Abu Dhabi’s Global Energy Forum to address global energy transition

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum
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The annual convening of the world’s top energy and foreign policy decision-makers the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum will address the key issue of 2021 which is the post-pandemic economic recovery amid net carbon neutrality pledges.

The fifth edition of the annual meeting which takes place at the same time of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) will focus on the UAE’s energy transition plans and the diversification strategy the country should adopt after the pandemic.

The forum which is scheduled to kick start on January 19, will be conducted virtually due to the pandemic and related restrictions. The first day will offer high-level insights from energy policymakers inclu a keynote address by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber (Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change), Suhail Al Mazrouei (Minister of Energy and Infrastructure), Musabbeh Al Kaabi (Mubadala’s head of UAE investments), Mohammed Barkindo (Opec secretary-general) and Fatih Birol (International Energy Agency executive director).

The decline in greenhouse gas emissions during the pandemic especially in the transport sector has made the public and private entities think about the need to put sustainability at the core of their recovery programs. The forum will discuss the after-effects of such a turn towards energy transition at a global level and how countries and institutions in the Middle East will manage it.

The increasing importance of environmental, social and governance investment in a post-pandemic financial world will also be addressed through conversations with Khaldoon Mubarak, group chief executive of Mubadala, and Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager that has shunned fossil fuel investments.

The impact of the Abraham Accords on the energy sector will be observed through a panel discussion between Mr. Al Mazrouei, Israeli Minister of Energy and Technology, Yuval Steinitz and US energy secretary Dan Brouillette.

The forum will also address the politics of climate change in the US, which is set to rejoin the Paris Agreement on January 20 after the swearing-in ceremony of US president-elect Joe Biden.

Mr. Biden’s ambitious plans for energy transition and the expected change in the tone of US foreign policy will be explored in the forum. The impact of the energy transition on nuclear energy and the energy security of the US will also be discussed.