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UAE hopes for UN members' support on its IRENA headquarters hosting bid

posted on 20/06/2009: 846 views

New York - The UAE expressed hopes for support from United Nations member states on its bid to host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, the first zero-carbon city in the world.

The UAE further stressed that it geographically, politically, economically, financially and technologically in good position to host the agency's headquarters and take an active part in the realization of its development and humane goals.

This came in a statement delivered by UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi before an interactive thematic dialogue on "Energy Efficiency, Energy Conservation and New and Renewable Sources of Energy" held by the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

Al-Qasimi noted the significance of renewable energy issues for all countries around the world in light of the increasing demand on energy and challenges posed by the global financial and economic crisis and climate change.

"Energy is, no doubt, one of the major pillars of sustainable development, progress and prosperity in any country", she said noting that 1.6 billion people in developing countries are in need of modern energy services, a disadvantage that has its toll on the environment and economies.

This, she explained, mandates quick active solutions for investing in new sources of energy and renewables.

She further called for necessary measures to facilitate access by developing countries to the technology of new and renewable sources of energy as well as to energy efficiency.

Based on its strategic commitment to economic diversification, the UAE has realized the need for a sustainable future substitute to oil which is a depleting and non-renewable source of energy, Al-Qasimi noted.

The Government of the UAE, she added, has adopted new ways to investing oil revenues thus making non-oil sectors account for 61% of the country's gross national income.

A large part of UAE's investments are now focused on energy efficiency, renewable and sustainable energy i.e. solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy as well as on promoting green environmentally friendly buildings.

Al-Qasimi further noted the UAE's Masdar City, the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city. At Masdar, electricity will be generated by photovoltaic panels, while cooling will be provided via concentrated solar power. Water will be provided through a solar-powered desalination plant. Landscaping within the city and crops grown outside the walled city will be irrigated with grey water and treated waste water produced by the city's water treatment plant.

The city, growing eventually to 1,500 businesses and 50,000 residents, will be home to international business and top minds in the field of sustainable and alternative energy. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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