Mexican president commends UAE for leaps in sustainability

Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto described the world's clean energy challenges and said Abu Dhabi is an example of sustainable development.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto speaks at the 9th edition of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. Karim Sahib / AFP
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ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi is an example of development and sustainability as the world faces one of mankind’s biggest challenges – clean energy, Mexico’s president has said.

Abu Dhabi and Masdar City in particular are models of systems for innovation and sustainable, economic development, Enrique Pena Nieto said, speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

“I am sure that this summit will be remembered as one of the most challenging,” he said. “The event will become a point of reference in order to keep on going in a world that will respect the environment.”

Mr Pena Nieto also described Mexico’s commitments to the environment.

“We want to go down the road of less pollution. We want to adopt renewable energy,” he said, according to Wam, the state news agency.

“We are convinced that it is possible to secure a new climate regime without disrupting economic and social development.”

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said during the ceremony that last year’s Paris agreement on climate change made it a time action.

“The sustainable development agenda has captured the attention of the world as countries came together and committed to a transformative vision for prosperity, peace and partnership,” said Mr Ban.

“The universality of these agreements, and their inclusive nature, mean that we have a clear way forward – now is a time for action.”

Governments, businesses and organisations must work together to implement the 17 world goals for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, modern and sustainable energy, he said.

“My request here in Abu Dhabi is that as we move towards the implementation of the Paris agreement and the sustainable development goals, we must keep the sense of urgency, and the spirit of partnership, that guided us to success last year,” said Mr Ban.

Also on Monday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Foreign Minister, received Mr Ban to discuss partnerships between the UAE and UN in renewable energy, counter-terrorism and other fields.

Mr Pena Nieto visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the capital on Sunday, touring the halls and hearing about its architectural styles and Islamic decorations. He also visited the mausoleum of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father of the UAE.