The United Arab Emirates, despite being a leading fossil fuel producer, is committed to global energy security with investments in clean and renewable sources, said General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
In his inaugural speech at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2013, the World Future Energy Summit and the International Water Summit in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Gen. Shaikh Mohammed said the conferences and meetings of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week would be successful in achieving the goals.
“The UAE always called and calls for concerted efforts and constructive cooperation with the international community at all levels, both with governments, organisations or companies or individuals and innovators in an effort to reach the desired solutions for energy security,” he told an audience comprising 150 VIP delegates, including heads of states, ministers and experts.
French President Francois Hollande called for more investments in renewable energy projects to prepare for the post-oil era and to avoid global warming. “If we don’t spend ... we will have a catastrophe,” Hollande warned the summit.
Gen. Shaikh Mohammed urged the international community to double their efforts in energy security and investments in clean and renewable energy: “We have to intensify our efforts in achieving these goals because the future depends on the steps we are taking today,” he said.
He added the UAE’s efforts in energy security and sustainable development were the result of the wise leadership and approach by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, that was an extension of the legacy of the Father of the Nation, the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
“The UAE has been supplying energy to the world for nearly half-a-century, and we are working to ensure energy, water and food security. This can only be achieved with the sustainable development that provides a decent life for present and future generations,” he said.
Gen. Shaikh Mohammed asserted that Abu Dhabi provided a global platform for cooperation and strategic partnerships “in order to find practical solutions to these challenges and, through initiatives such as the World Summit on Future Energy and the World Summit on Water and hosting the International Agency for Renewable Energy (Irena)”.
Earlier, he inaugurated the three-day Sustainability Week organised along with the two summits, an exhibition organised by Masdar at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and attended by Vice-President Shaikh Mohammed, French President Hollande and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Other guests include Jordan’s Queen Raia Abdullah, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and Kosovo President Yahya Agha among others.
In his opening speech, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar CEO, said the main themes of the Sustainability Week is to address future energy challenges.
“We are gathered here today because we have a shared and common responsibility that requires us to achieve the delicate balance required between economic and population growth and limited resources. This balance is essential to building a sustainable future that is based on two crucial and interrelated elements... energy and water, and without them we cannot achieve economic and human development, and cannot fight against poverty and avoid conflicts,” he said.
He added that the UAE, which has the fifth-largest oil reserves in the world, believes that water is more important than oil “and believe that the energy and water deserve the same level of interest from world leaders”.
Dr Al Jaber explained that no one can turn a blind eye to the two lifeline resources, pointing out that seven per cent of the energy is used to produce water and at the same time 50 per cent of water is used to generate power and that might increase in the future.
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