WAM Abu Dhabi, Jan 17th, 2013 (WAM) — The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of Energy and Climate Change, today hosted the first meeting of energy ministers from 32 Arab and South American countries, focused on joint deployment of low-carbon, sustainable energy technologies.
The ministerial, which produced a three-year work plan, highlighted investment opportunities and market and policy trends in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), the Organization of Arab Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OAPEC), the League of Arab States, and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).
Leveraging the UAE’s hub of world-leading energy companies and organizations, the ministerial took place as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, 2013’s largest sustainability gathering, anchored by the clean-tech industry’s World Future Energy Summit.
UAE energy minister Mohamed bin Dhaen Al Hamli said: “The world’s need for reliable oil and gas remains acute, but its needs are growing to include all forms of energy on larger scales than ever seen before. We know from our own experience in the UAE that countries with diversified energy portfolios and investment capabilities are best-placed to navigate the future, and our international engagement reflects this equal valuation of different energy sectors.” Commenting on the meeting Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy of Energy and Climate Change and chief executive officer of Masdar said: “Clean energy is the new foundation of development, and both Arab and South American countries represent some of the world’s most promising markets for new and enhanced energy technologies, especially renewable energy.” “Capitalizing on the exceptional pool of ideas and individuals at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, our regions are now working on the underpinning factors for deployment: stable policies, benchmarking, information exchange, and education,” he added.
The ministerial established a framework for data-sharing, peer-learning, and investment promotion in the regions’ renewable energy, oil and gas, nuclear, and energy efficiency sectors.
Presentations by energy experts from IRENA, OLADE, and OAPEC notably emphasized the vast potential of both renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet future demand in both regions, with efficiency, hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar having emerged as the lowest-cost supply option in many countries, including oil/gas exporters.
“Renewable energy is already the economic choice in many Arab and South American countries, and this trend will only intensify as we see further cost reductions in renewable energy technologies,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA, the intergovernmental organization which engages with 160 countries from its headquarters in Abu Dhabi and was affirmed by the energy ministers as the primary forum for cooperation in the sector. “Our focus in Arab and South American countries is to drive understanding of the business case for renewable, as well as the policies that can accelerate its uptake.” The ministerial followed the Summit of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA), held in Lima in October 2012, which called for energy to the backbone of regional cooperation. The next ASPA energy ministerial will be held in South America in 2016.