How partnership will lead to sustainable growth and decarbonization
We have entered 2021 with optimism, driven by increasing global commitment to sustainability, tackling climate change, and increasing decarbonization efforts, but we look ahead knowing there is still a lot of work to do to reach our collective goals.
The world is facing huge challenges. Climate change, globalization, digitalization and the global COVID-19 pandemic have placed governments, companies and societies in difficult circumstances. Climate change is the defining issue of this generation and the severe implications from global economic and societal implications must be countered.
Furthermore, demand for energy is growing and it is expected that by 2040, the global electricity demand will rise by around 50%, whilst around 800 million people still do not have access to energy.
But out of these challenges come opportunities. Governments particularly can and are using this moment to put in place plans and foster investment to develop greener and more sustainable economies, and we are seeing this momentum grow.
Sustainability is a core foundation of decarbonization and should be a primary consideration for any company or country. Though ‘sustainability’ is a broad term, it has many applications, which can result in lower emissions, lower waste, but also lower cost and ultimately, growth, economically and socially.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, provide a clear and practical path, one which guides us as a company in our plans and actions. Underscoring our commitment to these goals, at the end of 2020 Siemens Energy launched its first annual sustainability report.
The SDGs and their related targets are fostering a new understanding of how economic development can be reconciled with social and environmental challenges, stimulating transformational change. It is necessary for governments, businesses, cities, and civil societies to work together and contribute to realizing the SDGs.
The numerous benefits that can be gained from the adoption of greater sustainability are why events like the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2021 are so important. Knowledge and partnership are the two most important tools to reaching our climate and decarbonization goals. Events like ADSW21 are vital, to bringing together diverse groups of stakeholders, from governments, financiers, energy producers, technology creators, utilities, and educational institutions, and beyond, to foster understanding and find joint solutions.
In this complex and interconnected world, no one company or country can, or should, go it alone. We must collaborate to draw on each other’s strengths.
We at Siemens Energy focus on the SDG 17 primarily through the lens of Goal 7; to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Energy touches every part of society, from the energy used to power the machinery that extracts the oil and gas and refine it, to the energy that powers our homes, our infrastructure and businesses and our personal devices.
The energy we use is transforming, from coal and other carbon intensive fuels, to renewables, such as solar and wind. This energy transition is gathering pace, as countries and companies around the world are increasingly switching to more decarbonized energy solutions such as renewables.
This transition will evolve into a transformation, that will see the utilization of new decarbonized energy sources such as green hydrogen, which has usages in a variety of applications from energy production to industrial manufacturing and chemicals production.
But this transformation requires bold partners, across diverse industries, ready to make bold decisions, and invest in innovation. From this transformation new technologies, new industries, new skills, new jobs, and new economies will evolve. It is only by working together that we can leverage each other’s expertise and develop the innovative solutions for tomorrow.
At the same time, each country is at a different stage in the transition and will progress at different speeds. There is no magic bullet in the fight against climate change. Customized solutions are required to meet each unique set of circumstances, whether financing, technological, access to resources, or even location.
Some countries like the UAE, are further along the transition than others, with clear long-term targets, funds allocated for investment and projects underway. From solar-powered green hydrogen, to using artificial intelligence in managing power generation, to using big data in managing oil and gas production efficiently, the UAE is making consistent strides. These developments are forming the foundations on which to build new sustainable economies.
It is promising to see the importance that regional entities are placing on investing in decarbonizing technologies, but more can be done. We must, and will, work together, with new partners across industry, to create sustainable growth and innovation through diversity. With this in mind, we once again look forward to being part of ADSW, particularly at this important moment in history.