Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week logo1
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Image Credit: Logo

Over the course of the past week, more than 30,000 international delegates, decision makers, environmentalists and sustainability experts have gathered at the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week conferences and events — a key forum on helping to resolve some of the critical climate change issues facing this planet.

The event, which runs until Tuesday, is the first significant gathering of climate change experts, key personnel and researchers to gather in an international forum since the COP26 climate conference convened in Glasgow in November.

This Sustainability Week event has also been given fresh impetus with the UAE set to host COP28 in less than two years’ time. For that reason alone, the gatherings in Abu Dhabi now are vital in laying the groundwork and shaping the thinking of decision makers globally on how best to slow down and reverse the heating of our planet.

It is also one of the largest global gatherings of stakeholders and researchers, administrators and decision makers dedicated to making sure new development initiatives are sustainable, positive both environmentally and economically — and with renewable energies and Earth-friendly policies fuelling growth.

Unique approach to cleaner and greener living

Abu Dhabi, with its hosting of IRENA — the International Renewable Agency — the example set by Masdar City and its unique approach to cleaner and greener living, fostering research and innovation as well as bringing the UAE’s first nuclear facility on stream — all show its commitment to renewable energy, making this planet more environmentally friendly as well as being at the forefront of action against climate change.

Among topics up for discussion are the economics of renewable energy, how water shortages will impact progress and development, how the environment can be protected and enhances as cities and communities push for expansion and compete for fewer resources while making the most of renewable energy opportunities, and highlighting new technologies and advances that will allow us to do more using less energy.

The challenges facing the world are huge. We need to turn back the worst effects of climate change, and repair at least some of the damage caused to our environment and natural work by a rapidly heating planet and carbon emissions.

The challenges, as IRENA pointed out earlier this week, are immense, with the need to convert half of the fuel and energy we use to renewable sources. The reality is that unless we work towards making a real difference, the key issues discussed at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will continue to challenge the world.