Abu Dhabi-UAE: 19 April, 2014 – A high-level United Nations meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi, May 4-5, to reinvigorate government and private sector actions needed to seriously address global climate change. The “Abu Dhabi Ascent” will gather global leaders in advance of the UN secretary-general’s Climate Summit 2014, September 23 in New York, in an effort to bolster and catalyze climate action proposals.
The Abu Dhabi Ascent was formally announced in February by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United Arab Emirates Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.
“The UAE initiative to host the Abu Dhabi Ascent is an important concrete contribution to the Summit,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “This meeting is a critical milepost on the way that will help build the momentum we need for a successful Climate Summit. I look forward to working with all leaders to ensure that the Summit catalyzes major steps on the ground and toward an ambitious global climate agreement.”
An important milestone in the lead up to Climate Summit 2014, the Abu Dhabi Ascent will bring together influential government officials and high-level leaders from the private sector and civil society.
“With the recent IPCC report, which underscores the pressing need to address climate change and transition to a cleaner global energy mix, the Abu Dhabi Ascent comes at a critical juncture,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change. “The Abu Dhabi Ascent will rally leaders from government and the private sector to begin a collaborative process to help catalyze necessary actions to mitigate climate change.
“The world can no longer overlook the realities of climate change and must unite its efforts to find meaningful, commercially driven solutions,” said Al Jaber. “The UAE continues to lead by example in the arena of clean energy and sustainable development. Backed by the visionary commitment of our government and through initiatives like Masdar, the country is taking real steps to usher in a low-carbon economy and sustainable future.”
The Abu Dhabi Ascent will explore key action areas and begin to shape the commitments and proposals announced in September. The meeting will focus on nine high-impact areas, including energy efficiency, land use and forests, finance, renewable energy, agriculture, resilience, transportation, short-lived climate pollutants and cities. The meeting will also explore international and multi-stakeholder efforts to that drive ambitious on-the-ground actions.
The Climate Summit 2014 is aimed at catalyzing action by governments, business, finance, industry, and civil society that support the global shift toward a low-carbon, sustainable economy. The summit is also driving political will and action in advance of 2015 UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Paris where a global, binding climate agreement will be negotiated.
The decision to host Abu Dhabi Ascent underscores the strong 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.
“With an exponentially rising global energy demand that puts tremendous pressure on our natural resources, the world must move toward a sustainable, low-carbon future,” said Dr. Al Jaber. “The UAE recognizes the impacts of climate change and the need to diversify the global energy mix to include clean sources of power. In fact, we’re making serious investments in wind and solar generation, clean technology research and driving sustainable technologies.”
Through Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment company, the UAE has become the leading Middle East investor in renewable energy projects across the world. Today, Masdar is delivering nearly one gigawatt of renewable energy to international grids.
Masdar has also embarked on a bold journey to build the world’s most sustainable city. With more than 60 percent of the world’s population – 5 billion people – living in cities by 2030, urban centers must become bastions of sustainability. Masdar is building a “greenprint” for how cities can accommodate for rapid urbanization, while also dramatically reducing energy, water and waste.
About Directorate of Energy and Climate Change
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Directorate of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) is the UAE’s international leader on energy and climate change issues. Established in 2010, DECC is responsible for the UAE government’s interaction with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It is also the lead government body for engaging in multilateral processes such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. Follow us on Twitter: @DECC_UAE, and like us on Facebook: Directorate of Energy & Climate Change, UAE.
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