Home » WFES: The road to realising a sustainable and equitable energy transition 

WFES: The road to realising a sustainable and equitable energy transition 

by Madaline Dunn

COP28 in Dubai closed with countries committing to transition away from fossil fuels, alongside a pledge to triple renewable energy by 2030. But with the window to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees closing, action must accelerate significantly. 

Indeed, last year, the IEA warned that keeping 1.5 degrees in view requires greater ambition, implementation, and stronger cooperation. 

This year, the World Future Energy Summit, of which ESG Mena is a proud media partner, aims to facilitate just that. 

Set to host over 30,000 visitors, 400-plus exhibiting companies, and more than 700 speakers, this year’s edition follows a record-breaking 2023 edition and will bring together industry leaders, policymakers, incubators and partners to discuss the biggest challenges of the energy transition and the solutions to tackle them. 

The Summit is set to take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from April 16-18, 2024, and will feature five conferences centred around the themes of Solar & Clean Energy, EcoWaste, Water, Smart Cities, and Climate & Environment.

ESG Mena runs through some of what you can expect from the world’s leading business event for future energy and sustainability.

Accelerating the energy transition 

During the event, hosted by Masdar, WFES will spotlight solar, in the Solar & Clean Energy conference, exploring all the latest in solar PV, solar thermal and energy storage.

The MENA, receiving between 22 and 26 per cent of the world’s solar rays, has the potential to become a solar superpower, and across the region, we’ve seen a number of solar mega projects developed. 

This includes the world’s largest single-site solar park, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the UAE; Egypt’s Benban Solar Park, also among the world’s largest; and Saudi Arabia’s Al Shuaibah solar project, set to deliver a capacity of 2,631 MW.

At the event, engineering companies, technology providers, and financiers will come together with the region’s utilities and governments to explore opportunities, innovations, and deals in the renewable energy space.

This includes energy storage, another critical pillar of the energy transition and an area requiring innovation and investment. 

Also on the agenda for this conference is green hydrogen, AI’s impact on energy systems, navigating extreme weather and more. 

To find out more, head over here.

EcoWaste on the agenda

Elsewhere at the event, the EcoWaste forum will host discussions on global waste management within the circular economy. 

The dominant linear economy, which employs the take-make-dispose model, is responsible for unsustainable resource consumption, environmental destruction, pollution and biodiversity loss. 

In fact, by 2050, it is predicted that without a course correction, we will be producing 3.88 billion tonnes of waste a year.

Transitioning to a circular economy is therefore crucial to delivering on climate goals and protecting the health of the planet. 

Circularity extends across a product’s entire life cycle, and at the conference, delegates will have the opportunity to learn more about integrating this into operations and explore different methods to help facilitate the transition more easily. 

The conference will also feature discussions on waste-to-energy, digitalisation within the energy sector, sustainable food systems and more. 

Learn more about the agenda here.

Solutions to the water crisis

WFES notes that water demand is projected to grow by 55 per cent by 2050, and the world is already teetering on the edge of a global water crisis. 

Indeed, the MENA region is facing the brunt of this, being home to seven of the ten most water-stressed nations, and by 2050, projections are that 100 per cent of the MENA population will be living under extremely high water stress. 

It has, therefore, never been more important to conserve water and advance water sustainability. 

The conference will provide a space to debate policy and explore innovation, examining the water needs of new technologies and energy sources, water decarbonisation, and the water-food nexus. 

Expect expert insights from the likes of Xylem, Technology Innovation Institute, Red Sea and more.

For the full conference agenda, follow this link.

Establishing smart cities 

With urban populations set to more than double by 2050, WFES will also host a conference on Smart Cities, exploring the “how” and the “why” and the different elements involved in building sustainable and efficient cities. 

The agenda will feature explorations of the digitalisation of cities, retrofits, and the future of transportation.

Prioritising biodiversity in building projects and promoting regenerative design will also be discussed, with speakers including the likes of Dima Al Srouri, Founder and Director, Biospheric City Lab and Dalia Hamati, Founder and Principal Architect, studioDA.

Find the complete agenda here.

Centring climate & environment

The fifth and final conference is Climate & Environment, which will present delegates with the question: How do companies and societies bridge the gap between ambition and tangible action?

Here, climate-linked financing will come into view, with talks on regional approaches to financing sustainability, climate tech funding and investing in decarbonisation. 

Youth will also be a key feature here, with discussions on youth expectations around a low-carbon future and bridging skills gaps.

To find out more about this conference, head here.

The countdown begins 

Speaking about what’s ahead at the event, Leen Alsebai, General Manager of RX Middle East and Head of the World Future Energy Summit, said: “The event will be a catalyst to further COP28 resolutions along the road to reality.”

Adding: “We envisage the event producing an unprecedented catalogue of partnerships, agreements, technological innovations, and new collaborative pathways to transition the collective COP28 accords into action.”

ESG Mena will be on the ground throughout the event, providing insights and analysis and conducting interviews with industry leaders and innovators.  

With less than two months to go, register your interest here.

Stay tuned for more updates. 

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