The need to protect the world’s environment through making positive energy choices to act as a tonic for the Earth was the theme of a keynote speech delivered today by H.E Eng. Awaidha Al Marar, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Summit (ADSW Summit 2022).
Using the analogy of the Earth suffering an ailment, His Excellency said that the global community needed to act with unity to ensure that its illness could be cured, with the right treatment one that has already been identified.
“I was brought up to believe that our environment is an important part of our culture that we need to protect and preserve. When I think of climate change and the global call to reduce emissions, I see Earth as if it were a person. She is suffering from serious health symptoms and has been diagnosed with a disease called global warming. Thankfully, it is not too late to save her,” said His Excellency.
Al Marar highlighted that the required therapy to treat the Earth involves limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius - preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius - to achieve decarbonisation by mid-century. He said that the treatment plan won’t be effective and long-lasting to anticipate a sustainable future unless it incorporates essential lifestyle adjustments and adoption of more energy efficient practices.
“As we try to undergo the prescribed treatment plan, much pressure is put on the energy sector to reduce power generation emissions as well as emissions in the supply chain. Countries around the world have joined long-term energy transition to decarbonise the power sector and promote electrification. Many have identified individual net-zero commitments and accelerated the shift to renewable energy. Renewable energy is the alternative to fossil fuels and despite the decline in prices of solar and wind energy, it is somehow still not growing as fast as we need it to,” he added.
His Excellency drew attention to the changes that Abu Dhabi has been making to renew its energy system to be part of the cure, citing – among other things - the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) as one of the world’s first carbon neutral developments, the Noor Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra solar PV projects, the fact that today, the UAE accounts for over 70% of all installed renewable energy capacity in the region, and the commencement of commercial operations of the first and second units of Abu Dhabi’s Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in addition to the recent announcement of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.
“These are examples of the adjustments we are making in energy, similar initiatives exist across all other sectors to ensure we are future-ready and by all means sustainable. Our progress and rapid development was always backed by our visionary leadership and through our approach of partnerships, international cooperation, and active participation in open knowledge-sharing platforms,” said His Excellency.
Finally, Al Marar reiterated the importance of Abu Dhabi as a venue for influential regional and international conferences that bring global players together to move the world’s sustainability agenda forward. He drew attention to the Department of Energy’s instrumental role in hosting these events, forging partnerships, and driving the vital conversations that lead to necessary action.
“In 2023, we will host the COP 28 in Abu Dhabi. It will be yet another platform to work together on practical climate solutions and sustainable economic growth. In conclusion, I would like to stress that besides investment in research & development and technology, it is critical that we form new regional and international partnerships. ADSW is a great platform to do that.
At the DoE, we stand to meet with as many of you as possible to discuss effective policies and lifestyle adjustments we can make to support the treatment of Earth from climate change, creating a sustainable future for humanity,” he concluded.
Taking place January 15-19, 2022, ADSW 2022 is being hosted by Masdar under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. As Principal Partner for the Summit, DoE is using its involvement to highlight its role in enhancing the UAE capital’s energy sector and promoting sustainable systems in the country and the world.