An estimated 30,000 sustainability leaders from more than 150 countries arrived to Abu Dhabi this week to attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) which took place from Sunday January 13th to Thursday January 17th 2013.
Hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, ADSW is the Middle East’s largest sustainability and renewable energy assembly, and aims to address the many issues concerning renewable energy, sustainable development, and water and environmental security, among other important topics.
ADSW welcomed international policy makers and leaders, as well as scientists and experts in the field both from private and public sectors who all took part in a series of discussions and panels in an attempt to develop the renewable energy industry and find practical adoptable solutions.
“Today, sustainability lies at the core of the UAE’s economic development and diversification plans,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, adding “The United Arab Emirates has always placed significant emphasis on addressing challenges we face as a global community. Through platforms like Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, we are driving collaboration, investment and the dialogue necessary to seriously address the challenges of energy and water security as well as sustainable development.”
ADSW included five integrated events: the third general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); the sixth World Future Energy Summit; the International Renewable Energy Conference; the International Water Summit; and the fifth Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony. Other events that also took place during ADSW include the first energy ministerial of South American and Arab countries (ASPA) and the Global Green Growth Institute Council meeting.
The opening ceremony of ADSW took place on January 15 alongside the sixth World Future Energy Summit, the fifth International Renewable Energy Conference and first International Water Summit. Notable speakers at the opening ceremony included Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, François Hollande, President of France, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina.
Siemens CEO Peter Löscher also gave a speech about the industry at the opening ceremony, where the attendees included Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, Ivica Dačić, Prime Minister of Serbia, Milo Djukanovic, Prime Minister of Montenegro, and Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of Mauritania.
The first event of the week was the third general assembly of IRENA, which took place on January 13 and 14. Based in Abu Dhabi, IRENA is the world's first intergovernmental organization dedicated to renewable energy. Its members consist of 158 states as well as the EU.
From January 15 to 17, the sixth World Future Energy Summit took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), bringing together important industry leaders and experts to discuss the future of renewable energy both in the region and worldwide.
The International Renewable Energy Conference, also held from January 15-17 at ADNEC, is held every other year in different cities around the world. This year saw Abu Dhabi as its host city. The conference focused on finding the best systems to implement renewable energy, including policy-making, business and investment. A status report showcasing the policy trends and investment opportunities across the Gulf region was also released.
The first-ever International Water Summit held at ADNEC From January 15-17, gathered government leaders, policy-makers, water experts and NGOs to explore water and energy, to create practical solutions for water conservation, and to discuss critical water issues in dry regions.
An awards ceremony for the fifth Zayed Future Energy Prize was held on January 15 at Emirates Palace, honoring innovators who made recent breakthroughs in renewable energy and created meaningful impact on environmental sustainability.
To commemorate ASDW, the installation of “Wendy,” an award-winning art exhibit was launched on the Abu Dhabi corniche. Designed by New York's HWKN (Matthias Hollwich and Marc Kushner), and powered by Masdar, the nylon art installation is treated with a ground-breaking titania nanoparticle spray to actively clean the air by neutralizing airborne pollutants while also using solar panels. Wendy provides people an opportunity to interact with a functional yet environmental artwork.
For more information about Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week visit www.abudhabisustainabilityweek.com