The World Green Economy Summit (WGES), organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO), under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, plays a key role in promoting a green economy and enhancing green projects in the UAE and the region. The WGES is a strategic platform to support international collaboration in fighting global challenges, enhancing sustainable development, investing in the green economy, adopting effective policies, plans and initiatives. The WGES attracts current presidents, global leaders and influencers. It also brings together thousands of experts and opinion leaders in different green economies and sustainable development areas.
These include CEOs, partners, financial institutions, and global market representatives, besides business leaders and international experts from the public and private sectors, to discuss urgent issues such as climate change, global warming, aligning energy policies with sustainable development goals, and the action needed to build a sustainable future. Together, they exchange views on successful sustainability strategies, systems and policies, and the possibility of propagating and upscaling them. WGES also discusses how to fight challenges and utilise opportunities to support the shift towards a green economy. Each year, WGES wraps up by issuing the Dubai Declaration, which includes the participants’ recommendations, the summit conclusion, and its milestones and activities.
Since its launch in 2014, the previous versions of the Summit focused on three main pillars: sustainable development mechanisms, an international collaboration to enhance the green economy ecosystem, and adopting innovative green solutions.
The UAE has played a key role in the negotiations that led to the Paris Agreement
“The World Green Economy Summit (WGES) is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It is one of several initiatives that the UAE launches to support an effective transition towards a green economy. The 7th WGES is special because it coincides with Expo 2020 Dubai and Year of the Fiftieth and our celebration of the Golden Jubilee, and fifty years of our pioneering development. Our joint efforts enhance international and regional partnerships to make the green economy a major part of the UAE’s economy to achieve economic, environmental and social sustainability, besides social wellbeing. We are sure that the Summit will strengthen its role as a global forum that enhances international collaboration and the setting of the next global agenda in different areas, including providing more opportunities to achieve sustainable development and ensure a green future that makes people happy everywhere,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee.
“The UAE has a leading position to support global efforts in clean and renewable energy through its strategies and investments in this area. The UAE has played a key role in the negotiations that led to the Paris Agreement. It has presented its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UAE’s hosting of the Regional Climate Dialogue in April 2021 is a new reflection of its role in fighting climate change, the commitment to focusing on climate change as an issue and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. The event comes amid the extraordinary circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the urgent need to merge international efforts to accelerate recovery, find smart and sustainable solutions to mitigate climate change effects. The UAE’s endeavour to host the 28th Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Abu Dhabi in 2023 reflects the UAE’s efforts to find out global solutions for the challenges that face the planet,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy in Dubai, and Chairman of WGES.
“The WGES is a key supporter of the UAE’s efforts and global efforts to adopt innovative green solutions, encouraging innovation to support sustainable development, in addition to balancing between economic growth and environmental sustainability. The WGES supports the Emirates Green Agenda 2030 and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. The wise leadership directs to change challenges into opportunities. The WGES tries to change climate work into opportunities for development and economic diversity. It focuses on the economic benefits of the accelerating climate work to achieve a green economy,” added Al Tayer.
“The UAE is one of the leading countries in the world supporting the green economy system and international efforts in the field of clean energy. It has set its long-term goals in the field of energy, and for this, it has launched the National Energy Strategy 2050, through which it seeks to reduce energy demand by 40%, raise the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix produced in the country to 50%, and create a mix of energy,” said HE Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure.
DEC recently held its first-ever event on 4-5 May, hosting delegates from across the globe at the final International Participants Meeting before Expo 2020 opens its doors on 1 October 2021
“During a record period, the UAE was able to expand in the field of clean energy thanks to the legislations and laws that kept pace with the current developments and future challenges, and set ambitious goals for the future, which in turn strengthened the investment system in this vital sector that is the centrepiece of the national economy. The World Green Economy Summit is a major supporter of the UAE’s efforts and endeavours to achieve a balance between energy and the environment, and to draw the features of a sustainable future capable of transforming challenges into opportunities, in line with the provisions of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Our ambition is great, and our successes are continuous, and we will not stop at the achievements we have made by entering the UAE into the top 20 countries globally in 8 indicators related to climate change and the environment for the year 2020, but we will continue to work with stakeholders and our strategic partners locally, regionally and internationally during the next fifty years, to achieve more success that will certainly lead us to global leadership,” added HE Suhail Al Mazrouei.
“In its integrated approach to climate action, the UAE combines future-centred policies that drive the development of the green economy, the clean energy transition, and incorporating climate action across sectors with programmes and initiatives that expedite the implementation of these policies to build a better future for the current and next generations,” said HE Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment. “A key pillar of achieving this priority is creating international platforms that scale up and accelerate collective climate action. WGES is at the forefront of these platforms, as it underscores the UAE’s global leadership in increasing the deployment of renewables and supporting decision-making for the shift to clean energy and a green economy. As the world sets its sights on a green post-COVID-19 recovery and robust climate action, the seventh edition of the Summit holds special importance,” he added. The Minister commended the instrumental roles of DEWA and WGEO in advancing the UAE’s energy transition, as well as their contributions to the country’s climate action that is spearheaded by MOCCAE.
