Dr Dena Assaf, UN Resident Coordinator to the UAE, HE Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation; HE Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower; and senior officials from different sectors attended the opening.ceremony.On the side-lines of the Sustainability Leadership Conference, DEWA organised various panel discussions, involving an array of international sustainable development experts. Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, also attended the discussions, along with other representatives from the Institute who shared their experience and knowledge in rethinking economies, and shifting to financial sustainability.
“I am delighted to welcome you to the Sustainability Leadership Conference, organised by DEWA in collaboration with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. This summit is one of a series of activities happening during the sixth Green Week, which is an important annual event to promote sustainable development and a green economy. I thank Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, with whom we have a strategic partnership since 2015. I also thank all our local and global partners,” said Al Tayer.“Our wise leadership has set a clear goal in the UAE Centennial 2071 to make the UAE the world’s leading nation. We will achieve this through national and local strategies to promote sustainability and build a green economy. This will ensure a balance between our social, economic, and environmental needs, in line with thehttps://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/ar/sustainable-development-goals/. At DEWA, we provide safe, sustainable, and reliable energy and water supplies and are increasing our share of renewable energy, managing energy demand, and reducing carbon emissions,” said Al Tayer.
“Working towards sustainable development and a green economy, we have turned challenges and risks into promising opportunities. Our achievements include Dubai's success in establishing a robust regulatory framework that promotes competitive international prices for clean solar power, in addition to raising efficiency in supply and demand-side using innovative solutions, introducing the best global technologies like energy storage, and improving the skillset of UAE nationals,” stated Al Tayer.“As you know, the security of supply is a strategic priority for us. We aim to be a global role model for energy efficiency, reliability, green economy and sustainability. We are diversifying Dubai’s energy mix to include 75% from clean energy by 2050. We have launched several green programmes, initiatives and projects, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the world's largest single-site solar project with a capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030, with investments totalling AED 50 billion. Eventually, the solar park will reduce 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually,” noted Al Tayer.
“We have adopted the Independent Power and Water Producer model, and have achieved world-class results in partnership with the private sector. We attracted the best and most renowned solar power developers from around the world, using the latest technologies, and focused our investments on other important areas, such as the Research and Development Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. We have also trained and educated Emiratis by collaborating with international organisations and universities working in clean energy.”
“We have a holistic approach for the energy and water sector that takes into account supply and demand. In Dubai, we have a clear energy and water demand-side management strategy to reduce electricity and water demand by 30% by 2030. In 2018, the strategy achieved savings of 4.5 terawatt-hours of electricity and 6.7 billion gallons of desalinated water,” he stated.“Dubai has also made significant achievements in the transition towards a green economy and environmental conservation. The Emirate's net carbon emissions dropped substantially by 19% in 2018, and we have surpassed the target set in the 2021 Carbon Abatement Strategy to reduce emissions by 16% by 2021. In April 2019, DEWA achieved a global milestone, with Dubai getting a Platinum Rating in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Cities certification awarded by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This makes Dubai the first city in the Middle East and North Africa to receive this prestigious certification,” stated Al Tayer.
“DEWA joined the United Nations Global Compact, the world's largest institutional sustainability initiative. DEWA has confirmed its leading position in global sustainability reporting and is the first electricity utility in the Middle East and North Africa to adopt the Global Reporting Initiative (G4). Over the next few years, we look forward to increasing our contribution to counter the adverse effects of climate change and global warming. This will be done through our strategies to adapt to and combat global warming. Through our key strategic partnerships, we hope to consolidate our efforts to implement initiatives and projects that adhere to the highest standards of sustainability and efficiency, and effectively contribute to creating a safe and sustainable environment for a brighter future, for generations to come,” added Al Tayer.“In conclusion, I wish this conference success and I would like to invite you to visit the various events and activities of Green Week, and we hope to see you again at similar leading global events,” concluded Al Tayer.
“The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership is proud to work with DEWA to raise awareness and knowledge on sustainability. There is an urgent need to work together and raise the bar to make radical changes in cooperation between corporates, governmental organisations, and financial institutions, to shift to a low-carbon economy. I hope that the leaders attending this summit are aware of the challenges we are facing, and can make the most of out the available opportunities,” said Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.