ABU DHABI–Abu Dhabi will host government, business and civil society leaders at the “Abu Dhabi Ascent,” May 4-5,in preparation for the Climate Summit being hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on 23 September. The Secretary-General has challenged world leaders to advance an ambitious climate agenda by bringing bold announcements to the Summit.
“The Climate Summit is a critical opportunity to inspire and scale up the actions that will lead us toward a low-carbon, sustainable future,” said the Secretary-General. “The Abu Dhabi Ascent will play a pivotal role in mobilizing action that will allow us to address climate change.
“The UAE is emerging as a leader of a diverse energy economy,” the Secretary-General added. “I count on other countries to follow the UAE’s example and to pursue the many untapped economic, social and environmental opportunities of mitigating global climate change. This is the defining challenge of our time. The longer we delay, the more we will pay – the sooner we act, the greater the benefits to people and the planet.”
The meeting in Abu Dhabi is designed to build momentum for the Climate Summit,which aims to catalyze transformative action and build political impetus in advance of the 2015 UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Paris, where a global, binding climate agreement will be finalized.
“This is the decade of action,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber,UAE minister of state and special envoy for energy and climate change, “and the world must work together to find solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Abu Dhabi Ascent adds urgency and reinvigorates the need to address climate change and transition to a cleaner, more sustainable global energy mix.
“The meeting in Abu Dhabi underscores the role the UAE is playing as a true energy leader,” added Dr. Al Jaber. “As a hydrocarbon-rich country, and a reliable exporter to international markets, we are leveraging our industry expertise to diversify the global energy mix. The acceleration and adoption of renewable energy and clean technologies is a key strategy for climate change mitigation. Today the UAE is the only OPEC nation supplying both hydrocarbons and renewable energy to the international market.”
The Abu Dhabi Ascent will explore areas for action that will have a high-impact in reducing emissions and building resilience, including adaptation, disaster risk reduction, agriculture, cities, climate finance, energy efficiency, forests, renewable energy, short-lived climate pollutants and transport. The meeting will also explore international and multi-stakeholder efforts that support ambitious on-the-ground actions.
The decision to host the Abu Dhabi Ascent underscores the reputation of the UAE as a forward-looking leader in driving global energy and climate change policy. The UAE’s influence as a strategic energy hub is also why Abu Dhabi was selected as the permanent home of the International Renewable Energy Agency – the first intergovernmental organization in the Middle East.