Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023: A Platform for Inclusive Climate Action

22 March 2023

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023: A Platform for Inclusive Climate Action

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) opened its doors to host some of the most important organizations active in the field of energy and climate. In doing so, at the beginning of the year, a timeslot traditionally reserved for the World Economic Forum in Davos, it sends a clear message that the poles of global influence are changing. Leading the conversation on the core aspects of energy - security, affordability, protection of the environment and climate justice - organizations such as IRENA, the Atlantic Council and the Arctic Circle Forum are all holding their summits at ADSW.

The event, hosted by the UAE's clean energy powerhouse Masdar, took place from January 14 to 19, 2023, under the patronage of UAE President HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It aimed to accelerate sustainable development and advance economic, social and environmental progress.

One of the main themes of ADSW 2023 was the role of policy in driving the transition to a low-carbon economy and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The event featured several high-level policy debates and dialogues among government officials, business leaders, experts and civil society representatives from around the world.

Some of the key policy debates that took place during ADSW 2023 were:
- The Future of Energy: How to balance energy security, affordability and sustainability in a rapidly changing world?
- The Role of Hydrogen: How to unlock the potential of hydrogen as a clean and versatile energy carrier for various sectors and regions?
- The Power of Data: How to leverage data and digital technologies to optimize energy efficiency, reduce emissions and enhance resilience?
- The Green Recovery: How to align post-pandemic recovery plans with climate action and sustainable development objectives?
- The Inclusive Transition: How to ensure that the energy transition is fair, equitable and inclusive for all segments of society, especially women and youth?
The policy debates at ADSW 2023 highlighted the importance of collaboration, innovation and action to address the complex and interrelated challenges of the energy transition.

ADSW 2023 also hosted two major events that focused on specific regions and issues related to energy and climate change: the Global Energy Forum by the Atlantic Council and the Arctic Circle Abu Dhabi Forum.

The Global Energy Forum by the Atlantic Council was a two-day conference that convened the world's top energy and foreign policy decision makers to set the global energy agenda for the year ahead and examine the longer-term geopolitical and geo-economic implications of the changing energy system. The 2023 Forum had a special focus on the challenge of managing energy security priorities and decarbonization efforts in tandem, including the continuing impact of the crisis in Ukraine on the energy transition.

The Arctic Circle Abu Dhabi Forum was a co-organized event by the Arctic Circle and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment that introduced the Arctic model of collaboration to the Third Pole region, which covers the Himalayas, the Tibetan Plateau and the Hindu Kush. The Forum explored the opportunities and challenges of enhancing cooperation and coordination among the countries and stakeholders of the Third Pole region to address the impacts of climate change and promote sustainable development.

Together with hosting the United Nation's COP 28 Climate Change Conference in Dubai at the end of 2023, gathering such significant decision-makers for this massive series of events at ADSW, the United Arab Emirates is putting on a show of force, reflecting its important capabilities to become a major player influencing policy and diplomacy in an increasingly fraught global context.