World Future Energy Summit 2011 Discusses Business, Technology and Finance

20 January 2011: World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011, which convened from 17-20 January 2011, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), was organized around a high-level segment that focused on policy and strategy, and three forums on business, technology and finance. Participants considered issues such as international future energy policy, financing future energy, solar energy, green cities, sustainable buildings, wind energy, biofuels, e-mobility, energy storage, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), energy efficiency, smart grids, and nuclear energy. 

WFES 2011 included 29 sessions, two exhibitions, a Young Future Energy Leaders Programme, approximately 90 roundtable discussions, as well as numerous side events, industry and investment seminars, and corporate meetings. Over 25,000 participants, including 3,000 summit delegates, attended the four-day event.

During the opening ceremony, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a clean energy revolution that contributes to reducing poverty, mitigating climate change, empowering women, strengthening economic growth and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and global security. He encouraged public and private spending for intellectual capital, suggesting that investment in green economies can provide an opportunity for growth and prosperity in developed and developing countries. Adnan Amin, Interim Director General, IRENA, called on governments to: create enabling conditions for renewable energy investment; stop subsidizing fossil fuels; and ensure that markets fully reflect environmental costs of different energy sources. He also underscored IRENA's goal to assist developing countries. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said Cancún opened the door to the era of low-carbon growth, but its goals can only be achieved through rapid scaling-up of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. She stressed that appropriate national policies must be created to operate in tandem with the international agreement.

In addition, many WFES participants attended the award ceremony for the Zayed Future Energy Prize for long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability, which was awarded to Vestas of Denmark. During the meeting, Ditlev Engel, Global CEO, Vestas, Denmark, announced the launch of a new collaboration with WWF and others to produce “WindMade,” a consumer label that allows consumers to independently reduce their carbon use by choosing products produced with wind power. [IISD RS coverage of WFES 2011]