Empower CEO Ahmad Bin Shafar was part of a panel comprising top ranking officials from Colombia, Italy, and the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment at the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit in New York.
Entitled ‘The Current State of SDG 7: Energy Efficiency’, the forum aimed to unite the efforts of global leaders through their governments, along with the private sector and civil society, to accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change under the umbrella of the summit.
Attended by 200 business leaders and government organisations, the forum was rich with the presence of a number of decision makers in the public and private sectors in the energy sector, in addition to investors and solution providers.
“Governments should establish strong policies and abandon conventional solutions to support global efforts for energy efficiency,” said Bin Shafar.
“Corporations also can play their role by forming action plans to transform existing energy-consuming to energy saving products and solutions, adopt innovative solutions in operations, and financing actions for energy efficiency.
“As for consumers, public awareness campaigns should be implemented to foster the culture of energy efficiency, alternative solutions should be promoted to replace conventional methods, agencies should be encouraged to fund for energy efficiency actions, and confidence should be built among governments and corporations to adopt efficient solutions in key sectors including cooling, transportation and manufacturing.”
Bin Shafar stressed that district cooling is an effective alternative solution that reduces carbon emissions, providing clean and efficient cooling, accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels.
Use of innovative technologies - including artificial intelligence - in district cooling operations has increased the operational efficiency of the sector.
He highlighted that the UAE Vision 2021 is one of the live examples of action for energy efficiency, which has scored 77% in quality of air in the UAE, as per a 2018 report.
He said: “The key factors that will make energy efficiency fulfill its 40% plus promise on the Paris Agreement, include the development of strong regulatory and monitoring systems across countries, implementing public awareness campaigns to educate and build confidence, adoption of efficient solutions like district cooling, which saves electricity up to 50%, standardization of energy management systems, and financing for energy efficiency.
“The current examples of best practices across energy efficiency are the successful story of Dubai model district cooling which supports the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, the strategy aims to achieve 75% of clean energy by 2050, and to meet 40% of the cooling demand through district energy solutions by 2030, and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.”
Bin Shafar also highlighted that the UN Environment’s ‘District Energy in Cities’ initiative and ‘Cool Coalition’ initiative, global organisations like IDEA and ASHRAE, plus the UAE Energy Strategy are accelerating current initiatives and increasing co-ordination of current players.