The President’s first official visit underscores strong bilateral relations between France and the United Arab Emirates
French President Francois Hollande will deliver a keynote speech at the official inauguration of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), which will take place during the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit on January 15th.
Taking place January 13-17, ADSW is the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East and will address the interconnected challenges that affect the global adoption of renewable energy, water security and sustainable development.
The visit by the French president underscores the strong bilateral relationship between both countries and the mutual interest to accelerate clean energy deployment and diversify the global energy mix.
“France has a firm commitment to sustainable development and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. France has offered to host the COP 21 and expressed its willingness to cooperate tightly with all the countries, who are ready to work together, notably the UAE, in order to pave the way for the most ambitious agreement possible in 2015 on climate change,” said French President Francois Hollande. “This trip to the UAE is an opportunity to identify ways the global community can better work together to carve a pathway for sustainability and the deployment of clean energy.”
France and the UAE are already working together to advance the new energy industry. Total, the multinational French oil and gas company, and Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, have partnered to build Shams 1 – a 100 megawatt Concentrated Solar Project. When complete, Shams 1 will be the largest CSP facility in the Middle East, delivering clean energy to more than 20,000 homes and displace 175,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Schneider Electric, the winner of last year’s Zayed Future Energy Prize, in the category of large corporations, is working in the UAE and with Masdar on energy efficiency issues. While institutions such as ParisTech are collaborating with the Masdar Institute in developing the Global Renewable Energy Atlas.
“Our countries share a common bond, as France and the UAE are seriously tackling the energy and climate challenge,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. “From investments in large-scale renewable energy to domestic carbon reduction strategies, we are showcasing the economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainable development.
“It’s an honour to welcome President Hollande to Abu Dhabi for the World Future Energy Summit as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week,” added Dr. Al Jaber. “From low-carbon nuclear power to its commitment to wind, solar and bioenergy, France is helping shape the global discussion about the future of energy.”
France is making a strategic move to invest in renewable energy as a method to lower the costs of electricity and boost the national economy. Today, France’s wind energy capacity ranks sixth in the world and the nation has a target to produce 23 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. It has engaged an impressive effort for greater energy efficiency in its industry, transport infrastructure and construction.
“President Hollande at the World Future Energy Summit will highlight how France is balancing its energy portfolio and integrating more sources of renewable power,” said Dr. Al Jaber. “We look forward to engaging in meaningful dialogue and identifying more ways our countries can work together.
“To seriously consider the global sustainability challenge, the relationship between economic development, energy security, water scarcity and climate change cannot be overlooked,” added Dr. Al Jaber. “The Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and its associated events will address these interconnected challenges and promote tangible ways to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy and sustainable development.”
Uniting more than 30,000 participants from 150 countries, ADSW will gather leaders from academia, industry and government to tackle the business, technology and financial challenges required for sustainable development and renewable energy adoption. ADSW includes five integrated events: the 6th World Future Energy Summit; the International Renewable Energy Conference; the International Water Summit; the 5thZayed Future Energy Prize Awards Ceremony; and the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Other events taking place alongside ADSW include first energy ministerial of South American and Arab countries (ASPA).
Among the attendees of the World Future Energy Summit and the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week are His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, the President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dačić, Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic, and President of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
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