It seems that people in powerful positions from around the world were making their own environmental resolutions at the World Future Energy Summit, held last Monday, January 16th in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The annual summit, spanning four days, welcomed over 26,000 attendees with this year’s theme being “Powering Sustainable Innovation.” The summit was hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned clean energy firm, who plans to invest $15 billion in renewable energy projects.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was one of the leaders at the summit who resolved to take action on promoting renewable energy. He announced that the UN General Assembly designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All and rallied support for this initiative. The initiative has three goals, which are to be reached by 2030: 1) to ensure universal access to modern energy services, 2) to double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency and 3) to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Ban Ki-Moon believes it is the right time to launch the initiative, explaining that momentum is building across the world for concrete action that reduces energy poverty, catalyzes sustainable economic growth, and mitigates the risks of climate change. He says that his initiative is “both feasible and necessary” and that it will help to meet those objectives. Globally, one in five people do not have access to modern electricity and three billion people still rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. He has chosen a high-level group of global leaders to help drive change. In Abu Dhabi, they created a framework for an Action Agenda to accomplish Ban Ki-Moon’s three goals. Ban Ki-Moon plans to publish the action plan before the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June in order to publicize the group’s commitments.
Another leader who resolved to support sustainable energy was China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, who outlined a four-stage process to address the world’s future energy challenges. The outline gives priority to energy conservation and efficiency. He also declared that China is shutting down coal-fired generators, investing in wind, solar and hydroelectric power, and increasing energy efficiencies in traditional industries.
South Korea’s Prime Minister Kim Hwan-sik also made resolutions to expand renewable energy resources. He highlighted the importance for co-operation between developing and developed countries, saying that developed countries must transfer technology and financial support to developing countries in order to distribute renewable energy to the world. He also said that South Korea will continue its efforts to become a leader in the field of renewable energy, declaring that they will cooperate with the United Arab Emirates to expand the spread of renewable energy.
The World Future Energy Summit also saw the launching of an agreement between the Abu Dhabi-based Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the Toyota Motor Corporation to establish the Masdar Institute-Toyota Scholarship Program for research on low-carbon emission vehicle technologies. The program will award scholarships to 10 graduate students from around the world.
The World Future Energy Summit also holds the annual Project Village, roundtable discussions, and the Young Future Energy Leaders program. The Young Future Energy Leaders program offers young professionals and students from around the world an opportunity to work toward energy efficiency and tackling climate change by bringing them closer to government representatives, business leaders, and other organizations that support renewable energy and sustainability.
To read more about the World Future Energy Summit, take a look at an article published by the Environment
News Service linked here: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jan2012/2012-01-16-02.html.