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Thursday, April 17, 2014
- At a conference held at the International Peace Institute (IPI) last week, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, highlighted the important future of renewable energy.
In Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, what was once considered science fiction is now a reality. Masdar City, a planned city powered by renewable energy, serves as a model of what green urban development can be. Masdar aims to be one of the world’s most sustainable cities by providing the highest quality of life with the lowest environmental footprint, he said.
. “Investing in sustainability is a logical step, an activity that makes perfect sense” Dr Al Jaber assured. Moreover, he demonstrated that renewable energy is not only good for the planet, it also can be commercially viable.
The Middle East region, closely associated with oil, has decided to diversify its energy mix. “Abu Dhabi has to be a responsible energy player, not only a oil and gas exporter”, the CEO stated. Developing renewable energy through the world seems to be a win-win scenario as long as oil and gas are becoming more and more expensive and precious.
Even if oil will continue to play a major role in energy resources, each country will have to customize its energy mix approach and introduce clean energy in its consumption. According to Dr. Al Jaber “we don’t have much time, we need to work together” to avoid any future conflict.
As the global population is growing quickly, and considering the impact of climate change, energy should stay very high in the international agenda. History shows that energy has always been interconnected with security and peace. “Energy is the spinal cord of all economies of the world”, he said.
The CEO advocated two ways to avoid global conflicts: diversify energy sources and advance the research on the technological requirements of the renewable energy sector.
“You give the hope that our children will live in a better planet than us”, concluded Terje Rød-Larsen, President of the International Peace Institute. Indeed, clean and green energy seems to be the major step of the sustainable development goals adopted few months ago by the Rio+20 summit.
Dr. Al Jaber holds several board and advisory positions and counsels on issues related to sustainability, climate change and energy for a number of organizations and institutions