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France and UAE share their visions for a clean energy future at WFES

17 January 2013
France and UAE share their visions for a clean energy future at WFES

ABU DHABI: The French President called for greater clean energy investment and the UAE has shared its support for accelerating green growth and more, at this year’s World Future Energy Summit (WFES).

As part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the largest sustainability gathering of its kind in the Middle East, the World Future Energy Summit 2013 kicked off this week to bring together global leaders in policy, technology and business to find ways to accelerate global renewable energy.

At the ADSW Opening Ceremony, the French President, Francois Hollande, delivered a keynote speech which called for more clean energy investment.

In his speech, President Hollande said an estimated US$300 billion of investments in clean energy must come from across the world in 2013. He stated: "France wants to make the transition in energy resources a national, European and global cause."

Queen Rania of Jordan also demanded "sustainable solutions" to global energy needs during a speech she delivered at the Ceremony, of which without, she said: "Progress will be slow and uneven. Not just in this region, but everywhere."

The powerful backing of clean energy has been reiterated all week, no less than by an influx of new clean energy partnerships and commitments.

One such assurance came from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

In his Opening Ceremony opening remarks, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said: "Since its inception, the UAE has been dedicated to sustainable practices and to reducing its environmental footprint.”

He spoke of the UAE's future role in driving clean energy investment: "Delivering the world with important supplies of hydrocarbons for almost half a century, it's natural for the UAE to invest and play an active role in diversifying the energy mix to include renewable sources of energy."

On Wednesday, Abu Dhabi clean energy company Masdar signed a joint declaration with France in the presence of the President Hollande. The declaration will allow Masdar to work closely with French businesses to research and develop clean energy.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO, Masdar, said: "France and the UAE are equally committed to making a concerted effort to address energy security and sustainability. The two countries are making bold investments in large-scale renewable energy projects and developing carbon reduction strategies. This Joint Declaration builds on our already strong relationship and enables us to further explore new collaborative opportunities in the clean energy sector."

The activities continue today, with Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group as a panellist on ‘Future Perfect?’, sharing his vision on the role that various clean technologies have in the world's future energy generation portfolio

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By Clare Saxon

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