ABU DHABI, 15th January, 2020 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, has attended the launch of the Abu Dhabi Climate Initiative.
The Initiative is a collective endeavour of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment; Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM; the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD; and Hub71. The synergy seeks to fast-track research and development in water and climate technology to consolidate the UAE’s position as a global leader in sustainability and climate action.
Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, announced the initiative following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the partner entities at the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020.
Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, "Today, we have a prime opportunity to embark on a new era of economic growth through climate action. It is our shared responsibility to our planet and all its living creatures to focus on this opportunity, and work to ensure that climate action improves health and well-being while creating new jobs and industries. We truly believe that we can move the needle forward on sustainable climate action through new technologies and bring hope to the voices demanding a better future."
He added, "Through this synergy, we seek to drive innovation with the aim of shaping a more sustainable future for all. The Abu Dhabi Climate Initiative is the first platform in the region dedicated to accelerating the research and development of climate and water technologies and to supporting the shift towards a climate-resilient economy."
Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State and Chairman of ADGM, said, "We are pleased to be part of the Ministry’s novel initiative that aims to accelerate research and development in areas that reinforce the UAE’s commitment to climate action and a greener future. As an international financial center and business hub, ADGM has established an inclusive ecosystem that encourages innovation and technology adoption to assist the UAE’s key industries in addressing their funding needs and growth plans while achieving their sustainability goals. We will work closely with the Ministry and other partners to foster the development of new water- and climate-related technologies for a more sustainable economy and environment."
For her part, Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of EAD, highlighted the importance of the Abu Dhabi Climate Initiative in supporting the UAE’s efforts to stimulate innovation to address climate change in light of the extreme weather events around the world.
Dr. Al Dhaheri added that this initiative provides an ideal collaborative framework to attract innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors to sustainability technology. She noted that given the projected surge of the world population to more than nine billion by 2050 and the resulting pressures on the environment and natural resources, the world needs to work together to invent new technologies to achieve sustainability.
In closing, Dr. Al Dhaheri expressed her delight at choosing Abu Dhabi to host a global incubator that connects climate and water technology innovators with investors. The move will enhance the leading role that the UAE and its capital play in promoting sustainable development, and reinforce their commitment to identifying innovative solutions to ensure the sustainability of natural resources across the globe.
The Abu Dhabi Climate Initiative will create a global ecosystem for leveraging technology to drive climate action. It includes three strategic pillars within its scope – the Climate Lab, the SUSTAIN Think Tank, and the UAE Development Aid and Technical Assistance firm.
Based at Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech startup ecosystem valued at AED1 billion, the Climate Lab incubator will assist climate and water tech entrepreneurs and startups through three initiatives.
Emerge 10 will select 10 entrepreneurs and startups with the highest potential for growth in emerging markets and provide them with customised incentive packages to bring their projects to fruition. The incentive packages will include launch and market entry support, competitor mapping, overview of the water and climate technologies sector in each market, identifying optimal accelerator channels to support market entry and growth, and specialised marketing and branding consultations.
Every year, the Climate Lab will connect venture capital and private equity firms seeking to invest in sustainability with entrepreneurs and startups in climate and water tech at the Clean Tech Funding Forum to enhance investment and finance activities in this field. The first exclusive global meeting of its kind will launch a call to action and present the market outlook for the clean tech sector to unlock sustainability innovations.
As part of the initiative, the Climate Lab will also set up the Global Incubator, the world’s first incubator for clean technology for emerging markets with a focus on climate and water tech. The Lab will collaborate with UAE-based academic institutions and international decision makers to support home-grown innovative solutions and pilot business models.
Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Deputy Group CEO and CEO of Alternative Investments & Infrastructure at Mubadala Investment Company – a strategic partner of Hub71, said, "The Climate Lab at Hub71 will be the first holistic ecosystem for emerging markets that enables startups to thrive through providing them with a comprehensive set of benefits. These include long-term visas, access to capital, specialised incentive packages, as well as unique corporate partnerships. The incubator will attract eco-innovators to the UAE capital to test, develop, and deploy world-changing ideas with the full backing of the Abu Dhabi government."
The second strategic pillar of the UAE Climate Initiative will be the SUSTAIN Think Tank, based at ADGM. Through establishing a global network of thought leaders, the think tank will lead the conversation on sustainable finance, climate change technology, and the future of water.
SUSTAIN will launch the first public Clean Tech Global Innovation Index to measure the status and progress of clean technology in multiple countries with a special focus on emerging markets. The index will have the potential to co-brand with the UN and local and global academic and thought leadership institutions.
The think tank will also host the ‘Regulate the Future’ roundtable. The exclusive annual platform will convene the Global 10 – 10 of the most significant global strategic partners in climate action from the public and private sectors – to discuss the future of technology that helps overcome climate challenges, and the creation of a sustainable ecosystem to finance this technology.
As the third strategic pillar, the Abu Dhabi Climate Initiative will set up UAE Development Aid and Technical Assistance, a world-class advisory firm to offer strategic advice, implementation blueprints, and capacity-building programs. The company will provide technical support on a ‘cost+’ basis or as part of the UAE’s development assistance for emerging markets. Its services will cover sustainability reporting, renewable energy advisory, climate change, CSR, and water and waste management.