For Practical Steps towards a Sustainable Future

OPENING CEREMONY – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

This year’s edition, which ran under the theme “practical steps towards a sustainable future,” was the first global gathering dedicated to sustainability since the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, November 2016

Opening Ceremony: Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2017

Abu Dhabi: This year’s edition of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2017 further built up on its reputation as a significant platform for international dialogue, cooperation and action among governments and businesses by reiterating its mission of building sustainable future for all. Leaders from government, business and academia also attended the second annual Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) conference. The conference sought to discuss the collaborative role that governments and businesses can play in fostering sustainable innovation, and the critical importance of including women in the dialogue. WiSER is an initiative that comes at critical point for women’s participation in renewable energy and sustainability. Women account for just 35% of the workforce in the renewable energy sector, according to the latest IRENA Renewable Energy Jobs Review 2016. The report concluded that while sector has seen a rise in the number of women employed, female labour force participation is still lower than the general economy average experienced by OECD countries (40-45 per cent).

During the ADSW 2017, Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, delivered a speech at Global Action Day. He said, “Initiatives such as “Global Action Day” will be critical to our efforts to secure a sustainable future for humanity on this planet, as it is only by bringing leaders from policy-making, business, finance, academia, regions, cities, foundations and philanthropy together that we will be able to forge the innovative partnerships needed to achieve our sustainable development, climate action, and clean energy goals.”

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, presented the Zayed Future Energy Prize to nine winners during the 2017 awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi during the event. Sonnen, the German smart home and commercial energy storage system manufacturer, was awarded the prize in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) category for leadership in providing battery storage technology solutions. In the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) category, UK-based Practical Action was recognised for its work in providing deprived communities with clean energy in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Joining them were the winners in the Global High Schools category, five schools spanning five regions of the globe.