Abu Dhabi leading by example in Global Sustainability

By Angel Chan

DUBAI 5 January 2019: Abu Dhabi is playing a pivotal role in leading the global sustainability agenda by enhancing its position as a regional centre for sustainable financing and meeting the needs and opportunities of the Middle East and North Africa, MENA, region.

In this regard, Abu Dhabi brings together investors and service providers at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week to facilitate investment partnerships in this vital sector that will bring significant business benefits to the global sustainability sector.

The World Future Energy Summit, WFES, is a key event under the umbrella of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), highlights the key challenges facing the MENA region as the global policy agenda through a global platform that promotes dialogue and exchange of ideas with the participation of a large number of innovators, entrepreneurs and public and private stakeholders to explore available business opportunities.

The summit, which will be held from 14th to 17th January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC), focuses on the intellectual leadership of sustainability while facilitating partnerships between innovators and investors in energy platforms, climate change, water and the future of mobility, space, biotechnology and technology sectors.

With the global population forecast to increase to more than nine billion by the year 2050, placing huge strains on energy and natural resource supplies, the world must find innovative ways to accelerate sustainable development through investment in revolutionary ‘green tech’.

The investment challenge is linked to the targets set by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and 2015 Paris Climate Accord, which stress the twin imperatives of better management of natural resources while also mitigating the impact of global socio-economic development on the environment.

The urgent need for a broadened range of financial instruments to kick-start new, disruptive technologies able to serve the sustainability needs of the future is increasingly reflected in the policy priorities of international organisations.

The European Commission, for instance, estimates that some €177 billion (US $ 201 billion) will be needed between 2021 to 2030 to invest in clean energy and other measures to keep average global temperature increases to below 2C as agreed internationally.

Facilitating new finance for green startups and refining existing technology is already leading to practical action on the ground, an example being the United Nations’ Financial Centers for Sustainability (FC4S), which is supporting efforts by local finance hubs to diversify into sustainable, green ventures to also help reach the Paris goals.

In line with such initiatives, the next edition of WFES, World Future Energy Summit, will offer a world-class platform for encouraging the exchange of ideas and insights while bringing innovators, entrepreneurs and public-private stakeholders to explore future possibilities.

A highlight of WFES will be the inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum, ADSFF, a unique event to launch the Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, initiative as a dynamic platform for sustainable finance consistent with the UAE Green Agenda 2015-2030 and the Paris Agreement.

“Abu Dhabi Global Market is delighted to be launching the inaugural Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum as part of the WFES. It complements the array of events designed to bring together innovators, service providers, investors, and industry professionals to create and nurture strategic partnerships and encourage a solutions-driven mindset,” said Thomas Hirschi, Banking and Insurance Executive Director at Abu Dhabi Global Market. “The long-term goal of ADGM is to provide a regional platform for entities to invest, raise capital, manage risk and enhance returns in the context of sustainable finance. Through this forum, ADGM and WFES are facilitating dynamic partnerships needed to accelerate the achievement of that goal.”

To help maximise the potential of such advances, WFES will focus on sustainability thought-leadership while also facilitating innovator-investor partnerships under the pillars of ADSW: Energy and Climate Change, Water, the Future of Mobility, Space, Biotechnology, Tech for Good, and Youth.

Under the theme of “Mobilising Capital for Sustainable Investments and Economic Growth”, the forum will present ADGM’s Sustainable Finance Roadmap, which seeks to boost capital flows towards long-term sustainable investments across the MENA region.

The event will feature a prestigious lineup of top global institutional investors, regulators and key influencers to discuss potential ventures according to four well-defined pillars of sustainable finance, namely Integrating Sustainability into ADGM Regulatory Framework; building Stronger Co-operation among National and International Players; fostering Greater Communication, Knowledge and Awareness of Sustainable Finance; and creating a robust ADGM Sustainable Finance Platform.

“We are very glad to host the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum that will support WFES’s mandate to connect investors with project owners and tech providers,” said Naji El Haddad, Group Event Director at REED Exhibitions. “Through such initiatives, WFES is facilitating the dynamic investment partnerships needed to accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovations that can have global benefits.”