Visitors and delegates check out the solar project of Masdar City at their pavilion after the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week at Adnec, earlier. ADSW 2022 is scheduled to be held from January 15-19. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2022, scheduled to be held from January 15-19, will convene global leaders, including heads of state, policy-makers and international business leaders, as the UAE aims to take the global sustainability agenda forward and accelerate pathways to net zero.

Further demonstrating the UAE’s leading role in driving action on climate change, at home, in the region, and throughout the world, the ADSW Opening Ceremony and the Zayed Sustainability Prize Awards Ceremony will take place at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 17 to coincide with Global Goals Week. All other ADSW events will take place in Abu Dhabi or will be conducted virtually.

Hosted by Masdar, ADSW 2022 will be the first major sustainability event after the COP26 climate change conference and will act as a global catalyst for COP27, which will be held in Egypt in 2022, and COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE in 2023.

Held annually since 2008, ADSW has become one of the latest sustainability platforms in the world, with more than 45,000 people from 175 countries participating in ADSW 2020.

‘Next few years will be pivotal’

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Chairman of Masdar, said: “The next few years will be pivotal as we work together across policy, business and industry to accelerate progressive climate action that will deliver economic opportunities and prosperity for current and future generations.

“The UAE has a long-term vision that will build on our long-standing track record in innovating climate solutions across the entire energy spectrum. Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week continues to offer an ideal platform for promoting, deploying and taking these climate solutions to scale around the world. Aligned with the UAE’s ‘Principles of the 50’, it provide opportunities for global collaboration, knowledge sharing, investment and advancing new technological innovations that will take the global sustainability agenda forward and turn plans into action.”

Rich array of participants

In addition to heads of state, leaders confirmed to participant at ADSW included Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General; Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for all, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All SEforAll; John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, President Designate COP27; Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, COP26 President; Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation; Francesco La Camera, Director-General of International Renewable Energy Agency; Ferid Belhaj, Vice-President of the World Bank Group; Ban Ki-moon, President of the Assembly and Chair of the Council of the Global Green Growth Institute, Eight Secretary-General of the United Nations; Rishi Kapoor, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Investcorp; and Karen Wong, Global Head of ESG and Sustainable Investing, State Street Global Advisors.

‘Delivering a sustainable future for our planet’

Commenting ahead of her appearance at the ADSW, Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, said: “To deliver a sustainable future for our planet, the collective action of all stakeholders is needed. Even as we tackle the pandemic, we must not lose sight of other equally pressing global challenges. Governments, businesses, researchers, communities and individuals all have a role in addressing the challenges of climate change.

“The ADSW provides us a timely opportunity to exchange views on our collective response and the urgent steps needed. I thank His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for inviting me to speak at the Summit.”

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National drive to achieve net-zero emissions

The hosting of ADSW is a key component in the UAE’s positioning as a regional and global leader in sustainability and climate action. Last October, the UAE announced its Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the first such initiative in the MENA region. The UAE was also the first Arab country to set voluntary clean energy targets, and the first Gulf state to sign the Paris Agreement.

Since its inception, ADSW has reflected the changing global sustainability landscape, broadening its scope from renewable energy and water, to include new global trends and topics like artificial intelligence, space and mobility.