Abu Dhabi: Unlike the negative message in the regular climate change talks to reduce consumption, Zayed Future Energy Prize offers a positive discourse for reducing carbon emissions, the jury of the $14 million (Dh51.38 million) prestigious prize said here on Monday.

The UN has asked all countries to reduce use of energy to cut carbon emissions, Mohammad Nasheed, former president of the Republic of Maldives, a jury member, said. The talks on climate change have been asking people to give up many things but Zayed Prize does not ask us to give up anything but to produce more [electricity] through clean energy, he said at a press conference to announce the winners in the final evaluation stage of the 2015 awards.

Echoing the same view, Adnan Z. Ameen, director-general of International Renewable Energy (Irena), told Gulf News on the sidelines that new technologies enable people to consume anything without causing carbon emissions. The discussions on reducing carbon emissions have always centred around negative messages on “reducing or giving up”. Renewable energy with its falling costs is generating more electricity and jobs and thus contributing to the global economy [without causing carbon emissions], he said.

The jury has concluded the three-month-long evaluation process of assessing 1,100 submissions to shortlist 31 finalists and eventually name five schools, three organisations and one individual across the categories of Large Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise, Non-Profit Organisation, Lifetime Achievement, and Global High Schools.

The winners will be announced and honoured at a special awards ceremony on January 19, 2015 as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2015.

Each stage evaluated the entrants on their impact, innovation, leadership, and long-term vision in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of the Republic of Iceland and chair of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury, said at the press conference that the prize inspires the young generation across the globe, especially schoolchildren, to innovate in renewable energy.