Taking MENA Sustainability to New frontiers

2nd Edition | February 2023 | Dubai, UAE


H.E Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri
UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment




Climate change is defying nature’s eternal principles and warming our planet. Nations are racing against time to reach the goals of Paris climate deal and transition to net zero by 2050, the deadline set to prevent the earth from warming beyond 1.5 deg C by the turn of this century. Climate risk is arguably the greatest risk facing humanity.

Global Economies have woken up albeit late to the fact that drastic actions need to be taken on a war footing in-order to avoid a climate change induced catastrophe. At the same time, they are under enormous pressure to delicately balance sustainability with economic and social priorities. The Challenges of balancing economic viability with environmentally sound and socially responsible business practices, have opened out dialogues involving Governments, International organizations, and Business leaders which in turn has led to a paradigm shift in the way this emergency is assimilated. It has moved from a simple understanding to conscious and Strategic Climate Action. Through the engines of Green Economy.

The MENA has demonstrated itself as an active crusader for Sustainability by slowly and steadily moving away from Oil based Economies towards tapping its renewable resources and positioning climate action as an integral part of growth plan. In addition, the MENA region has seen immense growth in mega sustainable development projects and Green Investments in the recent past.  Projects like NEOM and Masdar City stand testimony to the immense potential MENA has in driving climate action, innovation and investments in the sustainability that includes critical sectors such as Energy, Transport, Buildings & Smart Cities, Industries etc.

This region is also considered a melting pot of innovation and policy action. The recently announced UAE strategic road map for 50 years only reinforces this notion further. The KEY principles etched in this document covering Institutional Frameworks, Human capital, Digital & Technological excellence, Human capital, and others are quite relevant for the region and hence have been well represented in this summit.

While the COP 26 to be held in Glasgow brought the nations together to accelerate actions towards Paris agreement goal, The Arab Green Summit intends to kickstart a series of intense deliberations around MENA’s Green efforts. The overarching driver for this summit is the thirst to bring about a transformation in the way Sustainability & Climate Action is being addressed and enhance the societal capacity to make this planet a better place. The fact that United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been selected to host the COP28 international climate conference in 2023 reflects the enormity of trust the world places on UAE and its leadership. TAGS is fully conscious of its role in this space. It is also planned to organize targeted masterclasses as parallel sessions to build up the capacity.

The time to unlock the latent talent of MENA is NOW by uniting commitment and convictions to a single cause. Dialogue and Innovation are the key to unlocking the potential of the MENA Region to become a Pioneer in the Sustainable Segment. The Arab Green Summit brings together the Stakeholders across the Arab region to discuss and discover the latest practices and creative solutions to incorporate sustainability in their Energy systems, achieve SDGs, explore Science based Targets (SBTs) and further spearhead Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). Last but not the least is the role Human Capital plays in the whole gamut of climate Action. TAGS would serve as a platform for climate champions to discuss, innovate, collaborate, and set the path for climate action through mitigation and adaptation.

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  • Government officials and Policy makers across MENA
  • Consultants and Advisors to the Government, Green Projects, Utilities

  • Representatives from Municipalities and Regulatory bodies.

  • Senior Officials from Urban, Town and Country Planning Organizations

  • Senior Representatives of Smart City projects

  • Senior Representatives from Energy and Utility Companies (Electricity, Water and Waste)

  • Financial Institutions/ Banks/ Green Investment Bankers/ Venture Capitalists AI/IT/IOT heavy weights / Block chain / Data center

  • EPC Contractors

  • Retail Companies

  • Senior officials from Transportation, heavy Industries, Shipping and Aviation sectors.

  • Specialist system integrators

  • International Environmental Institutions, NGOs

  • Representatives from Bi-lateral agencies (World Bank, ADB, UN etc.)

  • Research & Development Institutions

  • Startups, Innovators, and Incubators

  • Educational Institutes & Universities

  • Legal Firms

Artificial Intelligence

Recommendation Engines

Streaming Services

Cyber Security and Privacy

Internet of Things

Consumer Devices

2022 Advisors and Speakers

H.E Eng Yousif Ahmed Al Ali

Assistant Undersecretary for Electricity, Water & Future Energy Affair, Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure

Ms. Shaima AlAydarous

Director of the Trade Negotiations and International Organizations Department, Ministry of Economy

Ahmed Abdelaal

Group Chief Executive Officer, Mashreq

Stephen Christian Severance JR

Head, Program Management and Marketing, Masdar

Raji Hattar

Chief Sustainability Officer, Aramex International Limited

Dipak Sakaria

Energy Transition Expert, Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure

Mariam AlQubaisi

Head of Sustainability & Business Excellence, Etihad Aviation Group

Fatima Ahmed Al Kadhim

Head Of Sustainability Section Safety, Health & Environment Department General Directorate of Institutional Support Services, Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority

