In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit got underway recently as part of ADSW 2021, the global platform for accelerating the pace of sustainable development. Hosted by Masdar, the event is being held virtually this year due to restriction in place to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
His Highness welcomed the leaders, officials and experts participating in the sessions of this year’s summit to discuss how to enact a ‘green recovery’ to help economies rebound from the pandemic and build a more sustainable future for all.
His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasized that the UAE is continuing its efforts under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to stimulate sustainable development, and said that ADSW is particularly relevant this year as it represents a global platform for dialogue and setting the sustainable development agenda based on the principles of the green recovery.
His Highness said: “In light of the exceptional circumstances that the world is experiencing, there is an urgent need to take practical steps and initiatives that contribute to accelerating the application of the principles and foundations of sustainable development, with the need to take proactive steps, plan for a more flexible future and strengthen capabilities in order to efficiently face the existing and emerging challenges.
“The Emirati initiatives, present to the world a practical model on the economic feasibility of renewable energy, stressing the importance of cooperation and joint work to achieve tangible progress in the field of reducing the repercussions of climate change”.
His Highness said that Abu Dhabi continues, year after year, to consolidate its position and pivotal role as a platform that brings together the international community to discuss key issues in sustainability. He said that he hoped that this year’s ADSW would be the starting point for constructive global dialogue on building a secure and stable future for current and future generations.
H.S.H. Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, delivered the Summit’s keynote speech, thanked Abu Dhabi for hosting this event under these circumstances and said: “I believe the crisis we are experiencing is urging us to reinvent the ways we live, produce and travel in a more radical manner. It is urging us to rethink our relationship with nature and to reevaluate our priorities. In this respect, the coming year will be full of opportunities which we need to grasp.”
His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Special Envoy for Climate Change and Chairman of Masdar, delivered a speech in which he welcomed the guests and participants of the Summit, praising the wise leadership’s support for sustainable development.
His Excellency said that the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to humanity as a whole, and that it demonstrated the importance of sustainability in its broadest sense, and revealed the interdependence between health and food and resource security. His Excellency explained how efforts made by the UAE to face the pandemic, through proactive measures enacted by the wise leadership, focused on enhancing resource security and supporting vital supply chains.
His Excellency stressed the concept of cooperation and building bridges of dialogue and communication, noting that the country will host the Dubai Expo later this year, with sustainability and the future as the main themes of this event.
His Excellency touched on the Zayed Sustainability Prize and its role in promoting global sustainability efforts, as it has achieved a positive impact on more than 350 million people around the world. He said that the award has a special place among the UAE’s leadership because it embodies the values and principles of the founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and especially his commitment to sustainable progress. His Excellency explained that the award will return in its usual form next year, with a focus on aspects of innovation and recovery for the post-COVID period.
The ADSW Summit comprises three sessions of two hours each, and focuses on three topics: restoring the circle of life (Live & Move), enhancing responsibility and interaction (Care & Engage), and doing business and investment (Work & Invest). Each topic addresses the main issues and topics that would open the way for the many social, economic and technological opportunities to achieve a post-pandemic green recovery.
As well as the Summit, ADSW, which runs from January 18-21, hosts a series of high-level virtual activities, including the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Abu Dhabi Forum for Sustainable Finance, and the Global Energy Forum of the Atlantic Council. the virtual forum for the “Youth for Sustainability” platform, and the World Future Energy Summit forums.
In addition to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco; speakers at the summit include: His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “KBW” Investment; His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, Group Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Director of Mubadala Investment; Grace Fu, Minister of Sustainability and Environment of the Government of Singapore; Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and founder and CEO of Kalimat Group; His Excellency Engineer Aweidah Morshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy; Francisco Lacamera, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Maymouna Mohamed Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat; Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC Holding Group; Lawrence Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock; And Dr Lucas Juba, CEO of Environmental Practices at Microsoft,.
Through its various initiatives and events, ADSW advances the process of exchanging knowledge, implementing strategies, and developing realistic solutions to face the challenges of sustainability and climate change. As the first major global event in 2021, the year in which the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary, the week contributes a pioneering role in enhancing cooperation between the public and private sectors in order to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.