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Posted on on February 16th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (


Green Prophet Headlines – El Gouna: Egypt builds MENA’s first carbon-neutral city

Link to Green Prophet



El Gouna: Egypt builds MENA’s first carbon-neutral city


Posted: 15 Feb 2014 09:23 PM PST


el gouna carbon neutral city EgyptEl Gouna, a resort city on Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera, is set to become the first carbon-neutral city in that nation, in Africa, and likely the entire Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. Masdar City, in continuing development in Abu Dhabi, initially targeted zero-carbon status, but has yet to hit that goal.
Image of El Gouna from Shutterstock


The ambitious development agreement was signed last week by the Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, the Italian Ministry of Environment and El Gouna City.


Dr. Laila Iskandar, Egyptian Minister of State for Environmental Affairs, told Trade Arabia, “This agreement will help the Egyptian government to achieve a significant breakthrough in the fields of environment and tourism, enhancing Egypt’s global image and opening the door for Egyptian tourism projects and cities to rank among the leading carbon-neutral entities.”


El Gouna is already hailed as Egypt’s most environmentally-friendly vacation destination.  It’s captured Green Globe and Travelife certifications and was selected as the pilot location for the Green Star Hotel Initiative (GSHI).


Launched in 2007, GSHI is a cooperative effort between public and private sectors, the Egyptian and German tourism industries, and supported by key technical consultants.  They promote use of environmental management systems and environmentally sound operations to improve environmental performance and to increase competitiveness of the Egyptian hotel industry.


Priority projects include conservation of natural resources such as clean beaches, healthy marine life and protected areas, which are the backbone of the Red Sea Riviera and the nation’s eco-tourism market.


Mr. Hisham Zaazou, Egyptian Minister of Tourism, told Trade Arabia, “We will also be working on implementing this project in other Egyptian cities.”


Posted on on February 3rd, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (



United Nations, Nations Unies
UAE to Host High-Level Meeting in May Leading up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate SummitLeaders to meet in Abu Dhabi 4-5 May on Climate Action

New York, 3 February—A special two-day high- level meeting will be held from 4-5 May in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to encourage announcements of greater action and ambition by world leaders at the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United Arab Emirates Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, announced today.

The Climate Summit will take place on 23 September, at UN Headquarters in New York, one day before the UN General Assembly begins its General Debate.  The Secretary-General has invited leaders of government, business, finance and civil society to bring bold announcements and actions to address climate change. The Summit will focus on solutions that demonstrate how early action can result in substantial economic benefits.

The “Abu Dhabi Ascent,” as the May meeting will be called, will bring Ministers as well as business, finance, and civil society leaders together to develop a range of proposals for action and determine how their countries, businesses and organizations may become more involved in various initiatives so that partnerships can be broadened and deepened to deliver concrete action at the Summit.

The Secretary-General welcomed the UAE’s offer to host this meeting.  “The UAE initiative to host the Abu Dhabi Ascent is an important concrete contribution to the Summit. This meeting is a critical milepost on the way that will help build the momentum we need for a successful Climate Summit.  I look forward to working with all leaders to ensure that the Summit catalyzes major steps on the ground and towards an ambitious global climate agreement.”

“The United Arab Emirates is at the forefront of international efforts to mitigate climate change,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. “As a key mitigation strategy, the UAE has made significant investments to develop and deploy clean energy technologies globally.”

“The high level meeting in Abu Dhabi will be integral in encouraging and enhancing commitments from the public-private sectors and ensuring the Summit in New York is a success.”

By spurring action on climate change, the Abu Dhabi Ascent leading up to the Climate Summit will complement and boost momentum toward a climate change agreement at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.

More  information on the Summit can be found at

For more information, please contact: Dan Shepard of the UN Department of Public Information,


Posted on on January 25th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (


from: Langston James Goree VI of Canada - 
January 24, 2014






Langston James Goree VI via 
Jan 24 (2 days ago)

to Energy-l







World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2014


20-22 January 2014 | Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates




The summary of this meeting is now available in PDF format at and in HTML format at 




20-22 January 2014 | Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates




The summary of this meeting is now available in PDF format at and in HTML format at 



The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) took place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 20 to 22 January.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) organized and participated in a range of events at the Summit.

This report summarizes discussions at select IRENA events including side events on the Global Atlas for Renewable Energy, Financing the Africa Clean Energy Corridor, Risk Coverage for Renewable Energy Investment, Project Navigator, Grid Integration and Energy Storage, Renewable Energy Investment in the Gulf Cooperation Council and Business Models for Renewable Energy Deployment in Cities.

The report also covers the Renewable Energy Ministerial Roundtable.


Looking at the report we found of special interest the


as it was focused at a politically important constituency – Small Islands Independent States – SIDS – who will have their meeting right  ahead of the 2014 UN General Assembly.

On Monday evening, IRENA Director-General Amin moderated the high-level roundtable on renewable energy. Referring to the High-level Discussion on the IRENA preparations for the 3rd International Conference on small island developing States (SIDS), he asked delegates how IRENA can assist in the upscaling and implementation of renewable energy.

Prime Minister Henry Tuakeu Puna, Cook Islands, introduced the blue-green economy concept with several examples, including green tourism development, sanitation, fisheries and marine protected areas. Noting that SIDS are scattered throughout the world, he encouraged attending ministers and delegates to work together.

Rolph Payet, Minister of Environment and Energy, Seychelles, lauded IRENA for placing emphasis on renewable energy development in SIDS. He underscored that in small islands, energy provision is linked to other issues, such as tourism and waste management, suggesting waste-to-energy developments.

Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister of Environment and Energy, Maldives, asked how investments in renewable energy and waste management could be coupled.

Prime Minister Siale?ataongo Tu?ivakan?, Tonga, stressed affordability in the provision of clean energy, calling on IRENA as a transparent authority on the matter to build public support.

Josephine Stowers, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa, expressed gratitude for the financial assistance provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and IRENA, suggesting the launch of a pacific partnership on renewables at the 3rd International Conference on SIDS in Samoa in September 2014.

Vete Sakaio, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Public Utilities, Tuvalu, underscored his country’s commitment and political will on sustainable development, stating that Tuvalu aims to have 100% renewable energy by 2020.

Mike Burrell, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand, commended IRENA’s strong leadership to encourage the growth of renewable energy in New Zealand and with its SIDS partners.

Director-General Amin concluded with the suggestion that IRENA could support studies and capacity building focused on, inter alia: grid extension and grid stability; technology briefs on options to reduce inter-island diesel consumption and renewable alternatives for inter-island transportation; and desalination alternatives

Also of political interest was the meeting organized by the Mayor of the second largest Cypriote municipality and who had on board a technical speaker from Israel.

The side event on the Global Atlas for Renewable Energy took place on Monday afternoon, moderated by Nicolas Fichaux, IRENA.

Fichaux highlighted that 65 countries currently participate in the initiative that includes all six renewables covered by IRENA’s mandate. He explained that the Atlas provides an open access and full dataset for a variety of user groups.

Referring to ongoing activities in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region, Nicola Bugatti, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, highlighted efforts to provide regional and country-level data on renewable energy, including country profiles, interactive maps, analyses and trends.

Jake Badger, Technical University of Denmark, described the Wind Atlas, emphasizing, inter alia: micro-scale modeling; wind resource data accounting with high-resolution effects; unified methodology for benchmarking among different countries and regions; and aggregated data and upscaled analyses for energy planners and policymakers.

Lionel Menard, MINES Paris Tech, discussed a data catalogue which conducts “metadata exercises” to gather information, serving as a brokering machine to describe energy resources in a unified, open, standard and interoperable format.

Thomas Wanderer, German Aerospace Centre, stressed linking socioeconomic data within the Atlas, including technical implications, country profiles, energy-use statistics and policy relevant information.

Jacinto Estima, Masdar Institute, and Xabier Nicuesa, National Renewable Energy Center, Spain, presented the universal data reader to make wind and solar energy data visible and comprehensive, expressing the need for scalable data sets and data about relevant time and seasonal variation.

Daniel Getman, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), US, referred to NREL’s participation in the Atlas’s initial design and development, emphasizing the importance of sharing data and using standardized data in order to be compatible with IRENA’s Atlas.

During discussion, participants addressed: dissemination plans for the Atlas; a focus on data quality; and collaboration with relevant partners.

But then when it came to Africa we found in the report lots of dreams that prove nothing was learned as of yet. Money just does not fall of trees and we feel this part has to be restudied or else there will be no progress in Africa.

The report says:


The side event on financing the Africa Clean Energy Corridor took place on Monday afternoon. IRENA Deputy Director-General Frank Wouters introduced the initiative that seeks to link power systems from ‘Cairo to Cape Town.’

Isaac Kiva, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kenya, discussed experiences in Kenya. He listed risks, such as: integrity of measurement; commercial viability; and political stability, and shared the experience of setting up a risk mitigation facility to help private sector investment in drilling for geothermal potential.

Ingolf Dietrich, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, expressed support for the Africa Clean Energy Corridor, highlighting the strong signal it sends on the importance of a regional approach. He discussed issues that complicate project viability and bankability, highlighting political stability and capacity.

Youssef Arfaoui, African Development Bank, shared experiences on concessional funding instruments such as the Clean Investments Fund and the Clean Technology Fund. He referenced projects in Kenya carried out in collaboration with the government that use Partial Risk Guarantees. He also discussed experiences in Djibouti where geothermal drilling was completed to confirm resources before the private sector joined, thus enabling the public sector.

Michael Eckhart, Citigroup, Inc., differentiated the Citigroup’s approach to finance, emphasizing that its clients are corporations, not governments, and encouraged parties interested in bringing Citigroup to Africa to do so by going through their clients. He highlighted the recent Green Bond Principles that provide voluntary guidelines for the development and issuance of Green Bonds, underscoring that if 10 to 20% of the US$ 7 trillion a year bond market were to go green, there would be more funding for Africa to access.

Mokgadi Modise, Department of Energy, South Africa, shared the South African experience with public private partnerships used to protect customers from increased energy costs. Dietrich commented that the bidding system deployed in South Africa is an inspiration to addressing the challenges with the feed-in tariff system in Germany.

More enlightening was the side event “Renewable energy investment in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), moving beyond targets: opportunities and challenges” took place on Wednesday morning and afternoon in partnership with the UAE Ministry for Foreign Affairs, IRENA and the Renewable Energy Industry Advisory Board (RIAB) of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

WELCOMING REMARKS: Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of Energy, UAE, welcomed participants to a special session of the RIAB of IEA and IRENA, reflecting the GCC’s regional priority on renewable energy deployment. He clarified that the discussion has evolved from a focus on the business case for renewable energy to how to meet ambitious targets and sustain economic growth to unlock the renewable energy potential in the region.

Roberto Vigotti, IEA, discussed RIAB’s work with selected volunteers to provide strategic advice and participate in outreach initiatives and highlighted upcoming events.

 Hans Jorgen Koch, Chair of IEA Working Party on Renewable Energy Technologies, IEA, drew attention to challenges to a low-carbon economy posed by fossil fuel subsidies, calling for a delicate and balanced approach to resolution.

Maria van der Hoeven, IEA, spoke of global shifting trends in supply and demand for energy that has opened the market in the GCC, acknowledging drivers such as economic growth, availability of natural resources and ambition.

IRENA Director-General Amin noted the increasing clarity of opportunities in the region, stressing that the way forward is through transparent policy frameworks, value addition and interconnected grids. On finance, he addressed the need to de-risk investments potentially through a multilateral framework.

Arthouros Zervos, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), noted growth that is shifting the role of the GCC region from a fossil fuel exporter to a leader in renewable energy.  AND WE HOPE THESE WERE NOT JUST COMPLIMENTS.




Posted on on January 21st, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (


UAE – Global leaders to discuss renewable energy today

MENAFN – Khaleej Times – 21/01/2014

ABU DHABI – Global leaders, decision-makers, technologists and business executives are assembling in the capital today to discuss matters relating to renewable energy.The World Future Energy Conference (WFES), which is the largest summit of energy experts, will share the best international practices, unveil new products and discuss sustainable solutions to tackle present and future energy challenges.

As the centerpiece of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, WFES 2014 expects to receive 30,000 attendees from over 172 countries, up from the 152 countries that participated last year.

Held under the patronage of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the seventh edition of the World Future Energy Summit runs from January 20-22, 2014 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on the theme ‘Powering the Future of Energy Innovation and Investment.’

Since its inception in 2008, WFES has grown to become the leading discussion platform for renewable energy, clean technology and sustainability, and it is now considered the pre-eminent international event for government and industry decision makers to find viable, sustainable solutions to the world’s growing energy challenges.

Hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, WFES 2014 is the centerpiece of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the largest ever gathering on sustainability in the Middle East. The event comprises a world-class conference that offers an unparalleled forum for political, business and intellectual debate and a large-scale exhibition which facilitates networking and transactions between manufacturers, suppliers and customers across both the public and private sectors.

Global decision and opinion makers include UAE Minister of Energy Suhail bin Mohamed Faraj Fares Al Mazrouei; Rachel Kyte, vice-president for sustainable development at the World Bank; and Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency. Around 125 speakers will address delegates during the conference programme, on topics such as waste-to-energy, natural gas and the evolving energy mix, energy efficiency, and renewable technology innovation.

Other high-level speakers at the event include Marie-Jose Nadeau, president of the World Energy Council; Saif Al Sayari, executive officer of energy solutions, Taqa; Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar; and Kazuo Furukawa, chairman of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation. More than 900 exhibiting companies will take part in WFES, International Water Summit, and the inaugural EcoWASTE, with more than 200 new products to be unveiled at the three shows. New and expanded exhibition features at WFES this year include the Project and Finance Village, showcasing over 20 renewable energy projects from the region and beyond.


