Home » ESG Mena at the World Future Energy Summit: Day Three Roundup

ESG Mena at the World Future Energy Summit: Day Three Roundup

by Mohammad Ghazal

The third and final day of the World Future Energy Summit witnessed a wealth of high-level partnership signings, solidifying the 14th WFES as one to remember. Having hosted 30,000 attendees, bringing together experts, innovators and leaders from across the world, it served as an effective trial run for the COP28 Summit later this year and demonstrated what can be achieved when we unite and collaborate.

As the official media partner of WFES, ESG Mena has been on the ground at the three-day event, covering all the latest announcements, exhibitions, and discussions. We also had the pleasure of interviewing many innovators and experts from various industries. Here, you’ll find all the key details from the Summit you need to keep your finger on the pulse.

World first: ADNOC announces fully sequestered CO2 injection project in carbonate rock

On the third day of WFES, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced the world’s first fully sequestered carbon dioxide (CO2) injection well in a carbonate saline aquifer. The project, when operational, will fully sequester a minimum of 18,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 captured from Fertiglobe’s UAE operations for injection in Abu Dhabi’s onshore carbonate aquifers. It is expected to begin injecting CO2 in the second quarter of 2023.

The company has said that this project will support ADNOC’s carbon capture and storage program as part of its $15 billion decarbonisation action plan.

Tadweer signs five operating contracts worth over AED2 bn

In another big announcement of the day, Tadweer signed five operational contracts worth more than AED2 bn with:

●          Alphamed Abu Dhabi LLC and Terberg RosRoca Vehicle Manufacturing

●          Beeah Sharjah Environment Company LLC

●          Averda Waste Management LLC, and

●          JV Lavajet Al Ain/Nael & Bin Harmal Hydroexport LLC (NBHH)

The contracts cover solid waste collection and transportation services, public cleaning services in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, and waste container management and maintenance in Abu Dhabi and were signed during the EcoWASTE 2023 Exhibition and Forum.

In addition to this, at a roundtable for the UAE and GCC municipalities, organised by Tadweer, representatives proposed the establishment of a joint committee to exchange best practices, discuss challenges and explore innovative solutions in the region’s waste management sector.

Masdar ADSW partnership announcements

At ADSW, Masdar signed joint development agreements with the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) for a number of renewable energy projects. This included:

●          Onshore wind projects,

●          Solar projects, and

●          Integrated offshore wind and green hydrogen projects

These projects reportedly have a total combined capacity of 4 gigawatts (GW).

The agreements were signed by Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, and Rovshan Najaf, President of SOCAR. His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President-Designate, and Chairman of Masdar, and His Excellency Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Economy for Azerbaijan, were in attendance at the signing.

In addition to these agreements, Masdar also signed a partnership agreement with Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and The Catalyst, through which it will pursue growth in artificial intelligence (AI), clean tech, and smart city technology, including autonomous transportation.

This was supplemented by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the municipality of Braga, Portugal, for international collaboration on projects and initiatives related to:

●          Innovation and economic development,

●          Climate and sustainable mobility,

●          Urban development,

●          Gateway openings, and

●          Improved well-being.

UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei discusses energy transition

At ADSW, in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson, UAE Energy Minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, discussed the UAE’s commitment to renewables while stating that controlling a rise in oil prices during this transition is needed. Speaking about whether increasing investment in oil and gas puts UAE in conflict with global climate goals, Al Mazrouei said that no energy alternative is currently 100% green aside from nuclear. “Being practical,” he said, “we know that the highest contribution will come from renewable energy. That’s why we believe in it, we’re investing in it. But at the same time, someone needs to be investing in the base load; someone needs to be investing in hydrocarbon.”

ESG Mena talks with Professor David Hannah, University of Birmingham

ESG Mena’s Chief Editor, Fozia Yassmina, sat down with Professor of Hydrology and UNESCO Chair in Water Sciences, David Hannah, from the University of Birmingham. In conversation with Yassmina, Hannah discussed the power of youth in driving forward sustainability and the importance of generating sustainability knowledge for the next generation. Likewise, he outlined that universities are increasingly moving toward approaches that allow ESG to be embedded within education.

When exploring what the education of the future must look like, Hannah said it needs to be more interdisciplinary. He said that the University of Birmingham is leading the way here, with sustainability embedded into all university courses.

Hannah shared that Birmingham University now has a division in Dubai, where it is offering an exclusive BSC in Sustainability. More broadly, he spoke about the university’s Birmingham Institute for Sustainability and Climate Action and some of the technologies the university is pioneering.

In conversation with Nicole Iseppi, Director Global Energy Innovation, Bezos Earth Fund

ESG Mena’s Chief Editor, Fozia Yassmina met with Nicole Iseppi, Director Global Energy Innovation at the newly founded Bezos Earth Fund, to discuss Iseppi’s reflections on the event and insights into reaching sustainability goals. Iseppi explained that while it was pleasing to see so much enthusiasm at the event, there were also discussions about execution and how we use data and analysis to find solutions.

When asked about whether we’re on track to implement sustainability measures, Iseppi said that while there is a focus on accelerating the speed of the transition, more needs to be done. She highlighted that collaboration is key to achieving sustainability targets.

The Fund was recently founded following a commitment by Jeff Bezos to donate $10 billion over the next ten years. It focuses on nature, climate change, and identifying the barriers slowing the transition to a more sustainable future.

Khuloud Hasan Al Nowais, Chief Sustainability Officer at Emirates Foundation, talks to ESG Mena

Khuloud Hasan Al Nowais, Chief Sustainability Officer at Emirates Foundation, met with ESG Mena to discuss the work being done by Ne’ma, the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, to reduce food waste. Khuloud Hasan Al Nowais explored some of Ne’ma’s key pillars, including encouraging behavioural change, focusing on policies and waste management and raising awareness about responsible consumption habits.

She explained that the UAE’s target of halving food waste can not be achieved by the initiative alone, and the whole supply chain must be involved. She said this includes different government bodies and outlined that they will also be working with UN bodies at an international level. She said continued collaborations would mean more inclusivity and scalability.

Steve Severance, Director of Growth at Masdar City, talks with ESG Mena’s Fozia Yassmina

ESG Mena’s Fozia Yassmina caught up with Steve Severance, Director of Growth at Masdar City, to gain more insight into Masdar City, which Severance called the hub of innovation, R&D and sustainability in Abu Dhabi.

Severance explains Masdar City’s philosophy is “Live, Work, Play, Learn,” with three major education and research institutions at the heart of the City, creating the technologies enabling sustainable living. He outlined that beyond this are 1100 companies in the free zone, alongside government agencies like IRENA and Abu Dhabi Finance.

He spoke of the growth of Masdar City over the last sixteen years, as well as the burgeoning sustainability scene in the region. Severance outlined that while the City began as an innovator in sustainability, the principles that guided its foundation are now more and more widely accepted and embraced, seen in the scale of ADSW. Likewise, Severance discussed Masdar City’s ongoing projects and technologies, including solar and mobility technologies.

ESG Mena across the next few days at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

The World Future Energy Summit closes, having witnessed a number of world firsts, partnership formations and productive conversations on meeting global sustainability goals. While WFES has come to a close, ESG Mena will be on the ground for the rest of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, including attending the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum. On 19th January, we have a number of upcoming interviews with leading figures in finance and sustainability, so stay tuned.

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