DUBAI, “In the last half century the UAE has developed into a living hub of innovative business,” according to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“This same forward looking dynamic approach is needed more than ever by the UAE, and others in the gulf region, post the announcement of net zero commitment by 2050,” he added while virtually addressing the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) Summit on Monday afternoon.
The ADSW Summit as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is hosting more than 80 global leaders, including heads of state, policy makers, and international business leaders, as UAE aims to take the global sustainability agenda forward and accelerate pathways to net zero.
The Dutch Prime Minister said that the real challenge is now only beginning. Reaching the milestones laid out over the next few years will be crucial after COP 26 [Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)], he pointed out.
“The ideas and methods that made us prosperous are no longer the answer. We need smarter, more sustainable economies. There is no easy solution to the climate change problem, but also there is no other option but to take up the challenge,” Rutte emphasised.
Citing The Netherlands pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai as an example, he said it highlighted three crucial requirements for life, water energy and food. The Prime Minister said they were not treated as separate themes with their own individualistic solutions, but instead the Pavilion took a holistic approach, each linked with one another.
Rutte said that the new way to address climate change issues is “joint-up-thinking”. The Pavilion that extracts water from air to grow plants, and once Expo ends, its every scrap of material will be taken down and given a new purpose, is an example of this new way of thinking, he noted.
The Dutch leader hoped “this small scale demonstration of circularity provides a small demonstration of how innovation can help address the climate crisis”.
Rutte pointed out that “climate change is not simply an economic crisis, it’s also a social crisis”. He said the world’s poor are being hit hardest, leading to greater inequality.
In his closing remarks, the Prime Minister added that “we need to be even more ambitious than we have been. Thanks to demographic changes, economic development and international trade, demand for fresh water, energy and food can only increase, so we need to align our policies and technologies around the natural nexus of water, energy and food”.
He concluded that “we need to be more ambitions and lead to a world sustainable future for all”.
ADSW 2022 is the first major sustainability event after the COP26 climate change conference, and acts as a global catalyst for COP27, which will be held in Egypt in 2022, and COP28, which will be hosted by the UAE in 2023.
Source: Emirates News Agency