UAE – 15 years jail for woman who tortured and beat maid to death

MENAFN – Khaleej Times – January 21, 2014 from Abu Dhabi – The torture caused severe injuries to the Ethiopian maid, which got infected due to lack of medical treatment and led, along with other factors, to her death.

A woman accused of torturing her two housemaids, and beating and abusing them regularly – resulting in the death of one of them – has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The 45-year-old Emirati, R.A., who works as a public relations officer, is believed to have subjected her Ethiopian and Filipina maids to daily beatings, and physical and mental torture.

The torture caused severe injuries to the Ethiopian maid, which got infected due to lack of medical treatment and led, along with other factors, to her death. R.A. has been given an additional one month in jail by the Court of First Instance for denying the victim medical treatment.

Her husband, a 42-year-old policeman, A.A., who allegedly watched R.A. physically abuse the maids and deprive them of their freedom by locking them up in the bathroom, has been sentenced to three years in prison for being an accessory to the crimes. He tightly secured his villa in Nad-Al-Hamar to prevent the maids from escaping.

The couple earlier denied charges of false imprisonment, deprivation of freedom with the use of force, physical and mental torture to death and causing bodily harm.

The Filipina maid, 29, who survived the torture, which lasted for a couple of months, told the prosecutor that her employer used to beat her, and deny her food. She also forced her to drink a mix of detergents when she was dissatisfied with the cleaning of the toilet.

The maid said R.A. threatened her with jail and intimidated her with their connections in the police and immigration.

R.A. locked the two maids in the bathroom fixed with a camera, through which she would monitor them after she left for work in the morning. She also photographed them in compromising positions and threatened to make the pictures public.

She fed the victims a piece of onion, sugar and salt for five days. She gave better food to the deceased maid after she lost consciousness due to the constant beating and malnutrition. The victim’s injuries got infected, but R.A. refused to take her to the hospital due to the fear of being held accountable.

A forensic expert said the deceased weighed only 37kg when she died. Torture, malnutrition and negligence of injuries contributed to her death. The victim’s blood sample also contained traces of a pesticide.

The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days.



Posted on on January 8th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (


IT IS ALL ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY – Direct Solar and Wind Energy that can replace fossil carbon already now!
When it comes to heavy trucks – the CNG industry comes into play as well – so it is not just that electricity replaces the need for gasoline – but natural gas will replace the need for diesel as well – so here we will ask ourselves eventually – who still needs a petroleum refinery?


17 Cleantech Champions…

17 Cleantech Champions
by Zachary Shahan

There are actually thousands of cleantech champions out there, and many of them are CleanTechnica readers. I was actually a bit hesitant to make this list because of that – there are going to be a lot of people not on this list that really could be. However, in honor of the tremendous work some of these people are doing, I felt compelled to write this up.

Importantly, beyond the main work they are doing, this piece is particularly focused on highlighting cleantech leaders who make their presence and views known in the public eye. We’re in the business in moving the public pendulum towards cleantech, and I greatly value the cleantech business and science leaders who also do so…

1. ELON MUSK – Tesla Motors, Solar City …

JIGAR SHAH -  SunEdison, Carbon War Room, Jigar Shah Consulting …

3. CARLOS GOSH – Nissan, Renault, Electic Vehicles …

4. DENISE BODE – AWEA (Wind Energy)

5. Mark Z. Jacobson – Renewable Energy for New York

6. DANNY KENNEDY – Sungevity Solar, The Solar Foundation, Solar on the White House …


8. HERMANN SCHEER – died 2010, was Member of German Parliament who fought for Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) …

9. LISA JACKSON (US EPA) & STEVEN CHU (US Department of Energy) – for their leadership

10. BILLY PARISH – Solar Mosaic

11. SULTAN AHMED AL JABER – Masdar, AbuDhabi

12.  ADNAN Z. AMIN – IRENA, Abu Dhabi

13. BOB LUTZ – GM Cherry Volt, Via Motors VTRUX – an electric car proponent despite being a conservative Global Warming denier.

14. AL GORE – Global Warming tied to fossil fuels.

15. NAWAL AL-HOSANY – Masdar and the Zayed Future Energy Prize. Abu Dhabi


17. PAUL SCOTT – Plug-In America, Nissan Leaf



Where the Green Jobs Will Be in 2014
by Jigar Shah

In the movie, “The Graduate,” Dustin Hoffman returned home from college and got one word of career advice: “Plastics.”


That was 1967 – and 35 years later, words are “solar, buildings, and heavy trucks.”Maybe the hottest of the three is solar.Each sector and others add up to jobs.

Luckily, a decade ago, maybe I was just young and crazy – or ahead of my time by accident.But, my “plastics” was clearly “solar.” The result was that I used it to be part of building a multi-billion dollar industry.  Since then, I have been privileged to build wealth in many other sectors within the resource efficiency space including batteries, solar hot water, and hydroponic greenhouses.

The wealth I am talking about is not a few people making millions, but millions of people making a real living. So let’s look at why there is a huge demand in these areas – and what jobs need to be filled in this new world I call “Climate Wealth.”

The demand is driven by the fact that across the broader resource efficiency industry, renewable energy costs have declined while traditional-energy costs have risen.Since 1999, fuel budgets are up 300 percent and electricity bills up 25 percent.These market dynamics make it clear that there is a real opportunity for stably priced, clean energy solutions that save people money.

First, the solar industry, now at $13 billion, has added more than 15,000 people in 2013 and looks to increase hiring in 2014. Compared to a decade ago, solar has stabilized as an industry. And, the past year, solar stocks have risen 140 percent. Notable names like Solar City and SunEdison have more than doubled in the past year. Their stock rise is driven by a realization by most investors that solar can now be cost effective without government subsidies.

There are emerging hot growth markets in Minnesota, Georgia, and Iowa plus continuing growth in existing hot geographic markets like Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington DC.With this level of broad support, the solar industry will be adding jobs at a feverish clip next year.

Many of the open positions are in sales, construction and project management. Plus, there are many open positions in marketing, public relations, accounting, data analysis, and finance. A good starting point to find open positions is the Solar Energy Industries Association website –

Second, since 1975, the energy efficiency retrofit industry has always had promise but failed to really hit the mark. But 2014 is looking very different. The big growth area is in continuous commissioning of buildings – otherwise known as Big Data. Companies like Intel, IBM, AT&T, Siemens, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, SCIEnergy, Building IQ, Entouch, Informa and others have finished their R&D and raised the growth capital they need to accelerate deployment in 2014.

These companies work with existing building management systems that have been largely collecting dust for over 20 years. The data from these systems can be fed real-time into the “cloud” allowing Big Data companies to pinpoint where the building is losing energy and often fix the problems remotely. In some cases, specific instructions can be sent to the building owners on low cost and no costs repairs and upgrade that maintenance crews can fix during routine rounds.

Navigant Consulting predicts that annual revenue in the building management systems space worldwide will grow from $56.9 billion in 2013 to $100.8 billion by 2021.2014 will be about getting their products into the marketplace at scale.To do so, they need sales people and data specialists – probably more than 1,000 of them per month.

Third, the heavy truck industry will also see a big focus in 2014.Peterbilt and others sold more natural gas trucks in 2013 than ever before. According to the American Trucking Research Institute, diesel costs over $0.59/mile, compared to less than $0.25/mile for natural gas.

As more natural gas trucks get on the road, folks driving diesel trucks are being priced out of the market. That means diesel truck owners have to buy a new truck or retrofit their existing trucks to burn up to 50 percent natural gas. They can also add some aerodynamics and anti-idling solutions to stay competitive.

Companies have been selling these technologies for 15+ years – since I was working as a contractor to the Department of Energy. What’s different today is not $4/gallon diesel – it is the competitive threat of all of the new natural gas vehicles hitting the market place.

There will construction jobs for new refueling stations, mechanics needed to repair these natural gas systems, manufacturing jobs in the USA to keep the inventory stocked, sales jobs, and training for thousands of shops that want to learn how to perform these retrofits.T. Boone Pickens was right, but his timing was off because of the lack of help from Washington DC.So the USA spent $150B more for diesel since 2008 than necessary, but as Winston Churchill said, Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing after they exhaust all other options.

Other industries are going to turn the corner in 2014 with the bulk of their job growth probably coming in 2015.These industries include local agriculture solutions, solar hot water, battery storage for buildings, transoceanic ship retrofits, combined heat and power, car sharing, and many other resource efficiency industries.With over 100,000 companies in the United States alone that are gearing up for these opportunities – resource-efficiency solutions look to represent the largest wealth creation opportunity of a generation.

The resource-efficiency sector will have at least a 40-year growth span for jobs and careers. “Plastics” has officially been replaced.

Photo: Elena Elisseeva / shutterstock*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&trk=object-title?goback=.nmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1&trk=object-title


17 Cleantech Champions

Image Credit: Solar panel, wind turbine & globe via Shutterstock

There are actually thousands of cleantech champions out there, and many of them are CleanTechnica readers. I was actually a bit hesitant to make this list because of that — there are going to be a lot of people not on this list that really could be. However, in honor of the tremendous work some of these people are doing, I felt compelled to write this up.

Importantly, beyond the main work they are doing, this piece is particularly focused on highlighting cleantech leaders who make their presence and views known in the public eye. We’re in the business in moving the public pendulum towards cleantech, and I greatly value the cleantech business and science leaders who also do so. Lack of awareness and lack of the strong citizen/political push that could come from greater awareness are perhaps now the largest barriers to the cleantech revolution. We need cleantech leaders and “business celebrities” or “political celebrities” who really know the story to get out there and help in informing the public.

17. Paul Scott 

Founder of Plug In America, leading Nissan Leaf salesman, former solar salesman. Overall, one of the leading EV advocates in the world, and has been for a long time. Gets out there and writes articles on sites such as CleanTechnica, and also good at coming up with grand ideas for getting more attention on electric cars.

Where to follow Paul online? Twitter

16. Opower guys, Dan Yates & Alex Laskey

Dan & Alex co-founded what has become perhaps the best home energy management company in the world. They also do a good job of getting out into the public eye and giving excellent presentations.

Where to follow Dan & Alex online? Dan: Twitter. Alex: Twitter?

15. Nawal Al-Hosany

Dr Nawal Al-Hosany is director of sustainability at Masdar and also the director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. With Masdar being a $15 billion effort to become something like the Silicon Valley of cleantech, her leaders is pretty huge. Nonetheless, Nawal somehow finds a way to provide CleanTechnica and others with original guest posts and interviews in order to advance global cleantech awareness.

Where to follow Nawal online? Twitter and maybe also LinkedIn

14. Al Gore

As one of the most notable figures working to fight global warming, Al has to be on this list. While he focuses a lot on the problems of global warming and fossil fuels (not exactly the focus of this list), he also delves into cleantech topics quite a bit. And there’s really no possibility to untie the important global warming–cleantech link.

Where to follow Al online? Google+Twitterhis blog

13. Bob Lutz

Bob was a key GM notable behind the Chevy Volt. He is also now pioneering electric trucks with the Via Motors VTRUX. Bob gotten on Fox News and also written articles on conservative media outlets — places where he has some sway as a global warming-denying extreme conservative — in order to defend electric vehicles. Despite coming from a career in the highly entrenched auto industry, Bob says that an “electric car future [is] definitely coming.”

Where to follow Bob online? Good question…

12. Adnan Z Amin

Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency. I think that says enough, but I’ll add that Adnan gets out there and writes some great articles on blogs around the world (including here). Furthermore, he gives some of the best presentations out there on renewable energy.

Where to follow Adnan online? Good question…

11. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber

I’ve already mentioned Masdar. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is the CEO of this cleantech monster. The responsibility of that massive effort must create quite a bit of pressure, yet this CEO seems to handle the position with tremendous ease and coolness. He also delivers exceptional presentations on a variety of cleantech matters. Hopefully I’ll be able to nab an interview with him at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, but I’m not so sure — last year, he was very quickly zipped in and out of the numerous events where he was speaking.

Where to follow Al Jaber online? Huffington Post?

10. Billy Parish

Billy is the co-founder and president of Mosaic (originally termed Solar Mosaic). Mosaic is already having a big effect in the solar energy space through the possibility of decentralized investment in solar energy projects — solar energy investing for “the common Joe.” But Mosaic’s offering still hasn’t hit the majority of the US or other countries (at least, the option for “the common Joe” to invest hasn’t). I think it will see tremendous growth in the years to come, but even if it didn’t, it has had a profound impact on the solar energy market. Billy does an excellent job of getting the good solar word out there to the public, which includes posting articles here on CleanTechnica. Overall, Mosaic’s blog is one of the best solar blogs around, which I assume Billy has had some influence over.

Where to follow Billy online? Twitter

9. Lisa Jackson & Steven Chu

Both Lisa and Steven were exceptional in the roles as the director of the EPA and US Secretary of Energy, respectively. I think they would have done even much more if not held back by higher-ups, but even with the opportunities they were given, they were excellent at promoting cleantech and cutting into the harm caused by fossil fuels. Lisa and Steven stepped down from the roles in the US government this year, but both have gone on to do other important work in the cleantech space. Lisa is actually now the vice president of environmental initiatives at Apple, the high-valued brand in the world. Lisa and Steven were both often in the public eye and were very good public communicators and verbal champions of the cleantech revolution.

When a popular Onion joke about Steven sleeping with a solar panel came out, the clever Nobel-prize winner put out a great response:

“I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made in this week’s edition of the Onion. While I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges specifically, I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of U.S. jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”

Where to follow Lisa & Steven online? Lisa: Twitter. Steven: good question… (Steven, please share a bit with us on Google+ or Twitter! I suggest Google+ since it has a little bit of math in its name.)

