in recognition of the farsighted and persistent belief of our late founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, that sustainability should underpin the future development of the nation. Today, this principle forms the foundation of the prizes influence across the globe."
From ensuring access to modern energy in rural African villages to empowering Bangladeshi women with careers as solar technicians, more than 202 million people around the world have experienced the sustainable actions of the Zayed Future Energy Prize winners. Through progressive achievements recognised by the awards, water security is now a reality for millions of families across Bangladesh, India, Ghana and the Philippines, Renewable energy sources supply electricity to a population the size of Italy and enough carbon emissions have been avoided to off-set the price of global deforestation for a year.
Dr Al Jaber, highlighted how the prize is a beacon for those innovating in sustainability: "The prize is empowering ideas and knowledge-exchange that are on the frontline of ushering in a more sustainable future. It is only through the ability to recognise and foster these ideas that we are able to support those who are truly re-shaping communities across the globe. It is this that ensures the UAE is playing a predominant role in delivering what are fundamental human rights for all – the right to water, energy and a sustainable future."
Today the prize recognises pioneers of renewable energy and sustainability across five categories: Large Corporation, SME, NPO, Lifetime Achievement and the most recent addition, Global High Schools. Each year, the prize evaluates entries in each category based on their impact, innovation, leadership and long-term vision. It is at the end of this stringent evaluation process that the esteemed members of the Jury decide upon the winners. An increasingly difficult challenge due to the continuing rise in calibre of entries.
In 2012, the Global High Schools category was launched as part of the UAE leadership’s commitment to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative and educating future generations about sustainability. Now in its fourth year, the prize has empowered 19 schools to incorporate renewable energy and sustainability into their schools and curricula.
Gro Harlem Brundtland wins Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway, today (Monday) received the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Zayed Future Energy Prize at an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, awarded the prize to Dr. Brundtland for her lifelong dedication to furthering the cause of sustainability and her steadfast advocacy of sustainable development.
Accepting the award, Dr. Brundtland said, "I am greatly honoured and moved to be receiving this prestigious award from the Zayed Future Energy Prize. The legacy of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is an inspiration to all who aspire to find solutions to the world’s common challenges around the sustainable, equitable and secure access to energy and water."
Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders and Vice Chair of the United Nations Foundation, is widely accepted as being the author of the concept of sustainable development. In this regard, she is recognised as a pioneer of modern economic development theory.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, noted, "For thirty years, Dr. Brundtland has championed the approach to environment and development as one single issue. Her commitment to equitable human progress helped to ensure that energy access, water security, and clean technology became and remain central pillars of sustainable development. Ambitious aims like modern energy access for all by 2030, which is goal seven of the Sustainable Development Goals, may never have been conceived if not for her. This award recognises Dr. Brundtland for her foresight and vision in conceptualising sustainable development and for forging a path that ensures the world shares a common purpose around sustainability."
Dr. Brundtland’s achievements include inspiring the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations. The goals are intrinsically linked to the Zayed Future Energy Prize through a number of commitments, not least that of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, and taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Dr. Brundtland emphasised the importance of the SDGs and their inherent link to the prize. "What is significant about the SDGs is that they understand that poverty, access to energy, and climate change, do not happen in isolation. They are bound in many ways and therefore need a collective understanding in order to meet their targets by 2030. The Zayed Future Energy Prize helps to recognise and empower those that are working across the globe to help end many of the challenges that have led to the SDGs being implemented. Moreover, the global community of past winners and finalist, that I am proud to join, are a movement helping to ensure sustainability remains at the core of development."
The Zayed Future Energy Prize is the UAE’s international award that recognises and empowers pioneers in renewable energy and sustainability. The prize is part of the UAEs vision and commitment to finding solutions that will meet the challenges of climate change, energy security and the environment.
Mohamed bin Zayed receives President of Kosovo
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, today (Monday) received President Atifete Jahjaga of the Republic of Kosovo, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The President of Kosovo and her accompanying delegation are on a visit to the country to participate in Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016, which is currently being hosted in the emirate.
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohamed welcomed Ms. Jahjaga and discussed with her the friendship and cooperation relations and ways of boosting them for the interests of both countries and peoples.
The meeting covered the existing areas of cooperation between the UAE and Kosovo especially in the economic, investment and development aspects. Talks also touched on the activities of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and the World Future Energy Summit.
The two sides discussed international efforts to launch initiatives and projects on clean and renewable energy, touching on a number of issues of mutual interest and exchanged views on regional and international developments.
‘UAE world leader in promotion of innovative energy solutions’
The UAE is devising national integrated policies that strike a balance between a sustainable development policy and energy projects, which form the lifeline for delivering economic and social growth, development and prosperity, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, has said.
The minister stressed the need for developing innovative technology to promote and deploy clean, sustainable renewable energy and practical solutions to challenges in areas of carbon dioxide emissions, and climate change.
''The strong interconnect between growth of world demand for energy and achievement of economic prosperity is primarily based on technological advancement, which allows wider application of creative solutions to many challenges facing investment in energy,'' he said in a statement to mark the launch of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) today at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The ADSW is a global platform that addresses the interconnected challenges that affect the widespread acceleration and adoption of sustainable development and clean energy. To seriously address the global energy challenge, the relationships between economic development, poverty eradication, energy security, water scarcity and climate change cannot be overlooked. The largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East, the ADSW encourages actionable outcomes to carve a pathway toward sustainability worldwide.
''Since its launch, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week has consolidated Abu Dhabi’s standing as a leading international centre for development and deployment of conventional and modern energy solutions,'' he said, while noting that the Sustainability Week represented acknowledgement of the international community of what the UAE is achieving in sustainable energy and renewable energy and its quest to find innovative solutions to challenges facing the energy industry.
This year, between January 16 and 23, the ADSW will, once again, bring world leaders, policy makers, thought leaders, decision makers, experts, scientists, business leaders and academics together to discuss, debate, and ultimately address the energy and sustainability challenges of the future.