Clean technology as a catalyst for sustainable industrialisation headlined international discussions at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) General Conference in Abu Dhabi.
During a special side event titled: ‘Cleantech as a Catalyst for Climate Action and the Clean Energy Transition’, regional and global leaders focused on renewable energy and clean technology innovations that can decouple growth from emissions and carbon footprints.
Delivering the event’s keynote address, Dolf Gielen, Director of Innovation & Technology at the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) in Abu Dhabi, called for decarbonisation of power and heat supplies as part of a global transition to renewable energy.
Gielen advocated electrification across the supply chain, particularly in terms of road logistics, with electric cars and light-duty trucks reducing environmental impact, particularly in the last mile.
Gielen also emphasised the need to develop new technology-led solutions for challenging industry sectors contributing to CO2 emissions, such as shipping, long-haul trucking, aviation, petrochemicals, and iron, steel and cement manufacturing.
Calling for renewables to increase six-fold to meet demand, the Irena Director outlined three key components that can collectively deliver 90 per cent in CO2 reduction required in coming decades: renewable power generation, electrification, and energy efficiency.
Speaking about the power of technology to enable energy-efficient means of development and how Irena has seen a convergence in solutions adopted by emerging and developed markets, Gielen said: “Technology and innovation is global and we don’t see a difference between developed and developing countries. The solutions are largely similar.”
Gielen’s keynote speech was followed by presentations from cleantech entrepreneurs, who outlining their respective innovative journeys. The ensuing panel discussion explored implementation, deployment and financing models to enable the energy transition through innovative solutions.
Commenting on the event, Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, and the President of the 18th Unido General Conference Abu Dhabi said: "The UAE has a unique approach when it comes to sustainable energy. Though the UAE is fortunate in being rich in fossil fuels, it has invested heavily in clean tech and sustainable energy projects."
"The UAE believes that enduring prosperity requires a long-term vision to safeguard the future of generations to come," he stated.