8. Hermann Scheer

I was initially making this list about current cleantech champions, but then Herman Scheer came to mind and I couldn’t leave him out. If he were alive today, he’d surely be higher up on this list. Hermann was one of the key people behind the German feed-in tariff (FiT), which has transformed renewable energy sectors, especially the solar energy sector, globally. I would say that the FiT is inarguably the most important renewable energy policy in history, and Hermann was crucial to its implementation.

Unfortunately, Hermann did rather suddenly in 2010 at the age of 69. As summarized on Wikipedia: “Fourteen days before his death he was seen live on German television[7] making a statement in the Bundestag about a highly explosive (“hochbrisant”) 60 billion euro breach of contract (“Vertragsbruch”) by Germany’s privately owned nuclear power corporations.[8] He suddenly died in a hospital in Berlin from heart failure[9] after an unspecified short and severe illness.[10]

6 (tie). Lynn Jurich

Lynn Jurich is the co-founder and co-CEO of Sunrun, which pioneered solar leasing and PPAs for homeowners and is now apparently the “#1 home solar company.” The rather short Wikipedia bio for Lynn is actually quite good, so I’ll just use that here: “Jurich was named as one of the Ten Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs by Fortune in 2009, and received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 award in Northern California together with SunRun co-founder Ed Fenster. Jurich serves on the Sierra Club Foundation Board of Directors and holds an MBA and BS from Stanford University.” I haven’t seen Lynn in the public eye much, but I have seen one or two videos with her.

Where to follow Lynn online? Good question…

6 (tie). Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy came from a Greenpeace background to start up one of the biggest solar companies in the world, Sungevity. He’s now the president of Sungevity and also serves on the boards of The Solar Foundation and Mosaic. Other notable side projects include spearheading the “Solar on the White House” push and writing Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy—and Our Planet—from Dirty Energy. Danny is quite often interviewed by the media and does an excellent job — perhaps the best around — at communicating the… well, rooftop revolution. A couple of videos I highly, highly recommend are this TEDx talk and this recent interview on Bloomberg TV.

Where to follow Danny online? Twitter (where he even does solar-inspired shout-outs to little guys like me) and Google+ (one of the first cleantech leaders I’ve seen there).

5. Mark Z Jacobson

Mark Z Jacobson has done exceptional research in the renewable energy sector. But that’s obviously not enough to land someone on this list. Mark has also led by getting the word out (perhaps more than anyone else) that renewable energy is indeed capable of powering the world with current technology, and cost competitive. This year, he even showed up on the Late Show with David Letterman to talk about powering New York with renewable energy.

Where to follow Mark online? Twitter (he even posts drafts of research he’s working on there!)

4. Denise Bode

She actually stepped down from her role as the CEO of AWEA around this time last year, but she was so instrumental and so effective at growing the wind energy business in the US (and, thus, globally), that I thought she deserved to be pretty high on this list. For a number of reasons, wind energy is further along (as far as low costs and high capacity) than solar energy. Denise was an excellent face and voice of the wind industry, and even had the courage and ability to go to battle with misinformants on Fox News. As a Republican, she had a bit more sway with Republican politicians, voters, and media agencies, but she still had to battle with a massive amount of misinformation there. And I think she did that exceptionally well.

Where to follow Denise online? Huffington Post?

3. Carlos Ghosn

Alongside Elon Musk (sorry, he didn’t make the list ;) ), Carlos Ghosn is probably the most notable EV advocate out there. As the head of both Nissan and Renault (Chairman & CEO of both), he also has a lot of power to make magic happen. Right now, with a couple of medium-market EV models available and a fairly aggressive push to have his companies lead the electric revolution, Carlos definitely claims the top spot for electric vehicle sales. Also, I just love this man. His comments are so spot-on, so sharp, and cut through the BS faster than Fox News creates it (well, I guess I wouldn’t go that far). I love his attitude and his wicked-fast mind, and I look forward to seeing him continue to transform and grow Nissan and Renault.

Where to follow Carlos online? Good question….

1. Jigar Shah

I had a really hard time deciding which one of these top two people should be #1, so I finally decided to make it a tie. Jigar Shah founded SunEdison, which pioneered a financing model that would lead to explosive growth in the solar industry. He grew SunEdison into a solar giant and then moved on to other things. From 2009 to 2012, Jigar was the CEO of the Carbon War Room, “a global organization founded by Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to harness the power of entrepreneurship to unlock the potential of proven climate change solution technologies to be deployed at scale,” as Wikipedia summarizes it. He was fundamental in the growth and influence of the Carbon War Room, but then moved on to consulting as CEO of Jigar Shah Consulting (odd name…). Jigar serves on the board of more cleantech startups than there are months in the year, probably more than there are days in the month — I’d actually be curious to know the exact number. His influence in the industry is broad, deep, and powerful. He is consistently publishing insightful articles (including a CleanTechnica one with a very counter-intuitive message), answering interview questions, and participating in podcasts.

Where to follow Jigar online? TwitterGoogle+, and perhaps LinkedIn. He’s all over the place.

1. Elon Musk

Come on, this was more obvious than daylight. The man is CEO and Chief Product Architect of Tesla Motors, which has transformed the electric vehicle and arguably even the entire automobile industry. He’s also the chairman of SolarCity, one of the largest solar power companies in the world. Earlier this year, he was named to the TIME 100 list, a list of the “most influential” people in the world. He is often making public statements about solar and EVs, and he even tweets a bit.

Where to follow Elon online? Twitter, where he regularly engages with the public, makes some quite big announcements (and bigger hints), and even tweets stories from simple bloggers like me. To give an indication of his influence, Elon has nearly 500,000 followers in the land of the little blue bird, about 100 times more than the person on this list with the third-most followers (Jigar Shah — nearly 5,000) and only behind former US Vice President Al Gore, who has about 2.7 million.


Think I missed a beat by not including someone? Drop that person’s name in the comments below.


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is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he’s the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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There are actually thousands of cleantech champions out there, and many of them are CleanTechnica readers. I was actually a bit hesitant to make this list because of that — there are going to be a lot of people not on this list that really could be. However, in honor of the tremendous work some of these people are doing, I felt compelled to write this up.

Importantly, beyond the main work they are doing, this piece is particularly focused on highlighting cleantech leaders who make their presence and views known in the public eye. We’re in the business in moving the public pendulum towards cleantech, and I greatly value the cleantech business and science leaders who also do so. Lack of awareness and lack of the strong citizen/political push that could come from greater awareness are perhaps now the largest barriers to the cleantech revolution. We need cleantech leaders and “business celebrities” or “political celebrities” who really know the story to get out there and help in informing the public.

17. Paul Scott 

Founder of Plug In America, leading Nissan Leaf salesman, former solar salesman. Overall, one of the leading EV advocates in the world, and has been for a long time. Gets out there and writes articles on sites such as CleanTechnica, and also good at coming up with grand ideas for getting more attention on electric cars.

Where to follow Paul online? Twitter

16. Opower guys, Dan Yates & Alex Laskey

Dan & Alex co-founded what has become perhaps the best home energy management company in the world. They also do a good job of getting out into the public eye and giving excellent presentations.

Where to follow Dan & Alex online? Dan: Twitter. Alex: Twitter?

15. Nawal Al-Hosany

Dr Nawal Al-Hosany is director of sustainability at Masdar and also the director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. With Masdar being a $15 billion effort to become something like the Silicon Valley of cleantech, her leaders is pretty huge. Nonetheless, Nawal somehow finds a way to provide CleanTechnica and others with original guest posts and interviews in order to advance global cleantech awareness.

Where to follow Nawal online? Twitter and maybe also LinkedIn

14. Al Gore

As one of the most notable figures working to fight global warming, Al has to be on this list. While he focuses a lot on the problems of global warming and fossil fuels (not exactly the focus of this list), he also delves into cleantech topics quite a bit. And there’s really no possibility to untie the important global warming–cleantech link.

Where to follow Al online? Google+Twitterhis blog

13. Bob Lutz

Bob was a key GM notable behind the Chevy Volt. He is also now pioneering electric trucks with the Via Motors VTRUX. Bob gotten on Fox News and also written articles on conservative media outlets — places where he has some sway as a global warming-denying extreme conservative — in order to defend electric vehicles. Despite coming from a career in the highly entrenched auto industry, Bob says that an “electric car future [is] definitely coming.”

Where to follow Bob online? Good question…

12. Adnan Z Amin

Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency. I think that says enough, but I’ll add that Adnan gets out there and writes some great articles on blogs around the world (including here). Furthermore, he gives some of the best presentations out there on renewable energy.

Where to follow Adnan online? Good question…

11. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber

I’ve already mentioned Masdar. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is the CEO of this cleantech monster. The responsibility of that massive effort must create quite a bit of pressure, yet this CEO seems to handle the position with tremendous ease and coolness. He also delivers exceptional presentations on a variety of cleantech matters. Hopefully I’ll be able to nab an interview with him at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, but I’m not so sure — last year, he was very quickly zipped in and out of the numerous events where he was speaking.

Where to follow Al Jaber online? Huffington Post?


There are actually thousands of cleantech champions out there, and many of them are CleanTechnica readers. I was actually a bit hesitant to make this list because of that — there are going to be a lot of people not on this list that really could be. However, in honor of the tremendous work some of these people are doing, I felt compelled to write this up.

Importantly, beyond the main work they are doing, this piece is particularly focused on highlighting cleantech leaders who make their presence and views known in the public eye. We’re in the business in moving the public pendulum towards cleantech, and I greatly value the cleantech business and science leaders who also do so. Lack of awareness and lack of the strong citizen/political push that could come from greater awareness are perhaps now the largest barriers to the cleantech revolution. We need cleantech leaders and “business celebrities” or “political celebrities” who really know the story to get out there and help in informing the public.

17. Paul Scott 

Founder of Plug In America, leading Nissan Leaf salesman, former solar salesman. Overall, one of the leading EV advocates in the world, and has been for a long time. Gets out there and writes articles on sites such as CleanTechnica, and also good at coming up with grand ideas for getting more attention on electric cars.

Where to follow Paul online? Twitter

16. Opower guys, Dan Yates & Alex Laskey

Dan & Alex co-founded what has become perhaps the best home energy management company in the world. They also do a good job of getting out into the public eye and giving excellent presentations.

Where to follow Dan & Alex online? Dan: Twitter. Alex: Twitter?

15. Nawal Al-Hosany

Dr Nawal Al-Hosany is director of sustainability at Masdar and also the director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. With Masdar being a $15 billion effort to become something like the Silicon Valley of cleantech, her leaders is pretty huge. Nonetheless, Nawal somehow finds a way to provide CleanTechnica and others with original guest posts and interviews in order to advance global cleantech awareness.

Where to follow Nawal online? Twitter and maybe also LinkedIn

14. Al Gore

As one of the most notable figures working to fight global warming, Al has to be on this list. While he focuses a lot on the problems of global warming and fossil fuels (not exactly the focus of this list), he also delves into cleantech topics quite a bit. And there’s really no possibility to untie the important global warming–cleantech link.

Where to follow Al online? Google+Twitterhis blog

13. Bob Lutz

Bob was a key GM notable behind the Chevy Volt. He is also now pioneering electric trucks with the Via Motors VTRUX. Bob gotten on Fox News and also written articles on conservative media outlets — places where he has some sway as a global warming-denying extreme conservative — in order to defend electric vehicles. Despite coming from a career in the highly entrenched auto industry, Bob says that an “electric car future [is] definitely coming.”

Where to follow Bob online? Good question…

12. Adnan Z Amin

Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency. I think that says enough, but I’ll add that Adnan gets out there and writes some great articles on blogs around the world (including here). Furthermore, he gives some of the best presentations out there on renewable energy.

Where to follow Adnan online? Good question…

11. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber

I’ve already mentioned Masdar. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is the CEO of this cleantech monster. The responsibility of that massive effort must create quite a bit of pressure, yet this CEO seems to handle the position with tremendous ease and coolness. He also delivers exceptional presentations on a variety of cleantech matters. Hopefully I’ll be able to nab an interview with him at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, but I’m not so sure — last year, he was very quickly zipped in and out of the numerous events where he was speaking.

Where to follow Al Jaber online? Huffington Post?



Posted on on March 16th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (


IRENA issues RFP: Promotion of national renewable energy policies and incentive schemes in the ECOWAS member countries

from:  Miquel Munoz Cabre

Dear colleagues,

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA has issued a request for proposals for: Promotion of national renewable energy policies and incentive schemes in the ECOWAS member countries.


For more information, please check our procurement website:

or contact IRENA’s procurement office at:  +97124179948 | Mob: +971506411769 | | |




Posted on on December 11th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Quote of the day

Climate change was predicted to arrive tomorrow but it is happening today. For this reason, the moment for climate justice has arrived.

Edward Cameron, World Resources Institute and Tara Shine, Mary Robinson Foundation.

No. 20,         10 December 2012
SOUTHNEWS is a service of the South Centre to provide information and news on topical issues from a South perspective.
Visit the South Centre’s website:

Green thinking takes root in midst of desert in Doha climate talks

Are oil-rich Gulf states, once a byword for waste and excess, really now leading the world on sustainable development?

COP18 Doha : Qatar environmental policy , partnership with the Potsdam Institute

The signing of a partnership between the Qatar Foundation and the Postdam Institute for a new climate change research institute in Qatar. (Photograph: IISD)

One of the great surprises for the 15,000 negotiators and others here in Doha for the climate talks is not the breakneck speed of development in the gas-rich emirate, or the displays of wealth and the giant construction projects, but the possible dawn of reality.