“WGES provides the ideal and unique platform for exchanging experiences and aligning efforts that support the regional and global agenda for sustainable development”
“The World Green Economy Summit has made a valuable contribution in support of the UAE’s efforts to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus around renewable and clean energy solutions. The Summit also provides a great platform to enhance international cooperation, which is a key enabler for enhancing sustainable development,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change.
The UAE has always seen progressive climate action through cleantech innovation, collaborative investment and nature-based solutions as an opportunity for economic growth. As the world continues its post-COVID economic recovery, leveraging breakthrough technologies that can enhance sustainable development represent an essential aspect of our leadership’s visionary economic diversification strategy, which the upcoming WGES will only reinforce and support,” added Dr Sultan Al Jaber.
“The momentum observed worldwide in recent years to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement, adopted during Conference of the Parties (COP 21), reflects the importance of establishing policies and mechanisms that guarantee sustainable development and the transition to a green economy. In line with the UAE’s plan for green development, Dubai developed the country’s vision through the implementation of vital projects that support renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation. It ensured the engagement of the private sector as an essential part of implementation and financing. The role of the private sector in implementing renewable energy projects has been one of the most important ingredients for success, which reflects the reputation and position of the UAE globally in attracting the largest companies and using the latest technologies. WGES provides the ideal and unique platform for exchanging experiences and aligning efforts that support the regional and global agenda for sustainable development,” said HE Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary-General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.
“WGES aligns naturally with Dubai’s strategy to balance economic growth and environmental sustainability and has historically played a significant role supporting the UAE’s efforts as it seeks to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the Emirates Green Agenda 2030. Not only has it seen the launch of several key initiatives that have accelerated the pace of the country’s green economy transformation, but it also serves as a key driver of international collaboration in the green energy space more broadly. ACWA Power is proud to have supported the event through the years, reinforcing our robust strategic partnership with DEWA and our commitment to supporting the development of Dubai’s trailblazing sustainable development,” said Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power.
“Global forums such as the World Green Economy Summit are vitally important in bringing together global experts from the public and private sectors to exchange views to accelerate the energy transition. Climate change is a global threat that we must confront through the rapid development of the global green economy and the enhancement of green projects. At Siemens Energy, we believe that we can only be successful through dedicated collaboration. With strong partners like the UAE taking action to foster dialogue, we will make steady progress,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, Managing Director, Siemens Energy Middle East.
The 7th WGES will be held on 6 and 7 October 2021 at Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC), Expo 2020 Dubai. A 45,000m2, world-class, multipurpose space that will be a major draw for the MICE industry during Expo 2020 and beyond – and a significant symbol of Expo’s long-term business and tourism legacy, DEC recently held its first-ever event on 4-5 May, hosting delegates from across the globe at the final International Participants Meeting before Expo 2020 opens its doors on 1 October 2021.
This WGES will benefit from being held during Expo 2020 Dubai, an incubator for new ideas that is committed to bringing the world together to solve some of our biggest challenges – helping to consolidate Dubai’s position as the capital of the global green economy.
World Green Economy Organisation
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) during the WGES 2016. This aims to enhance the transition to a green economy and the dissemination of green economy projects at a global level, as well as support countries and organisations seeking to achieve their strategies and green plans. The WGEO and the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) will host the ‘MENA Climate Week 2022’, in collaboration with the UNDP, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Climate Change, the UNFCCC, and the World Bank Group. The UAE will be hosting this first of its kind event in the Middle East and North Africa from 2 to 3 March 2022, on the sidelines of Expo 2020 Dubai. The event enhances momentum on climate action in the region.
The MENA Climate Week 2022 will convene leaders from the government, private sector, and civil society to discuss the serious threat of climate change and collaborate on swift, bold actions to address this challenge. The event offers a wealth of opportunities for collaboration and showcases ground-breaking technologies that can help the region adapt to climate change.
Stakeholders have a unique opportunity to reflect and revise their country’s climate action plans to effectively address societal, environmental, and economic impacts. Participants will also be able to follow up on the discussions raised during the 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021 in Glasgow, UK.
The establishment of the Regional Cooperation Centre (RCC) for the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the hosting of Regional Ministerial Conferences by the WGEO to enhance cooperation between the countries of the world, is a testament of global efforts to march towards a sustainable future.
Green Economy in the MENA Region
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said that the production capacity of renewable energy added in 2020 has reached record levels and surpassed all previous records. By the end of 2020, the renewable energy capacity had reached 2,799 megawatts (MW). Hydroelectric power had the largest share with 1,211 gigawatts (GW), whereas wind and solar power continue their rapid growth. These two sources controlled the installed production capacity in 2020 with 172 GWs of solar and 111 GWs of wind energy.
The MENA region has recorded an increasing interest in a green economy, as Saudi Arabia has launched the Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives, which will lead the Kingdom and the region’s direction in protecting land and nature, placing it on a roadmap with clear and ambitious milestones that will strongly contribute to achieving global targets.