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Global Thought Leaders to Address How Innovation Can Accelerate Solutions That Promote Sustainable Development

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) will bring together leading global experts – from academia, industry and government – to address how promoting innovation and cross-sector collaboration can accelerate solutions that tackle energy and water security, climate risk and sustainable development.


ADSW, January 17-24, coincides with the the UAE’s ‘Year of Innovation’ – a federal initiative promoting innovation as a strategic pathway to strengthen the country’s economy and global competitiveness. In fact, ADSW directly supports the federal innovation strategy by promoting technology development and attracting investment in priority sectors, including renewable energy, transportation, water and education.

“Tackling climate risk, while promoting economic growth is a shared, global responsibility,” said Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week unites the key leaders – from academia to industry – necessary to unlock innovative, commercial solutions that promote sustainable development.

“Through international platforms like ADSW and our pioneering work at Masdar, Abu Dhabi is recognized as a global energy hub and as the first mover in the region embracing renewable energy,” said Belhoul. “Today, Abu Dhabi is a true energy leader – advancing new and traditional power – enabling the emirate to meet immediate and future energy demands, while preserving its finite resources.”

ADSW is a yearly platform that brings together key players from industry, technology, finance and government to accelerate solutions that address the interconnected challenges of energy and water security, climate risk and sustainable development.

The World Future Energy Summit, a cornerstone event of ADSW, will have a specific focus on the growing clean energy investment opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as focus on the changing dynamics of the global energy market.

“The energy sector of sub-Saharan Africa is not yet able to meet the needs and aspirations of its citizens,” said Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, who will moderate a ministerial panel on Africa’s energy opportunities. “But this challenge is surmountable and the benefits of success are immense. Increasing access to reliable modern energy can turbo-charge economic growth.”

During the week-long series of events, the evolving energy landscape will be discussed, along with timely, global issues, including water scarcity, waste management, innovative financing, disruptive technology and sustainable development, among other topics.

Notable speeches will be delivered by HE Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy; HE Mr. Abdelkader Amara, Morocco’s minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment; Mohamed Hamed Shaker El Markaby, minister of Electricity and Energy, Arab Republic of Egypt and HE Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, minister of state for Power, Nigeria.

Other notable speakers and participants include:

  • HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, secretary general, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi
  • HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO of DEWA and vice chairman, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy
  • Maria van de Hoeven, executive director, IEA
  • Marie-Jose Nadeau, chair, World Energy Council
  • Adnan Amin, director general, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
  • Kathy Calvin, president and chief executive officer, United Nations Foundation
  • Paul Coffey, chief operating officer, RWE Innogy
  • Michael Liebreich, chief executive, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
  • Yvo De Boer, director general, Global Green Growth Institute
  • Dominik Thumfart, managing director infrastructure and energy finance, Deutsche Bank
  • Roger Ballentine, president, Green Strategies Inc.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week includes a series of events: the fifth assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency; the eighth World Future Energy Summit; the third International Water Summit; the second EcoWASTE exhibition and the seventh Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony.