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Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023 Sets the UAE on Course to COP28

The UAE capital recently played host to the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global initiative by the UAE and clean energy champion Masdar to accelerate sustainable development and advance economic, social and environmental progress.

This year’s edition, held under the theme “United on Climate Action Towards Cop28”, demonstrated the UAE’s commitment to practical and inclusive action to decarbonize industries and lead the energy transition. The high-profile event, inaugurated by UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, provided a global platform for collaboration to transform sustainability pledges into practical solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

His Highness the President stated that ADSW 2023 is an essential step towards the UAE hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). The country’s selection to host COP28 reflected the UAE’s continued efforts to promote practical climate action, sustainable economic development, and progress towards desired global goal, he said.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of Cop28, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and chairman of Masdar noted that there had never been a more critical time for global leaders to come together to advance our collective needs for climate action. He added that through ADSW 2023 and hosting COP28 later in the year, the UAE was honored to serve as a meeting place to gather the global community to discuss the issues, partnerships and solutions needed to meaningfully advance net zero in support of a better future for all.

Commenting on the event, our Managing Director and Group CEO Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “Climate and the energy transition sit at the core of national plans, and as a responsible global investor, Mubadala is working with sovereign wealth funds and investment partners to progress climate action and deliver positive outcomes for people and society,”

“ADSW has also proven itself to be an enabler of climate and energy innovation and sustainable technologies, and we are committed to carrying that momentum into COP28 later this year.”

The event drew 36,000 participants from 170 countries, including 13 heads of state and more than 600 global speakers. Across six days, a series of landmark agreements were signed, positioning the UAE as a leader on climate action.

Apart from the ADSW Summit, which covered the upcoming COP28, pathway to net zero, transformative tech, financing climate action, and food and energy security, ADSW’s first Green Hydrogen Summit convened global leaders to discuss the development of the UAE hydrogen economy, green energy in Africa and hydrogen’s value chain.

Furthermore, ADSW provided a platform for engaging and empowering young people and women in sustainability in the lead-up to COP28. The Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) Hub brought together more than 3,000 leaders, experts, entrepreneurs, and young delegates to discuss ways to advance youth engagement across climate action. The annual Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Forum hosted influential figures from around the world for a roundtable discussion on ‘Empowering Women to Lead Climate Adaptation.’

There were a series of roundtable discussions that took place as part of the WiSER Annual Forum. Our Executive Director of Responsible Investing, Hanan Al Yafei, participated in the “Education and Training to Tackle Climate Change” roundtable.

She underlined the need for embedding climate change topics across all stages of education, noting that teachers need to be educated on sustainability as well as on how to create gender equality awareness from young age students.

Climate change is a global challenge that calls for concerted efforts of all sectors. “From an investor perspective, how companies are responding to these challenges is not only impacting their decision making, but also the reputation of the businesses they’re investing in and value creation and destruction,” Al Yafei said.

At the Youth 4 Sustainability Forum, our Director of Portfolio Emiratization, Fatima Al Marzouqi, addressed a session on Youth Resilience, Capacity Building and Skills. Her presentation was about the importance of focusing on young talents as the key to the future of the workforce.

“As a nation, we need the right talent to continue the UAE’s economic diversification and help fulfil our target of hitting net-zero by 2050,” she said. “We must continue to exceed expectations, grow our skillsets, and remain ahead of the curve, especially as we live in a digitized world, where AI is at the forefront of economic diversification and accelerated sustainability is a global focus.”

Development of local talent has always been a key focus for Mubadala. The company takes pride in developing programs that prepare young leaders for their future careers. We have strategic partnerships with academia and other organizations in the public and private sector to provide the youth with an opportunity to gain the best-in-class experience.

“We also have internships and youth outreach programs, which meet the objectives of Emiratization and contribute to the development and sustainability of the UAE’s economy,” she added.

Through such international initiatives as ADSW, and COP28 later in the year, the UAE is firmly positioning itself as a regional and international champion of sustainable future for humanity.

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