Until recently, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states were the epicentre of unsustainable global development, a byword for waste, excess and ecological irresponsibility. Their huge consumption of natural resources and flouting of nature on the back of oil and gas production shocked even hard-nosed observers of global oil wealth.

Well, we may have to change our views. From my hotel window, I can see 14 monster buildings being built, each to a much higher energy standard than the law demands in the US or most of Europe. Down the road is a new $70m (£43m) test-bed for carbon capture, the beginnings of a 200 megawatt solar power station, a $1bn photovoltaic manufacturing plant, new waste treatment plants, a pilot project to grow food in the desert with saltwater, and a fledgling construction industry with waste plastic.

Green baubles for the super-rich perhaps, but there is evidence that a real change of thinking is taking place. Schools, local authorities and mosques are now teaching about water and energy saving, and Gulf state governments are committing themselves to deeper cuts in emissions than the US or much of Europe.

Britain hopes to generate 20% of its electricity with renewables by 2030. But the Qataris will do that by 2020. Britain, with a population of more than 60 million, built about 100,000 new homes last year. Qatar, with 1.4 million people, will build a whole city to the highest green specifications for 200,000 people in not much more time.

And it’s not just Qatar. Other Gulf states are racing each other to rethink their development paths. The renewable energy world is moving to Abu Dhabi. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has invested billions of dollars in projects there, as well as in Europe and north Africa. Even Dubai, which has indulged in a 20-year construction frenzy, is aiming at 7% renewables in 12 years – similar to Belgium. Even more remarkably, Saudi Arabia, fearful of its own escalating domestic electricity needs, will meet one-third of its electricity demand from solar by 2032.

None of this would have been conceivable even a few years ago. So what has changed? One senior adviser to the Qatari government put it like this: “There is a new direction. The GCC countries all move together like a herd. A desperate search is going on to find new ways of doing things. They need to find the answer for when the oil and gas is not there. They have seen the future and now they have fire in their arse.

“But they also know that the Arab spring countries all neglected people during development. They are learning. Education, health and welfare were all neglected. Environment has risen up the agenda. In the past, it was of no interest. Now it is a global necessity. Money is not the problem.”

The thirst for what Qatar, Abu Dhabi and other oil-rich states call a new “knowledge economy” would partly explain why Qatar on Wednesday committed to set up a global climate change centre in Doha with the German Potsdam Institute. It will employ around 200 researchers and sit beside a dozen other prestigious US, British and other academic centres, including Imperial College, which is now at Doha.

The founder of the institute, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, spelled out what was at stake: “Qatar is the only true desert state in the world with no surface water and 500km of flat coastline, where temperatures are already 45C in summer. With sea level rise expected to be up to 90cm by 2100 in the Gulf region and temperatures expected to rise [by] 5-8C, this place will be unlivable [if climate change is not brought under control].”

The Gulf states’ change of direction, he suggested, is being undertaken not out of any desire to be green but sheer pragmatism. What happens here could shape all our futures, says the adviser. “The next stage of modern civilization can be blueprinted here. Qatar can be a role model for the region and the whole planet.”


Last-minute scramble for climate deal at UN talks

Negotiations continued through the night Thursday at United Nations climate talks in Doha, Qatar, with envoys trying to mesh procedure with political will. A key proposal is the annual delivery of $100 billion in aid by 2020 to pay for projects to cope with the effects of global warming. The lead negotiator from the Philippines, Naderev Saño, broke down in tears in the hall, saying, “I appeal to the whole world, I appeal to leaders from all over the world, to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face. … It cannot be a way of life that we end up running always from storms.”

Above tells us that the location and hosts had no effect on the negotiators that still attempted a North-South wrangle. A waste of time so far as we are concerned.


he faithful IISD Report titled -

Doha Climate Change Conference Adopts Doha Climate Gateway -

spills out for us to see the best diplomatic slippery beans:

8 December 2012: The UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, took place from 26 November-8 December 2012, focused on ensuring the implementation of agreements reached at previous conferences. Following two weeks of negotiations, delegates adopted the package of “Doha Climate Gateway” decisions on the evening of Saturday, 8 December. The outcome includes amendments to the Kyoto Protocol to establish its second commitment period.The Doha Climate Change Conference included: the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 8); the 37th sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 37) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 37); the second part of the 17th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 17); the second part of the 15th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the UNFCCC (AWG-LCA 15); and the second part of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 1).

The DOHA conference drew approximately 9,000 participants, including 4, 356 government officials, 3, 956 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations, and 683 members of the media. {much lower figures then the above upbeat report}

Having been launched at CMP 1, the AWG-KP terminated its work in Doha. The parties also agreed to terminate the AWG-LCA and negotiations under the Bali Action Plan. Key elements of the outcome also included agreement to consider loss and damage, “such as” an institutional mechanism to address loss and damage in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Other outcomes of the Conference include the adoption of: a decision on gender and climate change; and the Doha Work Programme on Convention Article 6 (education and awareness raising).

While developing countries and observers expressed disappointment with the lack of ambition in outcomes on Annex I countries’ mitigation and finance, most agreed that the conference had paved the way for a new phase, focusing on the implementation of the outcomes from negotiations under the AWG-KP and AWG-LCA, and advancing negotiations under the ADP.

[IISD RS Coverage of the Conference] [UN Press Release] [UN Secretary-General's Statement on COP 18] [UNFCCC Press Release]

For IISD FULL REPORT - please see -…



10 December 2012


Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Welcomes Doha Climate Change Conference Outcome, But Stresses Need for Accelerated Action to Limit Rise in Global Temperature.


The following statement was issued on 8 December by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General welcomes the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference that concluded today in Doha, and he congratulates Qatar for a job well done in hosting the Conference.

Doha successfully concluded the previous round of climate negotiations, paving the way to a comprehensive, legally binding agreement by 2015.

The Secretary-General believes that far more needs to be done and he calls on Governments, along with businesses, civil society and citizens, to accelerate action on the ground so that the global temperature rise can be limited to 2° C.

He said he will increase his personal involvement in efforts to raise ambition, scale-up climate financing and engage world leaders as we now move towards the global agreement in 2015.
* *** *

Will the UN Secretary General show now rhe decency to cancel the 2013 – 2014 meetings and advise the Member States to act in quiet diplomacy in preparations for a 2015 outcome?

Meeting before 2015 like the Cancun, Durban and Doha meetings – the last three yearly meetings that came after the Copenhagen COP 15 of the UNFCCC of 2009 – were nothing more then large exercises in migration that enhanced income from tourism in the host countries. Our own website has stopped listing the meetings after the Copenhagen meeting and we preferred to call them Copenhagen +1, Copenhagen +2, And now for Doha we reserved Copenhagen +3. That was because the last real step in the UNFCCC evolution happened on the way to Copenhagen when President Obama went first to Beijing and managed for the first time to get China to declare that they are indeed part of these negotiations. China then brought in India, Brazil, South Africa as well.

We are afraid that if nothing is done before the 2013 Warsaw meeting that meeting will be a waste as well. What has to happen is that the Obama II Administration steps forward with direct proposals to the other major emitters – specifically – China, India and Brazil – with or without South Africa – and seals direct agreements with them that can then become the base for multilateral negotiations. Indeed, there is no reason why one must have all nations on board.

In the past it was mainly the oil States of the Middle East that were the hindrance to an agreement – this even before one could tackle the large emerging emitters and the United States. Perhaps the Doha meeting provided the needed Climate Change education to the oil States, and thus a strong decision of President Obama and rolling over the climate deniers of the Republican oil-Lobby, could return the issue to multilateral diplomacy.


Kyoto Protocol extended in climate compromise.

Is the title of the UN Foundation’s UN WIRE of December 10, 2012.

Delegates at the United Nations climate talks that ended Saturday in Doha, Qatar, agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol through 2020 and create a road map by 2015 to replace the pact. The world’s governments remained divided over who should pay the costs for helping the most vulnerable countries cope with the effects of climate change through 2020, when industrial nations are slated to contribute $100 billion annually from public and private sources.         Reuters (12/9), The New York Times (12/8), (12/9)


Despair after climate conference, but UN still offers hope

Sunday, December  9, 2012 final report:

* U.N. process has to accelerate before 2015

* Many leave Doha conference in despair

By Barbara Lewis and Alister Doyle

DOHA, Dec 9 (Reuters) – At the end of another lavishly-funded U.N. conference that yielded no progress on curbing greenhouse emissions, many of those most concerned about climate change are close to despair.

As thousands of delegates checked out of their air-conditioned hotel rooms in Doha to board their jets for home, some asked whether the U.N. system even made matters worse by providing cover for leaders to take no meaningful action.

Supporters say the U.N. process is still the only framework for global action. The United Nations also plays an essential role as the “central bank” for carbon trading schemes, such as the one set up by the European Union.

But unless rich and poor countries can inject urgency into their negotiations, they are heading for a diplomatic fiasco in 2015 – their next deadline for a new global deal.

“Much much more is needed if we are to save this process from being simply a process for the sake of process, a process that simply provides for talk and no action, a process that locks in the death of our nations, our people, and our children,” said Kieren Keke, foreign minister of Nauru, who fears his Pacific island state could become uninhabitable.

The conference held in Qatar – the country that produces the largest per-capita volume of greenhouse gases in the world – agreed to extend the emissions-limiting Kyoto Protocol, which would have run out within weeks.

But Canada, Russia and Japan – where the protocol was signed 15 years ago – all abandoned the agreement. The United States never ratified it in the first place, and it excludes developing countries where emissions are growing most quickly.

Delegates flew home from Doha without securing a single new pledge to cut pollution from a major emitter.

So far, U.N. climate talks have missed just about every deadline. The rich nations of the world promised two decades ago to halt their rise in greenhouse gases. They failed. Next, they promised a sequel to Kyoto by 2009. They failed again.

Now they have a 2015 deadline to get a new global, binding deal in place, to enter into force after the extension of Kyoto expires in 2020. For the first time, it would apply to rich and poor countries alike. But with the world’s nations divided over who must pay the cost, the task of reaching accord seems beyond the capabilities of the vast corps of international delegates.

Meanwhile, the world’s weather is only getting more unstable. As the Doha talks dragged on, Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines left nearly 1,000 people dead or missing.

Hurricane Sandy last month was a reminder that even rich countries are not safe from extreme weather, which scientists say will become ever more common as the world heats up.


A series of reports released during the Doha talks said the world faced the prospect of 4 degrees Celsius (7.2F) of warming, rather than the 2 degree (3.6F) limit that nations adopted in 2010 as a maximum to avoid dangerous changes.


According to the World Bank, that would mean food and water shortages, habitats wiped out, coastal communities wrecked by rising seas, deserts spreading, and droughts both more frequent and severe. Most impact would be borne by the world’s poorest.

“The alarm bells are going off all over the place,” Alden Meyer, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said. “We are in a crisis and treating it like a process where we can dither away for ever.”

Action at ground level has had a positive impact, even as the U.N. dithers. Investment in carbon-free renewable energy hit a record $260 billion in 2011.

In the United States, the discovery of techniques to produce natural gas from shale has cut the cost of gas, which has reduced emissions from the world’s biggest polluter by replacing coal, a bigger carbon emitter, for power generation.

But although U.S. emissions – nearly a quarter of the world’s total – have fallen, for the world as a whole this year they are expected to rise by 2.6 percent, up by 58 percent since 1990. Emerging economies led by China and India account for most of the growth.

Although frustrated by days and nights of haggling, ministers still back the United Nations as part of the solution.

“It’s clear to me that this process is the only global framework we have and since this is a global problem, it has to be addressed globally,” Denmark’s Energy Minister Martin Lidegaard told Reuters.

“But obviously, this can’t stand alone. Nations can’t continue to hide behind the process. There’s a direct link between what we deliver at home and here. We desperately need to combine action by regions, municipalities, citizens with this global approach. That is becoming more and more evident.”

Negotiators say ultimately politicians – distracted by other events – need to become engaged.

“It (the environment) is no longer on the front page with the political and financial crisis. That is the reason why heads of state have to turn to this,” the European Union’s chief negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger said.


The conference is an easy target for cynics – not least because it was held in Qatar, a desert kingdom that exports carbon-producing fossil fuel and uses the proceeds to fund a lavish lifestyle for many of its 2.5 million people.

A country that burns fuel to desalinate water and build golf courses in the desert seems like an odd place to talk about curtailing consumption. But supporters say bringing producers like Qatar into the consensus for change is a step forward.

Business leaders are also getting involved.

“A lot of CEOs from the region have turned up. A lot of them are talking about sustainability and resource efficiency. That’s no longer a dirty word,” said Russel Mills, global director for energy and climate policy at Dow Chemical Co.

Dow, like many other big industrial firms, keeps a close eye on U.N. carbon policy because of the United Nations’ role as “a kind of central bank” for pollution allowances.

The most developed carbon trading scheme is the European Union’s, which has lurched from crisis to crisis. The value of EU Emissions Trading Scheme permits sank to a record low this month under the burden of surplus allowances during a recession.

But other jurisdictions such as Australia, California, South Korea and even China believe they can learn from Europe’s mistakes and are developing their own emissions trading. Such schemes could be the planet’s best hope of survival, and the United Nations is likely to play a role.

“Economy-wide carbon pricing, whether carbon taxes or cap and trade, is the only approach that can conceivably achieve the targets scientists advocate,” Robert Stavins, a professor of business and government at Harvard in the United States, said.

“Also, it will be most the cost-effective and therefore in the long run the most politically-viable approach.”

Still, even with the best of intentions, U.N. diplomats are unlikely ever to deliver change at the pace scientists seek.

