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Clean energy to drive economic growth, says UN chief
Atique Naqvi reports from the World Future Energy Summit, which kicked off in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
January 17, 2011 3:58 by Atique Naqvi
Sustainable energy solutions and environment-friendly policies of governments would drive economic growth across the world in the near future, said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the opening ceremony of this year’s World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi today.
Speaking at the summit, he said the world needs a global clean energy revolution to provide universal access to sustainable energy solutions to billions of people on the planet, who have very limited access to electricity. Countries around the world are working to improve their energy efficiency levels; China has become the second largest user of wind energy, while South Korea is witnessing increased public investment in sustainable and renewable energy projects.
He called upon states to invest wisely in human capital and research and development to help universal access to clean energy by 2030. The sector needs investments worth $35 billion every year, said the UN chief, adding that governments should also provide incentives to firms and institutions that are working towards going green.
He said of the WFES that this is “one of the premier events on renewable and sustainable energy in the world,” as Abu Dhabi is fast becoming the hub of progress in this sector, and the UAE’s role in promoting the use of clean energy is exceptional.
The UAE is not only working within the country but it is aiding clean energy projects abroad. “Our commitment goes beyond borders,” said Masdar chief executive Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber.
There is a need for public-private partnerships to achieve success in the energy sector. Citing the outcome of conference on climate change in Cancun, Mexico, he told WFES 2011 that multilateral process is the best way to go forward as climate change affects the whole planet rather than a particular area. Dr Al Jaber also called upon countries to come up with a regulatory framework to facilitate the use of clean energy.
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