Incentives needed 'to adapt green technologies'
Dubai, November 30, 2010
A call for incentives for the private sector, to adapt new, green technologies, was given at the Open Forum on Cities, organised as part of the World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai.
Panellists unanimously called for “sustainable urbanisation”, but were divided on how to achieve it and whether there is a strong business case for sustainability.
The participants debated how more sustainable cities could be created – economically, socially and environmentally.
“The public needs businesses to come with the solutions, then they will embrace them,” stated Khaled Awad, founder of Grenea, United Arab Emirates.
“For industries that continue to generate excess greenhouse gas emissions, such as the concrete industry, it is a matter of 'tougher regulation or more incentives,” he added.
The region is concerned about sustainability but is hampered by water and energy subsidies and a lack of regulation.
Sustainability means more than sound environmental practices. “Sustainability is also about economic and social development,” added Fahd Al Rasheed, managing director and chief executive officer of Emaar The Economic City, Saudi Arabia. He called on urban planners to “think holistically”.
Al Rasheed pointed out that Saudi Arabia’s new economic cities are “master plan communities”; they are accelerating major regional development and are “a way forward” for sustainability.
Today, 1.4 million people are living in “energy poverty” and that number will only increase if more resources are not funnelled into developing sustainable sources of energy. Research and development must be aimed at all potential sources of energy – including oil and gas, coal, solar, biofuels, wind and nuclear.
“Don’t look at water alone, solar alone, coal alone,” said Nejib Zaafrani, Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, United Arab Emirates.
“We have to look at the entire package and learn as we go along.”
“New initiatives need government support,” said MS Srinivasan, chairman of ILFS Tamil Nadu Power Company, India. “But when technology improves and gets cheaper and everyone wants it, subsidies can be withdrawn. It will stand on its own.”
The Summit on the Global Agenda 2010 is a unique gathering of the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils, the world’s most relevant thought leaders from academia, business, government and society.
During the three-day Summit, over 600 participants are engaging in interactive workshops and sessions to set priorities for the most compelling ideas to improve the state of the world and identify the latest trends, risks and innovative solutions to address the world’s challenges.-TradeArabia News Service