“Science is demanding immediate and drastic action,” Christiana Figueres, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, told Reuters. “Policy, economics and financing cannot move in drastic fashion.”


and the IRIN NEWS  Report:

IRIN – standing for Integrated Regional Information Networks – has its head office in Nairobi, Kenya, with regional desks in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Dakar, Dubai and Bangkok, covering some 70 countries. The bureaus are supported by a network of local correspondents, an increasing rarity in mainstream newsgathering today.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Snapshot of wins and losses at the Doha talks.

Talks in Doha at the futuristic Qatar National Convention Centre dragged on overtime

JOHANNESBURG, 9 December 2012 (IRIN) – Like last year’s UN climate change talks, this year’s conference in Doha culminated in an all-night session to hammer out a deal on preventing further global warming and protecting people from the effects of climate change. While some promising compromises were made, the absence of a strong commitment to slash greenhouse gas emissions and help vulnerable populations adapt to climate change was evident in the conference’s 39 decisions.

IRIN provides a snapshot of the three overarching themes of the decisions that came out of the 18th session of the Conference of Parties (COP18) to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and what these decisions mean for humanitarian actors.

Loss and damage

Tweeting out of the conference, one of Argentina’s negotiators said the decisions don’t feel “ground-breaking” but are “more likely saving face”. “What we got for it, only loss and damage and nothing else”, he said.

''[The] decisions don’t feel ground-breaking but are more likely saving face. What we got for it, only loss and damage and nothing else''

Poor countries, including small island states and the least developed countries, were looking for a decision to create an international mechanism to address losses and damages caused by climate change. The mechanism would open the door to possible compensation from affluent countries for poor countries facing the mounting costs of extreme climate events. It would consider both their economic and non-economic losses, and possibly explore technological interventions.

In the end, they had to settle for the possibility of this happening in the COP19 talks taking place in Poland next year. Still, the fact that the possibility of such a mechanism was mentioned in the decision at all was considered a breakthrough.

Additionally, a work programme collecting data on loss and damage caused by slow-onset disasters – such as droughts – received an extension. The programme will also consider climate change’s impact on migration patterns and displacement, as well as efforts to reduce risk.

The decisions on loss and damage echoes much of a framework proposed by a group of NGOs earlier in the conference, which had recommended focusing on the international mechanism, the work programme, and consideration of non-economic losses. But ultimately, the decisions are subject to money being made available for development of the work programme.

What it means: With the extension of the work programme, more information on possible policy approaches will be forthcoming. This will help humanitarian organizations better scale-up responses to extreme climate events, which are increasing in frequency and intensity.

But NGOs and the civil society will likely have to wait a long time for affluent countries to make firm commitments on funding, risk transfer mechanisms such as insurance, and technology to help poor countries improve their resilience to climate change. Given that money to help vulnerable populations adapt has been ad hoc and insufficient, there is little optimism for funds being made available for compensation.

Adaptation finance

In 2009, developed countries promised to provide US$30 billion by 2012 to help poor countries adapt to climate change. They also promised to provide $100 billion a year from 2020 onwards.
Developed countries reported in Doha that they had reached the $30 billion target, but this was disputed by academics and civil society.

“It is very difficult to know where that finance went and how,” said scientist Saleemul Huq of the International Institute for Environment and Development. “We need to come up with procedures for monitoring, reporting and verification of these finance figures. We need to agree on some format so that money can be tracked effectively. It hasn’t been tracked previously.”

The developed countries further indicated that, with the global recession, they are unable to make firm commitments to finance poor nations’ efforts to adapt. Instead, a decision was made to set up a work programme in 2013 to help developed countries identify ways to raise this money.

What it means: No global funding pledge has been for the interim period between 2013 and 2020. Individual pledges by five European countries – including the UK, France and Germany – have been made, but cumulatively, these fall far short of the $60 billion that developing countries had requested for the interim.

It is also not clear if the five pledges are specifically for climate change adaptation or if they are part of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) that developed countries provide to the developing world. The UNFCC requires that developed countries provide money for climate change adaptation that is additional to their ODA.

Emission cuts

The good news to emerge from the talks is that the Kyoto Protocol – a global agreement to cut emissions that was set to expire in 2012 – has been extended to 2020.

They also agreed that a roadmap to create a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol should be ready in 2015.

But meanwhile, there are no firm commitments to take on deeper emissions cuts. And with Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the US opting out of the Kyoto Protocol, the protocol applies to only 15 percent of current global greenhouse gas emissions.

What it means: Scientific organization, including the UN Environment Programme have warned that failing to further cut emissions could increase global temperatures by over four degrees Celius by the turn of the century. The internationally embraced goal is to limit this warming to two degrees Celsius, but the International Energy Agency has shown that achieving this goal grows more difficult and expensive with every passing year. This means poor countries and aid agencies will have to contend with the possibility of more frequent and intense climatic events and the mounting costs associated with prevention, relief and recovery.


see also -

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


A ‘low ambition’ outcome at Doha climate change conference

By Martin Khor, Executive Director of the South Centre, Doha, 9 December 2012

The annual UN climate conference concluded in Doha last Saturday (8 December) with “low ambition” both in emission cuts by developed countries and funding for developing countries.

Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted many decisions, including on the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period in which developed countries committed to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases.

Many delegates left the conference quite relieved that they had reached agreement after days of wrangling over many issues and an anxious last 24 hours that were so contentious that most people felt a collapse was imminent.

The relief was that the multilateral climate change regime has survived yet again, although there are such deep differences and distrust among developed and developing countries.

The conflict in paradigms between these two groups of countries was very evident throughout the two weeks of the Doha negotiations, and it was only papered over superficially in the final hours to avoid an open failure.  But the differences will surface again when negotiations resume next year.

Avoidance of collapse was a poor measure of success.  In terms of progress towards real actions to tackle the climate change crisis, the Doha conference was another lost opportunity and grossly inadequate.

The conference was held at the end of a year of record extreme events.  News of typhoon in the Philippines which killed 500 and made 300,000 homeless reminded the conference participants of the reality of the climate crisis.

However, the dictates of economic competition and commercial interests unfortunately were of higher priority, especially among developed countries, which explains their low ambition in emission reduction.  They also broke their promises in the legally binding UNFCCC to provide funds and transfer technology to developing countries.

The most important result in Doha was the formal adoption of the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period (2013 to 2020) to follow immediately after the first period expires on 31 December 2012.

However, the elements are weak.  With original Kyoto Protocol Parties Russia, Japan and New Zealand having decided not to join in a second commitment period, and and Canada have left the Protocol altogether, only Europe, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, and a few others (totalling 35 developed countries and countries with economies in transition) are left to make legally binding commitments in the second period.

Also, the emission cuts these countries agreed to commit to are in aggregate only 18% by 2020 below the 1990 level, compared to the 25-40% required to restrict global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.

A saving factor in the Kyoto Protocol decision is the “ambition mechanism” put in by developing countries, that the countries will “revisit” their original target and increase their commitments by 2014, in line with the aggregate 25-40% reduction goal.

Also, the decision severely limited the amount of credits or surplus allowances that can be used during the second period.  These credits were accumulated in the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period by countries that cut their emissions more than the targeted level.

According to the decision, these countries cannot use or trade most of the surplus allowances as a means to avoid current emission cuts.

The most important country affected is Russia, and on Saturday it strongly objected to the way the President of the Conference, Abdullah Hamad al-Attiyah of Qatar, bulldozed through the Kyoto Protocol decision even though it and two other countries tried to object.



Just look at what happened at Doha – here something we heartily applaud:

The final “wrangling” took place in the closing plenary on Saturday afternoon between those wanting to limit the use of excess AAUs to ensure the “environmental integrity” of the emission reduction commitments put forward and those arguing that “overachievement” of commitments should not be punished by a limitation in the use of AAUs. Russia, Ukraine and Belarus attempted to block the adoption of the AWG-KP outcome during the CMP closing plenary, but the nimble COP President gaveled its adoption before appearing to notice Russia’s raised flag. A round of applause welcomed the adoption of the decision, which limits the amount of surplus AAUs that can be used and provides that only parties taking on second commitment period QELRCs can use them. Russia objected to what he said was a breach of procedure by the President, while the COP President responded he would do no more than reflect his view in the final report. This action on the part of the COP President brought back echoes of the events of Cancun when Bolivia’s objections to the adoption of the Cancun Agreement were overruled/ignored in much the same way. It also made many wonder whether this was becoming a trend in the climate negotiations; as many have repeated, consensus does not mean the right of one party to block progress.

The information comes from the IISD final analysis –



A second major criticism of the Doha decisions is the lack of funds to be provided to developing countries to take climate actions.

In 2010, the Conference of Parties in Cancun decided that developed countries would mobilize climate finance of US$100 billion a year starting in 2020; and that US$30 billion of fast track finance would be given in 2010-2012.

But there is a gap between 2013 and 2020.  Despite the demand by developing countries that there be US$60 billion by 2015, the decision adopted on Saturday does not specify any number as a commitment.  It only “encourages” countries to provide at least as much as they had in the 2010-2012 period.

The lack of a credible finance commitment led to an outcry by developing countries on the plenary floor.  This lack of funds curtails their ability to undertake actions to combat climate change, especially since they have agreed in the 2010 Cancun and 2011 Durban Conferences to take on more mitigation efforts.

The Doha conference also adopted a set of decisions under its working group on long-term cooperative action under the UNFCCC.  The developing countries were pleased with paragraphs on equity, unilateral trade measures, technology assessment and a vague reference to the effects of intellectual property.

However these decisions were very weak.  Even then the United States registered its disagreement or reservations to these decisions, after the adoption of the text, giving a foretaste of how they will continue to object to future discussions on these issues.

A positive decision made in Doha was to prepare for the setting up by next year’s Conference of an “international mechanism”  to help developing countries deal with loss and damage caused by climate change. This also resulted from intense negotiations.

Activities meanwhile will include an expert meeting and preparing technical papers on this issue.  Developing countries hope that this programme will lead to new funds being channelled to those countries suffering from flooding, drought, sea level rise and other forms of damage linked to climate change.

The Doha conference also adopted a work plan for the new working group on the Durban Platform that was set up in December 2011.  There were major fights in Doha over this, with many  developing countries insisting that mention be made that the Durban Platform will operate on the basis of equity and common and differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), the operating principle of the UNFCCC.

The final text did not mention this principle, and even the reference to the June 2012 Rio Plus 20 Summit which endorsed the equity and CBDR principle was removed at the insistence of the United States.

What remained in the text was a reference that the Durban Platform’s work will be guided by the principles of the Convention.  Even then, the United States in the final plenary placed a reservation that they reject the use of this phrase in the negotiations in the Durban Platform group. (The phrase is in the 2011 decision that established the working group – after the United States rejected any reference to explicit inclusion of “equity” or “CBDR” the final compromise was “under the Convention”.)

This reveals how much lacking in the spirit of international cooperation that the United States and some other developed countries have become.

They are no longer willing to assist the developing countries, and incredibly are even objecting to the principles of the Convention being applied to negotiations to set up a new agreement that will be under the Convention.

More than anything else, this shows the tragic paradox of the Doha conference. It succeeded in adopting many decisions and kept the functioning of the multilateral climate regime alive, but the actual substance of actions to save the planet from climate change was absent, as was a genuine commitment to support the developing countries.

Author: Marin Khor is Executive Director of the South Centre. Contact:

An earlier version of this article was published in The Star of 10 December 2012.

To view other articles in SouthNews, please click here.
For more information, please contact Vicente Paolo Yu of the South Centre:
Email, or telephone +41 22 791 80 50.
The list of the Climate Change Convention Conferences of the Parties held todate:


Posted on on October 2nd, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

From Pearls to Oil

Sunday, October 14
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Intercontinental Hotel Auditorium, Abu Dhabi

David Heard, Author, From Pearls to Oil
In conversation with Mark Beech, Cultural Landscape Manager, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority; Philip Kennedy, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYUAD; Nick Cochrane-Dyet, Special Advisor, BP Abu Dhabi


UAE’s higher education : Will demand meet supply?

Khaleej Times – 02/10/2012

Khaleej Times) The demand for higher education in Dubai could be on the rise, but the number of foreign universities opening up in Dubai’s education freezones has slowed down.

No new universities have opened up in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) this year, as existing universities are looking at new ways to improve student numbers.

“Even today there is a huge demand for higher education courses,” says Dr Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster.

With 48 private schools in Dubai offering programmes to more than 207,500 students, the potential for higher education continues to lure investors. At last count, more than 20,000 students had opted for higher education in universities based in DIAC. This figure is expected to rise in the coming years, as more students from the Middle East region will look to Dubai as an education destination.

While the demand looks set, not all new universities applying for a license to operate in Dubai are given a nod. The selection criterion is tough, as universities need to meet quality guidelines.

Dr Kazim says, “In addition to a strict application criteria, there exists a long gestation period from the time of application to the physical establishment of an institution. We follow a meticulous selection process while reviewing applications and ensure education standards of branches at DIAC match those of the parent university.”

Since 2006, only 17 new universities have been accepted into DIAC from more than 178 applications.

“The Education Cluster consistently endeavours to attract universities that offer programmes which meet the diverse needs of the market and build a skilled and sustainable workforce that contributes to the growth of various sectors of the economy. In addition, we seek to attract institutions which deliver programmes that are not already offered here,” explains Dr Ayoub.

The emphasis clearly lies on giving students the choice which did not exist until a decade ago. New courses are announced regularly as more than 400 programmes are already on offer.

“Not only does this provide them the opportunity to opt for a path that best suits their career aspirations but also significantly contributes to developing talent in sectors that play a pivotal role in the economy,” adds Dr Kazim.

Programmes in nano-technology, water engineering, aerospace, nuclear science and psychology have been developed as part of this purpose. The big challenge however remains in finding students for niche courses.

