• Corporate and industry leaders
organizations with responsibility for the environment,
development, resource management, planning,
economy and finance
• Environment experts
• Academic and research institutions
NGOs dealing with environment and development
Those are some of the topics on the agenda of the Sixth Annual Conference of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), scheduled for 28-29 October 2013 in Sharjah, UAE.
Energy will be the topic of the 2013 AFED report, the sixth in its annual series on Arab environment. The report highlights the vital role of the energy sector in socioeconomic development in the Arab countries, especially those endowed with vast hydrocarbon resources.
Hydrocarbon resources are providing more than 98 percent of the Arab energy demand, leading to high carbon footprint. Increasing energy efficiency is believed to generate billions of dollars in gains to the region’s GDP.
Arab countries are blessed with huge potential of renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind, that have not been fully utilized yet. Still, some 60 million Arabs have no access to modern energy services. Energy efficiency and renewable energy resources can play a major role in improving energy access and eradicating poverty, particularly in rural and remote areas.
While vulnerability of most Arab countries to climate change is primarily focused on agriculture, the Gulf region is particularly vulnerable to potential reduction in global oil consumption as a result of emission mitigation policies. The ‘no action’ path will take the region to inevitable reduction in oil exports and expedite the depletion of its reserves, threatening its future growth.
The high-level conference provides independent grounds to debate the findings of AFED Energy report among a group of experts and policy makers, leading to recommendations and a proposed roadmap.