The UAE was unanimously chosen to the Global Green Growth Institute’s (GGGI) foundational Council, the international organization’s executive organ, as part of the Institute’s high-profile formal establishment and inaugural ceremony today in Seoul.
GGGI is the world’s newest multilateral organization and a pioneer of the “green growth” economic model recently endorsed as a key development approach at the United Nations Rio+20 Summit.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Directorate of Energy and Climate Climate (DECC) was appointed as the UAE’s representative to the Seoul-based Institute.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and CEO of Masdar, said: “The establishment of GGGI as an international organization marks an important shift in the global community’s approach to development. There is now a critical mass of countries – especially progressive developing countries like the UAE – that recognize green growth as the cost-effective, value-driven way forward, and GGGI will be the platform for disseminating this development model. The UAE is a founding member of GGGI, and we are pleased today to be part of the Council to further advance the organization’s mission”.
The UAE became a founding member of the Institute following a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and GGGI in March 2011, and the UAE serves as GGGI’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) headquarters.
From its office in Masdar City, GGGI will help the region to enhance sustainability planning and accelerate the development of low-impact growth sectors, leveraging the UAE as a global clean energy and urban sustainability hub and coordinating efforts with the 158-member International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), headquartered in Abu Dhabi, as well as such UAE entities as Masdar and Masdar Institute.
In early 2012, the UAE announced a leading initiative that includes a range of programs and policies in the areas of water, energy, waste management and transport, in addition to new environmental policies that aim to enhance the quality of life in the country.
As part of UAE-GGGI collaboration, a joint team from Masdar Institute and the Research Institute for Industrial Science and Technology (RIST) of South Korea launched a pilot project last month to design a robust and cost-efficient island-based, 100% renewable energy micro-grid. The design will incorporate renewable energy sources such as solar PV, small-scale wind power, biofuel production from waste and algae, and linkages with local seawater desalination and electric-powered boats for island access.
GGGI and DECC are additionally co-organizing the first green growth capacity-building program in the UAE.
Over 300 high-level officials from 18 countries attended the ceremony, including; Lee Myung-bak, president of the Republic of Korea; Kim Sung-Hwan, Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Lars Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and Chairman of GGGI.