Enrolments have been on the rise this year as universities reported an increase in student intake. BITS Pilani Dubai Campus recorded an all-time high with double the number of applications received for its engineering programmes.

“The number of applications increased by as much as 100 per cent compared to last year. The total applications received online this year were 1,645 as compared to 817 last year,” said Prof Dr RK Mittal, Director, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus.

Private universities in Dubai will no doubt continue to benefit from the growing need for higher education, as more students will choose to stay back after school. The question remains whether more universities will be allowed to open-up in Dubai.


Posted on on July 13th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Under the Patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces

World Future Energy Summit 2013 | 15 – 17 January 2013 | Abu Dhabi
World Future Energy Summit | Abu Dhabi, 15-17 January 2013  the state of the art, develop new ways of thinking and shape the future of renewable energy.



Posted on on July 5th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

This summer the NYUAD Institute and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival highlight films from ADFF 2011 in the second annual Summer Screenings film series. In keeping with the program’s regional focus, each evening includes a short and feature-length film from Morocco, India, or Iran. Each Film will be preceded by an introduction given by a member the NYUAD Film Faculty or an ADFF Programmer.

Farewell Exile andFree Men

Wednesday, July 11
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
NYUAD Downtown Campus

Tehran in Action andChicken with Plums

Wednesday, August 22
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
NYUAD Downtown Campus  RSVP

Noise and Alms for a Blind Horse

Wednesday, August 1
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
NYUAD Downtown Campus

A light Iftar will be served at 7:10PM, with the films to follow.


Posted on on May 28th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

UAE eyes June opening for pipeline bypassing Hormuz.

By Acil Tabbara (AFP) – May 27, 2012

FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates — A pipeline being built by the United Arab Emirates to pump most of its oil exports from east coast terminals bypassing the Iran-threatened Strait of Hormuz, will be operational in June, the ruler of Fujairah told AFP in an interview.

“The pipeline will be operational in June,” said Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi, whose east-coast emirate is one of seven that make up the UAE.

Construction of the 360-kilometre (225 miles) pipeline began in 2008.

The pipeline will have an initial capacity of 1.5 million barrels per day rising to 1.8 million bpd, which represents the bulk of the UAE’s current production of around 2.5 million bpd, Sheikh Hamad said.

The Habshan-Fujairah pipeline will carry oil from fields in Abu Dhabi on the Gulf to Fujairah on the Gulf of Oman.

Fears of a closure of the Strait of Hormuz intensified in recent months after Iran threatened to close the strategic outlet to the Gulf if Western governments kept up their efforts to choke off its oil exports in a bid to rein in its controversial nuclear programme.

In addition to the exports of the UAE and Iran itself, all the oil exports of Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar are shipped through the waterway. Iraq also pumps the bulk of its exports through ports on the Gulf.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, pumps most of its crude from its terminals on the Gulf but it can divert large supplies to terminals on the Red Sea.

Sheikh Hamad, however, played down the possibility of a closure of Hormuz.

“I do not believe there will be a war,” he said, arguing that the tension with neighbouring Iran is just a “summer cloud that will clear.”

Iran held talks on Wednesday and Thursday in Baghdad with six world powers that nearly collapsed when they demanded Tehran give up enriching uranium to the 20 percent level seen as a key step towards weapons-grade.

In exchange, Iran would get some inducements such as aircraft parts for its dilapidated commercial fleet and technical assistance in nuclear energy.

Iran, which is suffering under Western sanctions, said the inducements were far too little and countered with a demand that the P5+1 declare that it has a right to enrich uranium.

The two sides agreed to meet again in Moscow on June 18-19.

Sheikh Hamad is hopeful that the new pipeline will “increase the geopolitical importance of Fujairah,” which “lies on a meeting point of east and west maritime routes.”

His small emirate, which has a population of just 170,000 people, wants to take advantage of its location to become an export hub for oil and gas.

Fujairah is already the world’s third largest centre for ship bunkering after Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, and Singapore, and wants to rise up on the list.

At the port that was opened in 1982, expansion work is in full swing, including the construction of two new platforms to receive large tankers, as well as large reservoirs, bringing the storage capacity to around 11 million cubic metres.

The ruler is expecting more investments in the petroleum sector after the emirate established last year a zone for oil industries.

Last year also, Fujairah opened a new power plant fed by a pipeline carrying gas from Qatar through Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

A terminal to export liquefied natural gas is planned in Fujairah by the Abu Dhabi investment arm, Mubadala, and International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), which also belongs to Abu Dhabi, the richest emirate of the UAE.


Posted on on May 24th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

The top 10 icons of Israeli high-tech.

Long before Israel was known as the startup nation, skilled and visionary men were already putting it on course as the next Silicon Valley.

ISRAEL21 Century  takes a look at Israel’s initial top 10 high-tech pioneers and we like Israel to remember also that Israel Parliament (the Knesset) had the first Commissioner for Future Generations. Having understood that so early in the SUSTAINABILITY games, we wonder why the present Israeli government is not more active at the UN games that will have their finals at Rio de Janeiro this June?

Israeli entrepreneurs were on the front line when it came to spread use of water technologies, solar power, geothermal, biofuels, energy saving, decreased dependence on oil, but now their representatives        at the UN text-writing exercises for Rio just sat quietly on their hands. What a shame!

Uzia Galil

Israel’s enterprising engineers and entrepreneurs have defined an industry for the world, from computer storage technologies and chip manufacturing to instant messaging and modern firewalls. They’re transforming communications, entertainment and mobility, rivaling Silicon Valley in California.

This high-tech legacy was actually begun decades ago by an iconic crew of Israeli men. Before the dot-com boom in the late 1990s, Israel was already a startup nation of highly educated engineers who were emerging from the army with a drive to build their country through industry.

In a two-part series, ISRAEL21c pays tribute to the icons of the country’s high-tech industry. We start here with a top 10 list of pioneers and catalysts of Israel’s high-tech industry.

The Israeli high tech “gene,” we note, also seems to be associated with the longevity gene. The founding fathers, now in their 70s, 80s and 90s, remain productive to this day.

1. Dan Tolkowsky

Born: 1921

Claim to fame: Founded the first venture fund to invest in Israeli high-tech and startups.

Daniel TolkovskyTolkowsky, one of the grandfathers of the Israeli high-tech industry, co-founded the Athena Fund, which sired the companies that innovator Uzia Galil (see below) envisioned. Through Discount Investments, Tolkowsky helped provide the finance and commercial capabilities to the Israeli high-tech greats Elron, Elbit, Elscint, Daisy, Fibronics, Optrotek and Scitex. He continues to work in biotechnology and high-tech and gives strategic advice to Israeli high-tech companies traded publicly in Israel and abroad.


2. Uzia Galil

Born: 1925

Claim to fame: At Motorola, he helped develop the world’s first color television. Started the first successful non-military high-tech company in Israel.

Uzia GalilGalil, an electrical engineer, is known for founding Elron Electronic Industries, the first high-tech multinational holding company based in Israel. With a net worth of about $5 billion, it has grown to include some 30 companies that have invented items from medical devices to military technologies. Some of the more notable companies that have been steered, founded or led by Galil include Netmanage, Zoran, Elbit, Elscint, Chipx, Orbotech, Partner Communications, and Silicom Ventures.


3. Ed Mlavsky

Born: 1929

Claim to fame: Founder of Israel’s first VC, the Gemini Israel Fund, linking Israeli brains to capital markets overseas.

Ed MlavskyA technologist in his own right, Ed Mlavsky has lent muscle to Israeli high-tech through networking and financing platforms he established, setting the stage for Israeli tech exports. Before there was Google, he was making lists of tech products and pitching them to firms abroad. He eventually went on to lead and shape the US-Israel Binational Research and Development (BIRD) Foundationfrom 1979 through 1992. He then founded Gemini, a fund that oversees dozens of startups specializing in a span of Israeli tech from Internet technologies to “green” IT. Mlavsky made significant contributions to the world solar industry as a founder of Tyco, now a New York Stock Exchange-traded solar energy company. He coined the term “edge-defined film-fed growth” (EFG), a method for making sheets of polycrystalline silicon for photovoltaic devices.


4. Jacob Ziv

Born: 1931

Claim to fame: Developed data-compression technologies used in all personal computers.

The groundbreaking work of Jacob Ziv enabled digital communication to be fast and rapid. With Abraham Lempel, he co-founded the LZ family of lossless data compression algorithms to make digital data occupy less space so it can be transmitted faster. Their principle has led to modern data-compression standards such as MP3 for audio, GIF or PNG for imaging and PDF for text. Ziv’s work has also improved the storage capacity of hard drives and the performance of modems, and optimized fax technologies. Seminal in scope, his contributions to computer science have inspired a new generation of researchers.


5. Efraim (Efi) Arazi

Born: 1937

Claim to fame: Created Scitex, often referred to as the flagship of the Israeli high-tech industry.

Effi Arazi founded and led Scitex Corporation (now renamed Scailex Corporation) in 1968. The company, later sold to Hewlett Packard, develops and manufactures hardware and software technologies, and equipment for the printing and publishing industries. This was Israel’s first high-tech firm and at its peak employed 4,000 people. Since then, Arazi has gone on to found additional graphics and printing companies.


6. Dov Frohman

Born: 1939

Claim to fame: Invented a new memory chip for the personal computer industry, leading to the ubiquitous flash memory technology used today.

Dov FrohmanThe electrical engineer got his start at Fairchild Semiconductor, the catalyst for many Silicon Valley companies. He followed many of his colleagues from there to Intel. A former VP at Intel, Frohman invented the erasable and programmable read-only memory called EPROM while troubleshooting an Intel product in the 1970s. At the time there were only RAM and ROM chips, both severely limited. Frohman’s invention was a paradigm shift for the personal computing industry. His new chip could be easily programmed and retain a long charge. EPROM is as important as the microprocessor itself, Intel founder Gordon Moore has said. Now retired, Frohman founded Intel-Israel and was its first general manager.


7. Dan Maydan

Born: Circa 1939

Claim to fame: Made significant advances in semiconductor manufacturing.

Dan Maydan is an electrical engineer whose engineering breakthroughs in semi-conductor manufacturing are lauded by the Smithsonian Institution as having shaped modern society. For a number of years Maydan headed Applied Materials, which manufacturers semiconductors for the computing, LCD, glass and solar industries. In his early career at Bell Laboratories, he pioneered laser recording of data onto thin film, and made significant advances in other aspects in semiconductor manufacturing.


8. Joseph “Yossi” Vardi

Born: 1942

Claim to fame: “The Mirabilis Effect.” Often cited as a godfather of the Israeli high-tech industry and angel investor to dozens of start-ups.

Yossi VardiYossi Vardi is one of Israel’s first high-tech entrepreneurs and unofficial ambassador of the Israeli high-tech scene. You will find him at conferences around the world and at local events and luncheons championing the Israeli startup nation. Vardi has worn an impressive number of hats over the years, including high-ranking positions in the Israeli government in varying capacities, including peace negotiations. He founded or helped build more than 60 high-tech companies in Israel, including Mirabilis, creator of ICQ. This company was sold to AOL for $400 million, showing other young Israelis that huge fortunes could be made in high-tech innovation. Vardi began his career at age 26 by co-founding TEKEM, one of the first software houses in Israel. It was later sold to Tadiran.


9. Yehuda Zisapel

Born: 1942

Claim to fame: The “Bill Gates of Israel” behind the world’s most successful incubator of telecom-related startups.

Yehuda ZisapelYehuda Zisapel is the co-founder of RAD Group, a conglomerate of voice and date communications companies that collectively employs about 3,500 people. Business 2.0 magazine calls him the world’s most successful incubator of telecom-related startups, given that five of the companies he co-founded with his younger brother Zohar are traded on the NASDAQ. RAD’s first commercial success was a miniature modem. The company also founded and backed dozens of spinoffs, the first of which was Lannet Data Communications. This company developed the first Ethernet switch for data communications, eliminating the need for expensive coaxial cables.


10. Kobi Richter

Born: 1945

Claim to fame: Co-founder and head of Orbotech.

Kobi RichterWidely recognized for his work in cardiovascular stent technology with Medinol, Kobi Richter is considered one of Israel’s top entrepreneurs for co-founding and managing Orbotech (El-Op). The company develops advanced high-tech tools for inspecting and imaging circuit boards and display panels (LCD). Today these optical tools are used to automate inspection for quality control in high-tech hardware manufacturing for faster production with lower cost and less waste. One of the company’s many solutions is automated check processing for financial institutions.



Posted on on February 26th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

The Sunday Review

New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Thomas Friedman.

In print – Sunday, February 26, 2012 – based on a communication from oil advocate consultant to Saudi Arabia Phil K. Verleger.

During his long and distinguished career, Dr. Verleger has correctly anticipated most of the major structural changes occurring in the oil industry over the last 25 years. For example, in 1986 he became the first economist to fully comprehend and explain the appearance and development of energy commodity markets. Since then, Dr. Verleger has chronicled the evolution of these markets in The Petroleum Economics Monthly. Over a quarter century, he has examined many developments and anticipated the outcomes of a number of market manipulation strategies, including Metalgesellschaft’s disastrous trading program in 1992. More recently, Dr. Verleger was one of the first to examine and again correctly predict the impact of outside investment in commodities.

Dr. Verleger’s investigations have influenced developments in oil markets. His work includes two important academic studies on petroleum markets: Adjusting to Volatile Oil Prices (1994) and Oil Markets in Turmoil (1982). His research in 1998 contributed to Saudi Arabia’s adoption of a new market strategy in March 1999. In April 1999, Dr. Verleger correctly predicted that the Saudi strategy would take crude oil prices to the mid to high 20s.

