The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the centre for global debate and cooperation on sustainability issues, hosted the first ever Abu Dhabi Global Action Day, an international forum calling on public and private sector leaders to drive forward the commercial ventures and technology breakthroughs needed to tackle climate change and deliver on the global sustainability goals adopted in 2015. The high-level event was part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), one of the world’s largest gathering on sustainable development.
The event followed the Paris climate summit, COP21, where world leaders agreed to a historic framework on climate change. As a catalyst for action, the forum convened governments and businesses to accelerate progress ahead of the next climate conference, COP22, which will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.
“It is an honour for me to address this very important event of Abu Dhabi Global Action Day,” said Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian President, in opening remarks. “Sustainability is woven in the heritage of the UAE and Abu Dhabi is progressively getting the recognition it very well deserves as an important, renewable capital of the world.”
“Abu Dhabi Global Action Day provides the first major opportunity after the Paris climate change conference for the energy and sustainability communities to build on the successes of the agreement in Paris,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “I hope the new ideas and initiatives generated here will further expand the scope and effectiveness of climate action.”
“Abu Dhabi Global Action Day is an ideal platform that enables the sharing of knowledge and experiences on global sustainability, said Abdelilah Benkirane, Prime Minister of Morocco. “As host country for the next climate summit, COP22, the Kingdom of Morocco is looking forward to leading the international community in addressing climate change.”
Abu Dhabi Global Action Day included a series of panel sessions that focused on immediate actions to support the Paris climate agreement, cooperation between governments and private sectors to drive partnership and investments, and the future of global energy.
The event also included discussions on breakthrough technologies needed to create transformational change, as well as next steps on Mission Innovation, a global initiative to accelerate clean energy innovation.
Other participants included Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water, Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy, Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Permanent Representative to IRENA and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as other ministers and high-level speakers from governments and private sectors.