The Future Sustainability Summit opened today in Abu Dhabi, bringing together more than 1,000 delegates and 90 global leaders and innovators from 45 countries – including four presidents and a prime minister – to drive sustainability innovation.
Among the national leaders at the Future Sustainability Summit, Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, spoke about how the country, one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change, is advancing its long-term technoeconomic plan for adaptation and resilience called the Delta Plan 2100.
Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, highlighted how his nation is combating climate change with its Fund for Environment and Climate Change and as a member of the Global Green Growth Institute.
Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO, Mubadala Investment Company, also spoke on sustainability.
The Future Sustainability Summit, hosted by Masdar and part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, is being held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).
Other opening day speakers included Armen Sarkissian, President of Armenia; Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of Mali; and Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone.
Engineer Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman, Department of Energy, Abu Dhabi presented on how Abu Dhabi is catalysing a sustainable tomorrow, enhancing the energy sector, and keeping pace with the latest developments.
The UAE’s leading public and private sector officials are showcasing the country’s best practices to a global audience. They include Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, founder, Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education on ‘Strategic Philanthropy: How Generosity Can Achieve Real Results’; Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, on ‘The Power of Culture to Inspire Sustainable Change’; and Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman, Abu Dhabi Global Market, on ‘How Technology, Innovation, and Sustainability Will Transform Our Lives’.
The Future Sustainability Summit is being held under the theme ‘Rethinking Global Consumption, Production, and Investment’, and shaped by four major pillars: New Centres of Gravity, New Production Models, New Consumption Models, New Investment Models.
“The Future Sustainability Summit is reaching new heights in the quality and quantity of speakers and delegates, and bringing together world leaders from government, business, finance, and innovation to look at opportunities to accelerate sustainable development,” Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar. “The Future Sustainability Summit will take the UAE’s sustainability innovations to a global audience, and exchange best practices among the world’s thought leaders including four heads of state.”
Bringing Africa’s Sustainability Innovations to the Forefront
Bringing Africa’s sustainability innovations to the forefront was Akon, Co-Founder and Chairman, Akon Lighting Africa, on ‘What Tomorrow’s Generation Demands of Today’s Leaders’.
Gunter Pauli, Entrepreneur and Author, South Africa joined the panel ‘The Transition to the Circular Economy: Will Plastics or Energy Lead the Way?’, and Evans Wandongo, Executive Director and Chairman, Sustainable Development for All-Africa, Kenya, presented on ‘Small Scale Clean Tech in the Global South: Creating Sustainable Livelihoods’.
Renewable energy investment
With global renewable energy investment reaching $288 billion, according to the United Nations, Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Director, Head of Energy EMEA, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, moderated the panel ‘Renewable Energy at Scale in the Global South: Creating Wealth from Sustainability’ and Patrick Odier, Senior Managing Partner, Bank Lombard Odier & Co was on the panel ‘Rethinking Philanthropy’.
Meeting Paris Agreement goals
As the Paris Agreement turns four in 2020, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Former President of Iceland, Laurent Fabius, Environment Patron on Environmental Governance, United Nations; and Francesco La Camera, Director General, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) shared the stage on the panel ‘Before It’s Too Late: Meeting the Paris Agreement’.
Driving the future of food security
As the UAE advances its National Food Security Strategy 2051, Abdulaziz AlMulla, Co-Founder and CEO, Madar Farms, took a deep dive on ‘The Future of Food’.
Shifting sustainability actions
Wednesday’s day-two programme will include sessions on shifting sustainability actions across industries. Sandrine Dixson-Declѐve, Co-President, Club of Rome, will present on ‘Three Things You Need to Do Now to Make A Difference’; Faraz Khalid, CEO, Noon, will be on the panel ‘The Latest Fashion Trend: Sustainability is the New Black’; and David Sandalow, Co-Director, Energy and Environment Concentration, SIPA, Columbia University will moderate ‘Go Green or Stay Home: The Transportation Revolution’. - TradeArabia News Service