This Saturday sees the Middle-East’s flagship climate event kick off, with the 2022 iteration of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW). In a region synonymous with hydrocarbon-production, thousands of delegates, both in person and virtually, will gather to discuss and debate the very latest thinking on how to solve the global problem that is climate change, how best to promote green innovation and how to enhance environmentally sustainable practice across the globe.
Events like this allow people from different walks of life, be it business, politics, diplomacy or advocacy, to see how their field fits into the broader picture. We need all areas of society to be geared towards the challenge of climate change and gatherings like this, instigate the knowledge-sharing necessary to make that a reality.
Next week’s hosts, the UAE, have moved fast to demonstrate how climate change innovation offers a major opportunity to direct economies and markets in a greener, more sustainable direction. Earlier this week, Masdar Chairman and UAE Special Envoy or Climate Change, Dr Sultan Al Jaber spoke of the next few years proving ‘pivotal’ as the world ‘works together across policy, business and industry to accelerate progressive climate action’. These are the comments of a nation positioning itself at the forefront in enabling green innovation, rather than shying away.
When he opens the ADSW Summit on Monday, Dr Sultan Al Jaber will spearhead a group of dozens of leaders and heads of state in attendance in seeking practicable solutions to a host of climate challenges. These range from the energy transition to green finance, enabling technological innovation and joining up the private and public sectors. Next week, Abu Dhabi will become the centre of global thinking on how the world implements the ambitions of COP26 and the Paris Climate Accord.
ADSW is also the Emirates’ first set-piece climate event since winning COP28 hosting rights. As with COP28, next week highlights one of the UAE’s strongest climate assets, namely it’s convening power. In addition to the Masdar-hosted ADSW Summit, other conferences ongoing throughout the week include the Atlantic Council Global Energy forum, the IRENA Assembly and the Women in Sustainability and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Forum. The mix of 100+ world leaders and 1000+ international companies is a microcosm of the kind of public-private collaboration essential for making progress in on sustainability at the global scale.
A proactive, committed Arabian Gulf can prove a game changer in the global energy transition and wider fight against climate change. With the resources at their disposal, nations like the UAE have plenty to offer in terms of enabling and delivering the creative, innovative thinking the world needs in abundance. Convening the world’s leaders, diplomats, policymakers, entrepreneurs and captains of industry at the forefront of delivery at ADSW is a crucial contribution to charting out a collective pathway to a net-zero world.