Leading the Campaign for Future Energy

  • 18 January 2010

The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2010 being held in Abu Dhabi from 18-21 January – under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and President of ECSSR – has brought together leaders from all over the world to discuss the future of energy. The annual summit, which has been attracting leaders, policymakers, experts, investors, intellectuals and journalists from around the world since the first Summit was held in 2008, is the UAE’s initiative to find answer to one fundamental question – how to provide adequate and clean energy for the growing needs of mankind while overcoming the harmful impact of growing energy consumption on the climate.

The UAE occupies a pride of place in the field of future renewable and clean energy and its vision, plans and initiatives in this field are the results of its ambition and dedication. Masdar initiative, which involves many unprecedented projects including Masdar City, is its leading example. Masdar City will be the world’s first city free of carbon emissions and waste. The Zayed Future Energy Prize, which is awarded to individuals, companies, governments, institutes and non-governmental organizations who have made significant contributions to both meeting the requirements of energy and facing climate change problems, is another example. In addition, there is the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology, which specializes in pioneering research and study programs in the field of future energy. Such initiatives have led to a growing confidence in the UAE’s ability to be an international player in future energy, which in turn helped Abu Dhabi’s successful bid for International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) headquarters, making it the first Arab capital to host a major international agency headquarters.

The UAE’s capabilities in handling future energy issues and its efficient use of human and material resources to build a momentum in this direction have undoubtedly made it a model for other countries to follow. This is perhaps also the reason behind a growing number of IRENA members and a large gathering of high-level officials at the WFES Summit.

Energy is the most serious challenge for the world and is related to human progress and planet earth so much so that the future of human existence depends on it. Therefore, the UAE’s decision to take up this challenge and lead the way indicate two main factors. The first is the country’s self-confidence and its ability to tackle a daunting universal challenge. Secondly, it is the country’s credibility, both at regional and international levels, which garners its support base and encourages it to launch unique initiatives.