The World Green Economy Summit in Dubai supports global efforts to shape a sustainable future
The World Green Economy Summit (WGES), organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) in collaboration with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. WGES is an important global platform that enhances partnerships among key decision makers, and collaboration between regional and international organisations in the public and private sectors, for a shift towards a green economy. The WGES is a strategic platform that supports international cooperation in countering global challenges, enhancing sustainable development and investing in a green economy.
Since its inception in 2014, the summit has made great progress and many achievements, notably due to increased cooperation between decision makers from the public and private sectors. Each year, WGES wraps up by issuing Dubai Declaration, which includes the participants’ recommendations, the summit conclusions as well as its milestones and activities.
The 7th WGES will be held on 6 and 7 October 2021 at the Expo 2020 Dubai, held under the theme’ Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ This WGES is expected to have a broader scale as it is held in conjunction with the Expo 2020 Dubai. This enhances the summit’s success in consolidating Dubai’s position as a global capital for a green economy.
“The objectives of WGES align with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability. The summit also supports the UAE’s efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, the Emirates Green Agenda 2030, and the Dubai Energy Strategy 2050. In the UAE, several key initiatives have accelerated the pace of a green economy. The UAE has launched several important initiatives to accelerate the engine of green economy transformation,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the DSCE, and Chairman of WGES.
“Transformational projects such as building solar power plants, using eco-friendly EV cars, as well as building sustainable, low-carbon urban communities support the wise leadership strategy to achieve a sustainable future for vital sectors in the UAE. Dubai has made great strides in its sustainable development journey. It has launched pioneering projects in renewable and clean energy, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. It has a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030. This enhances the UAE and Dubai’s leadership as a successful model for sustainability worldwide,” added Al Tayer.
Milestones, achievements in the WGES
The 6th WGES
The 6th WGES in 2019 focused on three main pillars: sustainable development, international cooperation towards a green economy system and adoption of innovative green solutions. Presidents, global leaders and influencers attended the summit. It attracted around 4000 participants, experts and opinion leaders in various fields of the green economy and sustainable development, including executives, partners, financial institutions and representatives of global markets from 78 countries. 60 speakers spearheaded 14 seminars and discussion sessions.
The summit focused on aligning energy policy to the UN SDGs, highlighting the significant workload required to build a sustainable future. Participants exchanged views on successful sustainability strategies, systems and policies, and their potential for replication and scaling up. It also focused on the role of women in achieving a green economy through innovation, cooperation, transparency, environmental management and social solidarity which are soft skills, and particularly important in environmental sustainability and its development. This version of the summit explored the challenges and opportunities facing women in sustainability, highlighting various women working in this field, in sectors such as energy, water, finance and development.
Moreover, the summit tackled sustainability of the private sector, green banking and investment, and the challenges and solutions for the green economy and sustainable agriculture. It also demonstrated the country’s ability to support the shift towards a green economy. This is through hosting fruitful meetings that brought together global environmentalists, technicians, and business leaders to discuss how the public and private sectors can optimise innovation to accelerate the shift towards a green economy.
The summit witnessed the introduction of the Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group that aligns the local finance sector’s key initiatives concerning the environment in the local and regional markets. It also highlighted the importance of international cooperation in addressing global challenges and promoting sustainable development worldwide. The establishment of the Regional Cooperation Centre (RCC) for Middle East and North Africa, as well as hosting of Regional Ministerial Conferences by the WGEO to enhance cooperation between the countries of the world is a testament of global efforts to march towards a sustainable future.
During the Dubai Declaration 2019, Al Tayer announced that DEWA and WGEO are jointly leading the establishment of the UN Global Compact Local Network after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The 5th WGES
The 5th WGES brought together more than 3,700 global experts, specialists, and opinion leaders to discuss key issues such as climate change and global warming. The summit was especially important, because it set the journey towards the adoption and signing of the agreement establishing the WGEO.
The summit focused on three main pillars including Green Capital, digital transformation, leadership and social engagement. It also discussed the latest smart technologies and digital innovations that accelerate the shift towards a green economy and sustainable development. This ensures the shift towards a green economy. The summit identified paradigms and mechanisms for ideal public-private partnerships by developing legislation and regulations that encourage investment opportunities in energy, water and infrastructure projects and improve the quality of their services.
Participants highlighted the need for effective leadership in the public and private sectors to accelerate the transition to a green economy. This could be achieved by introducing progressive policies and incentives, influencing individual behaviour and consumption patterns, or raising environmental awareness. They also agreed that sustainable development must be inclusive, as it requires the total commitment of public and private sector leaders.
During the summit, Dubai has also launched a community awareness campaign for electric vehicles titled E-Sayyara, the first of its kind in the region. E-Sayyara supports the Dubai Green Mobility Strategy 2030. The summit also witnessed launching the first World Green Economy Report 2018, ‘Inspiring Innovations in Business, Finance and Policy,’ in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the UNDP. It highlighted the need to adopt more depth and diversity in our approach to building a real green economy and moving the global sustainability agenda forwards.
Furthermore, the summit announced working on the Green Gate Initiatives, to encompass all the green programmes that will streamline the sustainable development journey. The first Preparatory Conference took place at this fifth Summit, attended by high-profile representatives from at least 60 countries. It set its mark to establish WGEO as a fully independent international organisation.
The World Green Economy Organisation
HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the World Green Economy Organisation in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in October 2016 during the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai, to enhance the transition to a green economy and the dissemination of green economy projects at a global level, as well as support countries and organisations seeking to achieve their strategies and green plans. The World Green Economy Organisation and the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) will host the ‘MENA Climate Week 2022’, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Climate Change, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the World Bank Group. The UAE will be hosting this first of its kind event in the Middle East and North Africa from 2 to March 3, 2022, on the sidelines of Expo 2020 Dubai. The event will highlight the urgency of addressing climate change and current global development challenges.
The MENA Climate Week will convene leaders from the government, private sector, and civil society to discuss the serious threat of climate change, and collaborate on swift, bold actions to address this challenge. The event offers a wealth of opportunities for collaboration and showcase ground-breaking technologies that can help the region adapt to climate change.
Stakeholders have a unique opportunity to reflect and revise their country’s climate action plans to effectively address societal, environmental, and economic impacts. Participants will also be able to follow up on the discussions raised during the 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021 in Glasgow, UK.
The WGEO attaches great importance to youth and works to enhance the role of young entrepreneurs in recognition of their capabilities to find innovative and sustainable solutions that drive green growth and achieve sustainable development locally and globally. The summit regularly organises youth circles to engage them in sustainable development and a green economy before entering the job market. VIPs, officials, specialists, speakers, experts, local and global investors participate in the youth circles to encourage their sustainability efforts.