EU-GCC clean energy network moves forward



JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Monday 3 December 2012

Last update 3 December 2012 6:48 am

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The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Qatar will provide a fresh stimulus to implementing green measures across the GCCs, say officials.
The EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, an inter-regional consortium that aims to advance the common interest between the EU and the GCC for strategic energy cooperation, planned to host a high-level meeting on the sidelines of the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Qatar.
The COP-18 session, which began on Nov. 26 and will continue till Dec. 7, coincides with the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP8).
The meetings are organized on behalf of both the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the Climate Action, a multimedia platform that aims to encourage businesses and large organizations reduce their carbon footprint, and puts forward the business case for climate change.
The EU-GCC Clean Energy Network’s GCC Renewable Energy Readiness meeting was held at the GCC Pavilion, Qatar National Convention Center ,recently to highlight the importance of a recent initiative, ‘GCC Renewable Energy Readiness Assessment Report,’ being developed with network partners across the GCC.
Renewable energy (RE) readiness is defined as the level of development of the county’s infrastructure, institution and human capital factors that influence the attractiveness of investing in renewable energy projects. It plays an important role in enhancing the reliability of renewable energy technologies (RET) to ensure their sustainable deployment.
The report will serve as a benchmark using a common framework to assess each country’s RE-readiness, helping identify and address gaps to overcome the main barriers for the deployment of renewable energy projects which are of growing importance for the GCC region.
It will also elaborate on key R&D priorities and an enabling policy framework that will be conducive to scaling up renewable energy technologies.
Some top officials taking part in the meeting from the GCC include Faisal Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, president of research and development at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development; Hamza Kazim, vice-president, operations and finance, Masdar Institute, and Scott Kennedy, dean of research, Masdar Institute.
High-ranking officials from the EU include Artur Runge-Metzger, director, directorate of international and climate strategy, DG-CLIMA, European Commission, and Professor John Psarras, ICCS-NTUA, project director — EU.
Hamza Kazim said: “Masdar Institute remains instrumental in leading sustainability efforts in the quest for a green economy, globally and in the region, thanks to the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership. Their support and guidance have ensured that Masdar Institute remains as a top research-based academic institution, driving innovation and human capital development, while developing energy leaders of the future.”
Kazim added: “The GCC countries are at present assessing their renewable energy readiness to submit a report. The region’s commitment and enthusiasm to adopt renewable sources is overwhelming and the events in Doha will provide a fresh stimulus to implementing green measures across the GCC member states.”
The presentation by the high-level team of attendees from the GCC and European Commission will highlight the achievements in areas of mutual interest for the GCC and the EU, including renewables, energy efficiency and demand side management, electricity interconnections, carbon capture and storage, as well as natural gas.
Some of the concrete outcomes that will be summarized during the session include publications, research work/papers, established partnerships between the GCC and EU, co-operation project ideas, targeted working meetings and training workshops.
The EU-GCC Clean Energy Network’s mission is to support and enhance the long-term strategic EU–GCC energy relationship, addressing specifically clean energy issues; develop concrete cooperation activities of common interest on clean energy (including policy and technology aspects) among various stakeholders across the EU and GCC countries; and expand as a professional network among public and private sector players in clean energy by retaining and recruiting institutional members.

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