Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week to Address Key Sustainability Challenges General September 12, 20120 Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates will build on its global leadership as a catalyst for addressing the pressing challenges of sustainability, including challenges directly impacting the UAE and Abu Dhabi during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). In the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East, more than 30,000 anticipated participants from 150 countries, including globally recognized leaders from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders will assemble in Abu Dhabi next year from January 13 – 17 to address the business, technology and financial challenges required for sustainable development. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week extends the UAE’s momentum as a recognized global leader in sustainable development through open platforms that define the future global landscape for sustainability and encourage investments and partnerships to deliver solutions.” “The Week builds on the momentum created at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil, particularly in advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will guide the sustainability agenda for the next 20 years. The UAE’s Rio+20 delegations played a key role in developing those goals which many have seen as one of the most important outcomes of the conference.” SDGs highlight the need for sustainable access to energy, water and food. These challenges will be addressed in the conferences and events to be held during ADSW: The Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) January 13 – 14; the sixth annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) January 15 – 17; the International Water Summit (IWS) January 15 – 17; the fifth annual Awards Ceremony for the Zayed Future Energy Prize January 15; and the International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi (ADIREC) January 15 – 17. Together, these gatherings will act as a platform enabling governments, businesses and organizations to demonstrate their sustainability achievements and share their knowledge. “Meeting the challenges of sustainability is vital both globally and locally. The UAE and Abu Dhabi are diversifying our energy mix to spur future growth through renewable sources. Our success in this front and our global recognition as a leader in sustainable development have been achieved through the guidance of the UAE’s wise and visionary leadership who have continued the legacy of sustainability instilled in our heritage by our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who recognized the need to protect our environment and preserve our natural resources for future generations. Today, sustainability continues to be an integral part of the UAE’s development plans, from an economic, environmental and social perspective,” added Dr. Al Jaber. The UAE’s harsh climate and rapidly growing economy are placing a strain on the demand for the electricity needed to desalinate water and cool homes and public places. This challenge will only increase as the region’s population and industries grow, with demand for electricity and water projected to more than double by 2030. Currently the UAE’s per person consumption of water and electricity is among the highest in the world. While a hot climate and scarce water are contributing factors, overconsumption is also part of the cause, which every resident can personally address by being more conscious of how much energy and water they use. “Today, more than ever, the time is now for building a clean energy future through comprehensive, action-oriented solutions. Within the UAE, an integrated and comprehensive energy strategy that includes renewable energy, nuclear and hydrocarbons will be fundamental to our nation’s development. I urge all UAE organizations and residents to join the important dialogue that will take place during ADSW,” Dr. Al Jaber said.