In August 2004, Dr. Verleger warned that U.S. environmental regulations would cause crude oil prices to rise to $60 per barrel by limiting the availability of key petroleum products. He later wrote that the squeeze on product supply, combined with the absence of central bank concern, could take crude prices to $100. Both events came to pass.


A Good Question.


An e-mail came in the other day with a subject line that I couldn’t ignore. It was from the oil economist Phil Verleger, and it read: “Should the United States join OPEC?” That I had to open.
Josh Haner/The New York Times - Thomas L. Friedman
Verleger’s basic message was that the knee-jerk debate we’re again having over who is responsible for higher oil prices fundamentally misses huge changes that have taken place in America’s energy output, making us again a major oil and gas producer — and potential exporter — with an interest in reasonably high but stable oil prices.

From one direction, he says, we’re seeing the impact of the ethanol mandate put in place by President George W. Bush, which established fixed quantities of biofuels to be used in gasoline. When this is combined with improved vehicle fuel economy — in July, the auto industry agreed to achieve fleet averages of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 — it will inevitably drive down demand for gasoline and create more surplus crude to export. Add to that, says Verleger, “the increase in oil production from offshore fields and unconventional sources in America,” and that exportable U.S. surplus could grow even bigger.

Then, add the recent discoveries of natural gas deposits all over America, which will allow us to substitute gas for coal at power plants and become a natural gas exporter as well. Put it all together, says Verleger, and you can see why America “will want to consider joining with other energy-exporting countries, like those in OPEC, to sustain high oil prices. Such an effort would support domestic oil and gas production and give the U.S. a real competitive advantage over countries forced to pay high prices for imported energy — nations such as China, European Union members, and Japan.”

Indeed, Bloomberg News reported last week that “the U.S. is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency. … Domestic oil output is the highest in eight years. The U.S. is producing so much natural gas that, where the government warned four years ago of a critical need to boost imports, it now may approve an export terminal.” As a result, “the U.S. has reversed a two-decade-long decline in energy independence, increasing the proportion of demand met from domestic sources over the last six years to an estimated 81 percent through the first 10 months of 2011.” This transformation could make the U.S. the world’s top energy producer by 2020, raise more tax revenue, free us from worrying about the Middle East, and, if we’re smart, build a bridge to a much cleaner energy future.

All of this is good news, but it will come true at scale only if these oil and gas resources can be extracted in an environmentally sustainable manner. This can be done right, but we need a deal between environmentalists and the oil and gas industry to lock it in — now.

Says Hal Harvey, an independent energy expert: “The oil and gas companies need to decide: Do they want to fight a bloody and painful war of attrition with local communities or take the lead in setting high environmental standards — particularly for “fracking,” the process used to extract all these new natural gas deposits — “and then live up to them.”

Higher environmental standards may cost more, but only incrementally, if at all, and they’ll make the industry and the environment safer.

In the case of natural gas, we need the highest standards for cleanup of land that is despoiled by gas extraction and to prevent leakage of gas either into aquifers or the atmosphere. Yes, “generating a kilowatt-hour’s worth of electricity with a natural gas turbine emits only about half as much CO2 as from a coal plant,” says Harvey, and that’s great. “But one molecule of leaked gas contributes as much to global warming as 25 molecules of burned gas. That means that if the system for the exploration, extraction, compression, piping and burning of natural gas leaks by even 2.5 percent, it is as bad as coal.”

Hence, Harvey’s five rules for natural gas are:
Don’t allow leaky systems;
use gas to phase out coal;
have sound well drilling and casing standards;
don’t pollute the landscape with brackish or toxic water brought up by fracking;
and drill only where it is sensible.

*******    I’d add a sixth rule for crude oil:  ——-   No one likes higher oil prices. —— But — perversely — the high price benefits America as we rapidly become a bigger oil producer and it ensures that investments will continue to flow into energy efficient cars and trucks. If we were smart, we would establish today a floor price for any barrel of crude oil or gallon of gasoline sold or imported into America — and tax anything below it. *********

A stable, sufficiently high floor price serves the environment, our technology investments and our energy productivity. As our producers succeed, we would become increasingly energy self-sufficient, keep a lot more dollars at home for our Treasury, stimulate innovation on renewables and drive down the global oil price that is the sole source sustaining Iran and other petro-dictators.

But all of this depends on an understanding between the oil industry and the environmentalists. If President Obama could pull that off, it would be a huge contribution to America’s security, economy and environment.


Posted on on February 11th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2012
Daily Web Coverage16 January17 January18 January19 January
Summary Highlights of the Forum
MasdarThe fifth World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2012 opened in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on 16 January 2012. The first day of this four-day event was organized around the theme “Policy and Strategy Forum,” and comprised opening statements from Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO Masdar; Wen Jiabao, Premier, China; Kim Hwang-sik, Prime Minister, Republic of Korea; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and other dignitaries, followed by special addresses and ministerial panels. The WFES program also included roundtable discussions, an exhibition hall, and numerous other side events and activities.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, stressed the need to end energy poverty to ensure equal opportunities. He described the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20) meetings as the beginning of a multi-year mission to achieve sustainable energy for all, and called for a new energy future that harnesses the power of technology and innovation in the service of people and the planet.

For the complete daily material –  Please go to:     

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), during the session on Future Energy Future Strategies

Close of World Future Energy Summit 2012

Richenda Van Leeuwen, United Nations Foundation (UNF)
Fiona Watson, Summit Director for WFES 2012

Side Events
Side event on Women Advancing Solutions (L-R): Sulaf Al-Zu’bi, CEO, INJAZ UAE; Hanaan Yahya, Exxon Mobil; Lamya Faisal Mohamed, Emirates Foundation
Participant asks a question to the panel for the
side event on Women Advancing Solutions
Assem Kabesh from Masdar City presented its state-of-the-art sustainable city
The Japan Pavilion sponsored a side event for Emirati students to learn about generating electricity from non-conventional sources and to build and drive mini-solar powered cars.
Participant making a mini-solar powered car


Posted on on January 28th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

2012 China Plug-In Electric Vehicle Forum, March 8-9, 2012, Shanghai Pudong, Ramada Plaza.
For more details, Please contact: Fox Shen, Tel: +86 21 5180 7937, Fax: +86 21 5180 7791
Email: Event Website:

THE 29th INTERNATIONAL BATTERY SEMINAR & EXHIBIT in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – March  12-15,  2012 Fax, Mail, Call, E-Mail To: Florida Educational Seminars, Inc., Mr. Thomas DeVita 2300 Glades Road, West Building Suite 260, Boca-Raton, FL 33431 Tel: 561-367-0193, Fax: 561-367-8429Seminar Web Site, E-Mail:


2nd china.jpg
The 2nd China EV Charging Infrastructure & Grid Integration Forum 2012 (22-23, March Shanghai) will gather 200+ decision makers; 30+ speakers, providing you with a precious platform to build up partnerships and promote the adoption of your products and services; achieve success in China beyond 2012!
For more information and registration please contact: Iris Wang, Tel: 0086 21 61702361
E-mail: Event Website:


The 2nd Israeli Power Sources Conference (Batteries, Fuel Cells & EVs) will be held in the Daniel Hotel Herzelia , May 31st , 2012 – Program download


Posted on on January 28th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Better Place’s Electric Cars Hit the Roads

Israeli company Better Place celebrates fourth anniversary, officially inaugurates its first fleet of electrical cars.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski

First Publish: 1/23/2012, 5:44 AM

Better Place electric car

Better Place electric car
Israel news photo: Chen Galili

The Israeli company Better Place on Sunday celebrated its fourth anniversary. The company marked this special occasion by officially inaugurating its first fleet of 100 electric cars. A convoy of 70 cars, driven by dozens of the company’s employees, took to the streets of Tel Aviv for their first rides.

The electric car developed by Better Place has no exhaust pipe and no gas cap, but rather a simple electric socket. It runs on a 450-lb. lithium-ion battery and can go as far as 140 miles before the battery needs to be swapped or recharged at the recharging stations. 200 such stations are expected to be available around the country in the future.

Better Place announced that the delivery process of the new cars will take place in stages and will progress as the infrastructure across the country is completed. The company expects that the deliveries to the general public will begin in the second quarter of 2012.

In 2010, Israel’s Ministry of Transportation gave Better Place a permit to import 13 Renault Fluence electric cars for testing. Israel has long been committed to electric cars, and has expressed hope that by the end of this year it will be the world’s first nation to host a national electric car network.

One of the innovations of the electric cars is that its motor is silent, eliminating the loud exhaust noises in regular cars.

“You hear a noise that lets you know the car is on,” Zohar Beit’or of Better Place told Arutz Sheva. “It’s exactly like the noise that an electric camera makes.”

“The car is so silent that you can actually speak quietly and have a nice conversation without the need to shout,” he said. “It really makes you relax.”

Beit’or noted that he was very excited about the official launch of the new cars, adding he has worked for three years on this project.

“When I started, we only had plans on PowerPoint and we shared many ideas on how this day would look,” he said. “And it’s happening now. For me, it’s a piece of history.”

The company’s Oren Kassif explained that while the Renault company makes the cars, the infrastructure is Israeli and developed by Better Place. This includes charging spots, battery swap stations, and the command and control software.

“This is the first time you can say, at a country-wide level, that you can drive an electric car anywhere in the country,” he said. “What we’ve shown today is that we can deliver the cars, we can sell them, we can have customers driving on the road anywhere they wish.”

He added, “It’s a very exciting day. For the past four years we’ve been developing the systems and the infrastructure, recruiting people and bringing in more investors and customers.”

Photos by Chen Galili


Posted on on January 18th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

from M.R.Menon,
Editor & Publisher,
(A bi-monthly energy magazine)

Address: ‘Pallavi’ Kulapully, Shoranur 679122, Kerala
Tel: 0466-2220852/9995081018
Private Email Address :

For your immediate attention:
We invite you to participate in World Future Energy Summit 2012 in Abu Dhabi (Jan.16-19,2012) for
Business Opportunities in Renewable Energy:
For registration, please click at the following link:



Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a global leader in energy. The emirate, one of the world’s leading producers of oil and gas, is investing heavily to become a regional and international powerhouse in renewable and sustainable energy knowledge, technology and capacity.

The selection of Abu Dhabi to host the global headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reinforces the UAE’s capital’s position as the emerging hub for renewable energy, and reaffirms its contribution to the global renewable energy industry. In addition to supporting IRENA as it endeavours to deliver on its global mandate, Abu Dhabi – through Masdar – continues to afford considerable resources to the advancement and adoption of renewable energy. As well as providing substantial funding to IRENA and working towards a 7% renewable energy target by 2020, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has offered $50 million in annual loans to finance renewable energy projects in developing countries.


The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was officially established in Bonn on 26 January 2009 by

To Date 148 states and the European Union signed the Statute of the Agency; amongst them are 48 African, 38 European, 35 Asian, 17 American and 10 Australia/Oceania States.

IRENA Headquarters
C 67 Office Building
Khalidiyah (32nd) Street
Opposite Al Khalidiyah Ladies & Children’s Park
PO Box 236
Abu Dhabi (UAE)
View Location Map

IRENA Innovation Technology Centre
Robert-Schuman-Platz 3,
53175 Bonn,



Signatories 149 (the blue and red),   Members 87 (in red)

The successful conclusion of the Second Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA),

Abu Dhabi, 14-15 January 2012,

signals a new era for the Agency and recognition of the strategic importance of its mandate – to increase the worldwide adoption and deployment of renewable energy.
Above is followed January 16-19, 2012 by THE WORLD FUTURE ENERGY SUMMIT.

Under the Patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

World Future Energy Summit is the world’s foremost annual meeting committed to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies by engaging political, business, finance, academic and industry leaders to drive innovation, business and investment opportunities in response to the growing need for sustainable energy.

WFES includes a world class Summit, an international exhibition, the Project VillageRoundtable DiscussionsInnovate @ WFESthe Young Future Energy Leaders program, corporate meetings and social events.

World Future Energy Summit represents an unrivalled business platform bringing together project owners and solution providers with investors and buyers from both the public and private sectors.

The following is part of the outcome of these last meetings:
IISD Reporting Services’ Knowledge Management Products
Climate Change
Policy & Policy
Policy & Policy
Policy & Policy
Small Island
Developing States
Policy & Policy
Regional Coverage
Announcement from Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is pleased to announce the launch of Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice:

A Knowledgebase Tracking International Sustainable Energy Policy and Activities

Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice is a knowledge management project tracking intergovernmental and other international activities on sustainable energy development. It is managed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)  Reporting Services.

The launch of Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice comes as the 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All is being launched, and UN, governments, academics, NGOs, businesses, and the media look to sustainable energy efforts as a key part of the solution to address multiple global challenges.

All news articles on Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice are researched and produced by our team of thematic experts, resulting in all original content.

Features of the website include:

  • A knowledgebase of summaries of activities (publications, meetings, statements or projects) by a range of actors, with the option to search by several categories (region, actor, action and issue);
  • An archive of all posts on the site, organized by date posted;
  • A clickable world map, enabling you to view the latest sustainable energy policy news by region (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, Near East, Northern America, and South West Pacific);
  • A link to subscribe to ENERGY-L, a moderated community announcement list for policy-makers and practitioners involved with sustainable energy policy;
  • A link to the most recent “Sustainable Energy Update,” a periodic feed of recent posts to the Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice knowledgebase;
  • A Calendar of upcoming international events related to sustainable energy policy;
  • A link to our Sustainable Energy iCalendar, which automatically updates your own calendar program with upcoming sustainable energy-related events; and
  • A link to our RSS feed.

