Abu Dhabi is to capitalize on its status as the renewable energy hub of the Middle East to host a high-level meeting on climate change.

The Abu Dhabi Ascent will be held from 4-5 May and is intended to be a warm-up for the UN Climate Summit in New York in September.

The meeting in the emirate was announced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UAE’s minister for Energy and Climate Change, Dr Sultan Al Jaber.

They said they hoped the two-day would “encourage announcements of greater action and ambition by world leaders” at the September summit.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber said the UAE was “at the forefront of international efforts to mitigate climate change” – the country is six years into its ambitious sustainability and low carbon energy project Masdar City (pictured).

“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.”

Oil and gas-rich Abu Dhabi initiated Masdar City as a blueprint – or ‘greenprint’ as they like to call it – for maximising the potential of its renewables resources, particularly solar, while in turn preserving its own fossil fuel resources.

The emirate is home to Shams 1, a 100 MW solar park, while Siemens, GE and Schnieder Electric have already taken up offices in Masdar City.

Ban Ki-moon said the Abu Dhabi Ascent “is a critical milepost on the way that will help build the momentum we need for a successful Climate Summit.”

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