World leaders to attend energy summit in Abu Dhabi


By Haseeb Haider

ABU DHABI— World leaders including heads of state and government, along with United Nation’s Secretary General and other officials are assembling in Abu Dhabi to discuss renewable energy issues, at the Four day the World Future Energy Summit or WFES-2011, Abu Dhabi’s flagship annual show.

The largest gathering of the renewable energy bigwigs from the world, the WFES-2011 will be hosted by Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company or Masdar, on the theme ‘Enabling Future Energy Solutions’.

It will run from January 17-20 and comprises the four day conference, alongside two exhibitions – a World Future Energy Exhibition and World Future Environment Exhibition.

Over 600 companies and institutions from 14 countries engaged in renewable energy will showcase their projects and technologies to an anticipated 25,000 strong visitors from 100 countries.

According to an official of Reed Exhibition “despite tough economic conditions across the world the number of participating companies has risen” by about 50, while area under the exhibition has also expanded substantially.

The opening ceremony of the conference has drawn global leaders including Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland; Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan. The heads of government, who will share their vision with over 1000 attendees at the conference, will include Jose Socrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa, Prime Minister of Portugal and Shaikh Hasina, Prime Minister, Bangladesh; and Nikoloz Gilauri, Prime Minister, Georgia.

According organisers, Guillaume, Crown Prince of Luxembourg and Crown Princess Victoria, Princess of Sweden, are confirmed to be taking part in the Opening Ceremony.

Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations will make his first appearance at the Abu Dhabi event and closely follows the recent progress made to renew international efforts to combat climate change during talks at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November – 10 December 2010.

The Opening Ceremony will open with an address from Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, a unit of the Mubadala Development Company focused on advancing the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy and clean technology solutions.

Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) is also confirmed to make a special address on day one of the Abu Dhabi event.  This year’s event will also witness Ernst & Young and Bloomberg New Energy Finance offering a highly effective way for Project developers to meet with the world leading solution providers (ie. the finance and technology community).

The Project Village is a platform to conduct business in the renewable energy and low carbon market in order to maximise the networking and business opportunities.

Meanwhile, The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is sponsoring the internationally-acclaimed Summit  at which NBAD speakers present to the forum the Bank’s sustainable initiatives and strategy.

“NBAD’s sponsorship and support for the World Future Energy Summit is directly related to the Bank’s vision and objectives — NBAD is fully committed to Abu Dhabi’s strategy for sustainable growth as defined in Abu Dhabi Vision 2030. This Bank is also committed to raising Abu Dhabi’s global profile and we believe sponsoring and contributing to forums and dialogues on energy and sustainability is certainly a key means in achieving this goal,” said Michael H. Tomalin, the Group Chief Executive of NBAD. “Moreover, NBAD has made corporate sustainability and responsibility a key strategy: We aim to make our operations sustainable and we consider the impact of our business and transactions on the environment and we seek to transact in ways that benefit the communities we are in.”

This year Siemens will also  present innovative solutions at WFES, the leading renewable energy conference in the Middle East. Siemens, being aware of the challenges arising from the demand for a global reduction of carbon emissions, will present its proven, highest-efficiency industrial solutions as well as innovations for a future sustainable energy supply and smart consumption.

“Whereas the 20th century was distinguished by growing energy demand, and thus a growing consumption of fossil fuels, today we face the question of how we can put our energy system on a sustainable foundation in the face of demographic change, declining fossil fuel resources and climate change. Siemens as a provider of visionary, but practical solutions has positioned itself as the leading shaper of the New Electricity Age,” said Wolfgang Dehen, CEO of the Energy Sector and member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. —