We invite you to visit Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice, at

Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice is published by IISD in cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and with funding from the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For further information on this initiative or to provide us with information about your sustainable energy-related activity, please contact Aaron Leopold, Content Editor, at

The Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice Team
IISD Reporting Services



Zayed Future Energy Prize Announces Winners

Carbon Disclosure Project, Dr. Ashok Gadgil and Schneider Electric recognized for ground-breaking energy and climate efforts

Abu Dhabi, UAE: 17 January, 2012 – Zayed Future Energy Prize – awarded annually to large corporations, individuals, small businesses and non-governmental organizations that have made significant contributions to the future of energy, climate change and sustainability – today announced its 2012 awards winners from the World Future Energy Summit, distributing US$3.5 million to winners and runners-up across three categories.

Carbon Disclosure Project, the UK-based organization that measures, discloses, manages and shares environmental information, won the Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) category. It was awarded US$1.5 million for its pioneering use of market-based tools to solve environmental issues, from cap and trade approach to acid rain pollution.

Orb Energy, an India-based provider of solar-based energy efficiency and heating solutions, was named first runner-up in the SME &NGO category with a cash prize of US$1 million. Environmental Defense Fund, the US-based non-profit organization that engages in environmental advocacy globally, received US$500,000 as the second runner-up, for its actions to create awareness and expand the adoption of renewable energy and sustainability practices.

US physicist Dr. Ashok Gadgil was recognized with the Lifetime Achievementaward for his sustainable humanitarian work in Darfur and pioneering efforts to invent the energy efficient “Berkeley – Darfur” cooking stove, which reduces the need for firewood by 55 percent. Dr. Gadgil, who received US$500,000, currently leads the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California and is also well-known for developing “UV Waterworks,” a technology to inexpensively disinfect drinking water in developing countries.

Schneider Electric, a France-based global specialist in energy management, received the Large Corporations award, garnering acknowledgment for its efforts across the world to enhance energy access, efficiency and safety. The company works across numerous sectors including renewable energy, water, electricity and green buildings to ensure resource efficiency and sustainability.

“We congratulate the winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, and encourage them all to continue in their efforts towards the creation of innovative solutions – impacting communities around the world. These are the ambassadors of innovation, the ambassadors of our Prize – these are the people who spread hope and aspiration and encourage the next generation of innovators,” said His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi at the ceremony.

The awards ceremony culminated a stringent year-long, four-stage nomination and judging process to identify the world’s best energy, climate and sustainability solution innovators – the Prize received a record 1,103 submissions in 2011. The finalists included three candidates for the Large Corporations category, three candidates for the Lifetime Achievement Award and seven candidates who could win first, second and third prize for the SME & NGO category.

“These are people that had the foresight to recognize that investing in the future is based on long term vision and the ability to innovate the technologies that the world so urgently needs,” added Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

The jury was chaired by Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland and also included Andre Agassi, tennis Grand Slam champion and education advocate; Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation and the Better World Fund; actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio; Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation; Dr. Susan Hockfield, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Ahmed Al Sayegh, Chairman of Masdar.

The 2013 edition of the awards will feature the newly instituted Global High School Prize to inspire a new generation of leaders and innovators.

For more information on the prize, please visit


About the Zayed Future Energy Prize

The Zayed Future Energy Prize was created in honour of the legacy of the late Founding Father and President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The prize aims to inspire the next generation of global energy innovators to create solutions for the future. The Prize is awarded annually to individuals, companies or organisations that have made significant contributions in the global response to the future of energy, climate change and sustainable global energy resources.

More information can be found on ZFEP through the Facebook or Twitter:

For further information please contact:

Sam Elie Bassile

APCO Worldwide

(JiWiN Public Relations)

Phone:  +971 50 3965474


Posted on on January 8th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

NYU Abu Dhabi Institute - Upcoming Events
Please note that      venues vary by event.

All events are free and open to the public.

Seating is Limited
Registration Required

For information on other upcoming events go here.

For information on NYUAD Admissions, go here.

The Future of International Climate Action

Monday, January 9
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Intercontinental Hotel Auditorium, Abu DhabiRichard Stewart, John Edward Sexton Professor of Law; Director, Center for Environmental and Land Use Law, NYU School of Law


Uncanny Valley: On the Digital Animation of the Face

Sunday, January 15
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Intercontinental Hotel Auditorium, Abu DhabiLawrence Weschler, Author, Uncanny Valley; Director, New York Institute for the Humanities, NYUNY


Poised Between the Past and the Future: The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Thursday, January 12
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
NYUAD Downtown CampusRobert Hillenbrand, Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Edinburgh


A Yarn about Coral Reefs, Global Warming, Hyperbolic Geometry, and Community Art Practice

Tuesday, January 17
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Intercontinental Hotel Auditorium, Abu DhabiMargaret Wertheim, Founder and Co-Director, The Institute for Figuring


Also -


• Twenty five renewable energy projects sign up for purpose-built platform bringing together owners, developers and solutions providers; another 10 are in the pipeline.

Those projects are on top of the large-scale investments in renewable energy under development by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy company and host of WFES, and other companies exhibiting at the summit in January.

The PLATINUM SPONSORS include ExxonMobil and OXY – we wonder about their committment to Renewables – but then anything is possible in Abu Dhabi.


Posted on on December 20th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

NYU Abu Dhabi Institute - Upcoming Events

Mahfouz Film Series: Miramar

Tuesday, December 20
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
NYUAD Downtown Campus
In collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival

This year marks the centennial of the birth of Naguib Mahfouz, the most prodigious and influential writer of the modern Middle East. This fall, we celebrate his life by showing a selection of films based on his work. Our final film of the series, Miramar, based on his novel by the same name, portrays the changing lives of Egyptians after Nasser’s revolution through the lens of the residents of the pension Miramar in Alexandria.


Posted on on December 14th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

History of IRENA

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was officially established in Bonn on January 26 2009.
The conference was chaired by Germany’s Federal Environment Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, and Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul. Since Denmark and Spain had actively supported Germany in IRENA’s development from the beginning, the respective Ministers, Connie Hedegaard (Danish Minister for Climate and Energy) and Miguel Sebastián Gascón (Spanish Minister for Trade, Industry and Tourism) were elected Vice-Chairs.

The aim of the new Agency is to promote a rapid transition towards the widespread and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide. IRENA is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on renewable energies, addressing both industrialised and developing world’s needs. IRENA will offer advice to its members on creating appropriate framework conditions, undertake capacity building as well as foster the dissemination of and learning from best practice examples for technology transfer and financing of renewable energies. IRENA will closely cooperate with other international organisations and institutions active in the field of renewable energy.

The Agency began its work only a day after the Founding Conference – 27 January 2009. During the first session of the Preparatory Commission, the Agency’s interim body, the Signatories adopted criteria and procedures for selecting IRENA’s Interim Director-General and its interim headquarters and invited all members to submit offers and nominations by 30 April 2009. They also created the institutional framework that will allow IRENA to embark on first elements of its work programme. The Preparatory Commission welcomed Egypt’s invitation to host the next session, scheduled for 29 to 30 June 2009.

Signatories (blue)  - 149 —–     Members (red) – 85

Further information:
The proposal for an international agency dedicated towards renewable energy was made in 1981 at the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy in Nairobi. The idea was further discussed and developed by major organisations in the field of renewable energy, in particular Eurosolar.

Since then, the global interest in renewable energy has been increasing: Several international meetings such as the World Summit for Sustainable Development 2002 in Johannesburg (WSSD) or the G-8 Gleneagles Dialogue addressed renewable energy, and the 2004 Bonn International Renewable Energy Conference in Bonn, as well as the 2005 Beijing International Renewable Energy Conference were a response of Governments towards the increasing demand for further international cooperation on renewable energy policies, financing, and technologies.

It is important to recall that the International Conference for Renewable Energies in Bonn 2004, supported by the International Parliamentary Forum on Renewable Energies called for the establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in its concluding resolution. Only a few years later, and through combined efforts of Governments across the world, the idea had come to life.

IRENA’s first Preparatory Conference (Berlin, 10-11 April 2008)
With a rapidly growing energy demand on the one hand, and climate change associated with current patterns of energy use on the other, the meeting of the ‘IRENA Initiative’ took place at a critical juncture. 170 representatives from 60 states expressed their overall support for the founding of an International Renewable Energy Agency as early as possible – the political momentum was with the ‘IRENA Initiative’ now. Whilst the basic instruments of such an Agency were to be agreed upon at a later stage, the objective was clear: IRENA should be become the very first intergovernmental organisation on a global scale dedicated towards the promotion of renewable energy.

Preparatory Workshops (Berlin, 30 June – 1 July 2008)
Two parallel Workshops were convened in Berlin from 30 June to 1 July 2008, in order to prepare the groundwork. The workshops, attended by over 100 representatives of more than 44 states, discussed the founding treaty of IRENA (the ‘Statute’), the financing mechanisms, and the outline of an initial work programme. The workshops were yet another important step in the establishment of IRENA.

IRENA’s final Preparatory Conference (Madrid, 23-24 October 2008)
The final Preparatory Conference was held only half a year after the first Preparatory Conference, again underlining the strong commitment of Governments towards renewable energies. More than 150 representatives from 51 states gathered to discuss the key issues that would ultimately enable the quick-start formation of IRENA in January 2009: The draft Statue was agreed upon, important matters such as financing, and the criteria and procedures for selecting the Interim Director-General and the Interim Headquarters, as well as the design of the initial phase of IRENA, were resolved. The Final Preparatory Conference represented a milestone in the founding process of IRENA, and in the run-up to the Founding Conference further states became attracted to the idea of IRENA and joined the initiative.

IRENA Founding Conference (Bonn, 26 January 2009)
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was officially founded in Bonn on 26 January 2009. The founding of IRENA was a significant milestone for world renewable energy deployment and a clear sign that the global energy paradigm was changing as a result of the growing commitments from governments. At the Founding Conference 75 States from all over the world signed IRENA’s Statute.

Considering the magnitude and urgency of the tasks ahead for IRENA, it was important that IRENA commenced its activities as quickly as possible. To bridge the gap between the ratification of IRENA’s Statute by a quorum of 25 States which still was to come, and the urgent need for establishing IRENA and initiate first activities, a Preparatory Commission was instigated on the day following the Founding Conference.

IRENA Preparatory Commission Sessions (2009-2011)
The Preparatory Commission for IRENA, consisting of IRENA’s Signatory States and acting as the interim institutional body, had a key role in preparing the relevant institutional structures for this new intergovernmental organisation, ranging from the location of the headquarters and the appointment of the first Director-General, and administrative policies and procedures, to the implementation of first renewable energy projects.

Between 2009 and 2011, five sessions of the Preparatory Commission for IRENA were held. At the second session in June 2009, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) was selected to host the Interim Headquarters of IRENA, and Helene Pelosse, a French citizen, was appointed the first Interim Director-General of IRENA.

  • First session (January 26, 2009)
  • Second session (Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, June 6 2009)
  • Third session (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, January 17, 2010)
  • Fourth session (Abu Dhabi, October 24-25, 2010).
  • Fifth session (Abu Dhabi, 3 April 2011)

Following the entry into force of the Statute on 8 July 2010 the preparations for the first Assembly of IRENA were started. On 4 April 2011, only three years after the very first conference regarding IRENA was held, the Preparatory Commission of IRENA ceased to exist, and the International Renewable Energy Agency was finally born.

Inaugural Session of IRENA`s Assembly (Abu Dhabi 4-5 April 2011)
The Inaugural Assembly of IRENA was the most important event in the Agency’s short and eventful history since its founding conference in 2009. Interest in and political commitment to IRENA among Members remains high, and ambitious aspirations for its future among all stakeholders ensured a high level of engagement and participation. At the time of the Assembly, IRENA had 149 signatories, of which 50 had ratified the statute.

The organs of IRENA include the Assembly, composed of all members of the Agency, the Council with 21 members, and the Secretariat. The Assembly also appointed Adnan Z. Amin, a citizen of Kenya, as Director-General, and designated Abu Dhabi as permanent seat. IRENA’s first work programme has an initial budget of some 25 million US Dollars, which enables the Agency to deliver its crucial mission.

As per above – IRENA is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and all meetings held during the last two years were held there. It seems to us that IRENA is in good position to look at solar technology and to promote, together with the European Union, the concept of power production in arid lands. If this does happen indeed, the organization may lead to a new important export of energy – the export of solar energy.


Adnan Z. Amin
Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Adnan Z. Amin was appointed as the first Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in April 2011. In this capacity, he is charged with the responsibility of leading and managing the Agency in the implementation of its mandate to promote the adoption and use of renewable energy worldwide. Immediately prior to his appointment as the Director-General, Mr Amin led IRENA in its final preparatory phase before it became a fully-fledged international organisation on 4 April 2011.

Mr Amin has over 20 years of experience in the fields of international environment and sustainable development policy, as well as in the political, management, and interagency coordination functions of the United Nations (UN) work. Mr Amin held various senior positions in the United Nations, including Head of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) Secretariat. Mr Amin also served as the Executive Director of the Secretariat of the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel, co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of Mozambique, Norway and Pakistan, on UN System-wide Coherence, which proposed far reaching reforms of the United Nations work in the field of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment.

Since late  1997, Mr. Amin was charged with  responsibility  for  policy  coordination  and development,  liaison  between  the  United  Nations  in  New  York  and  UNEP=s  headquarters  in Nairobi, and to work for and on behalf of UNEP with the private sector and other civil society groups at UN Headquarters and within the North American region.  He has played  a key role in redefining UNEP’s coordination structure  following  the  1992  Earth  Summit  and  in setting  its priorities in light of the outcomes of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. He became Director of UNEP’s New York Office.
In his new position at IRENA he will be working close with the Vienna based UNIDO.

Mr. Amin was


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