Opening Address Delivered by: His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar.
Your Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.
Allow me to take a moment to pay tribute to the five UAE diplomats, whose lives were cut short, while bringing humanitarian relief to the people of Afghanistan. Their sacrifice reminds us that the values that unite us are much stronger than any attempt to divide us.
Please join me in a minute of silence in their honor.
Your Highnesses, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
Over the last decade this platform has become the premier destination for championing sustainability and driving tangible results.
These last ten years have witnessed truly remarkable progress.
Today, sustainability sits at the top of the global agenda and has brought together developed and developing nations around one common cause.
More importantly, it has introduced a fresh perspective and a new balance to the energy landscape.
In this new era renewables and hydrocarbons enjoy a truly symbiotic relationship that is reshaping the economics of energy.
And nowhere is this paradigm shift more true than here, in this part of the world
For over 75 years, our region has been the leader of the hydrocarbon industry.
And today, we are extending our reach to become the center of gravity for all forms of energy.
While oil and gas will remain critical drivers of the global economy for decades to come, we recognize the immediate and long term advantages of a fully diversified energy mix.
We value our hydrocarbon resources, yet see an even greater opportunity in leveraging the benefits of both new, and traditional forms of energy, by integrating them into a more creative and productive commercial proposition.
This belief lies at the core of the UAE’s recently announced 2050 Energy Strategy.
Today, the economics of renewables have reached an unprecedented tipping point.
Over the last five years, the cost of wind power has decreased by a third, while the cost of solar has fallen by more than half, and continues to steeply drop.
Deploying renewables saves money, liberates hydrocarbons and generates greater value.
Where solar excels at peak hours, natural gas provides a necessary low-emission, low-cost, base load power foundation.
Combining both is a winning partnership, that makes perfect economic sense, especially in this sun-rich part of the world.
The more solar we deploy, the more available hydrocarbons we will have to drive higher value products and help meet global energy demand.
In fact, working collectively, renewables and natural gas have already begun to reset the carbon clock.
For the first time in the industrial age carbon emissions are levelling off and even starting to drop.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is an achievement of historic proportions.
And with this integrated model driven by a compelling economic case is what will ultimately drive sustainable development and ensure energy security.
While some may see the world divided into new and traditional sources of energy, we believe that the absolute opposite is needed.
We believe that both sectors must work hand-in-hand.
Let us leverage the strengths of all forms of energy to deliver greater possibilities and far reaching benefits.
By doing so we will lay a path that will lead us towards a sustainable future, driven by a durable energy strategy and underpinned by lasting economic progress.
So let us step beyond the conventional, dare to do things differently, and carve a new energy model.