Daxita Rajcoomar

Chief Sustainability Officer Asia, Middle East and Africa Engie

Otmane Benamar

GM Application Engineering, GE Gas Power EMEA

Farah Naz

Head of Innovation & ESG, AECOM

Naseebah Almarzooqi

Director of Studies, Research and Development, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

Motaz Gattan

Chief Commercial & Innovation Officer, AlSafwa Cement Company

Zoltan Rendes

Partner and CMO, SunMoney Solar Group

Salwa Al Maflahi

Director of Sustainability & CSR, Aldar Properties

Eng. Hebah Abbas

Technical Advisor and Head of Sustainability Committee, Kuwait Water Association


  • Utilities
  • Smart Grid Solution Providers
  • Energy, Renewable Energy & Technologies Companies
  • Energy storage companies
  • Energy management firms and Energy saving companies (ESCOs)
  • Large Industrial houses and Establishments.
  • Shipping and Aviation companies
  • Large Business houses
  • Water Technologies & Wastewater Solutions providers
  • Waste Management Firms
  • Green Construction Companies
  • Large Transport and Fleet networks.
  • EV manufacturers
  • Smart City System Integrators
  • Smart Agriculture Solutions
  • Block Chain Solution Providers
  • E-Commerce companies
  • Banks & Investment firms.
  • Environmental consultancies and consolidated Engineering firms
  • Energy Advisory firms
  • Strategic Consulting / Advisory Firms
08:00 – 08:50 AM

Registrations / Networking

08:50 – 09:30 AM

Opening Ceremony

Session 1:

Green Mena Visions, Policies & Global Best Practices

09:30 – 09:50 AM

Keynote: Innovation a key to deliver SDGs and Paris climate agreement

09:50 – 10:10 AM

Tracing the UAE’s Journey to a Green Economy

UAE has taken a quantum leap in sustainability by closely weaving the needs of the future generations with the threads of sustainability and economic aspirations. This journey has indeed been challenging for the nation as it set on the path of devising a series of strategic steps in this direction. Some important perspectives to be discussed include

  • The change in perception
  • The strategic vision and the accompanying goals
  • Unexpected challenges
  • Lessons learnt

10:10 – 10:30 AM

MENA’s Climate friendly Policies and Frameworks - A perspective

Policies and frameworks are un evitable in shaping a nation’s path and sustainability is no different. Such policies should be region specific and be accompanied by well-defined frameworks that would support its implementation. This prominent subject is expected to cover

  • The MENA’s climate policies
  • The role of bespoke nature of such policies
  • The effectiveness of such an approach

10:30 – 10:45 AM

Coffee break & Networking

10:45 – 11:15 AM

Challenges of Environmental Sustainability- Barriers and potential pathways for Sustainable MENA

Environmental sustainability has leap frogged to a highly deliberated mainstream theme all across the globe while it is also challenged by the deficit in its understanding as well as the resources in hand. These render the implementation of policies extremely challenging for the region requiring an introspection of

  • Introspection of the policies and its influence on the geography
  • Challenges and Opportunities

11:15 – 11:45 AM

Creating opportunities for Human Capital through well-managed ecological Mega Ventures - A MASDAR/NEOM/Other projects case study.

Some nations have taken an astronomical step of creating Mega sustainability ventures/developments that are purported to be torch bearers in the net zero race. What exactly such a venture offers in terms of

  • Enhancing the overall awareness
  • Breaking the business-as-usual trend that has become stubborn
  • Generating new opportunities in the exciting field of net zero

11:45 – 12:30 PM

Panel Discussion-Collaboration – An Inevitable step for a Net Zero Economy

Net zero economy on a broad scale requires a basket of technologies, skilled personnel, resources, policies and the right market. However, the basket is still rendered empty in the absence of a healthy collaboration between the stakeholders. This panel

  • Why is collaboration considered a missing link?
  • How exactly does it benefit the stakeholders?
  • In what aspects have collaborations accelerated energy transition and green economy transition?

12:30 – 01:30 PM

Prayers & Lunch Break


Clean Energy

01:30 – 01:50 PM

Keynote- Decentralization, Decarbonization and digitalization of Energy System.

The power sector has traditionally been extremely centralized with several countries still following a vertical monopoly model. While they have stood the test of time, rapid penetration of renewable energies and opening up this sector to private players is bound to bring a significant change to this model by elevating the role of a consumer to a prosumer.

  • How can we effectively tackle the unpredictable, uncontrollable, and unreliable nature of the Renewable energies?
  • How exactly is the power sector poised to change in the run up to net zero?
  • How would decentralization and digitalization play up as different renewable energy sources start pushing their green electrons into the Grid?
  • What are the interplays of distributed Energy resources in this space?

01:50 – 02:10 PM

From Oil to Solar – Chronicling the journey – Technologies and Applications of Solar Energy in the region

MENA is witnessing a renewable energy transformation of unprecedented scale with several mega projects already implemented and several more in the pipeline. Solar energy has remained a vital ingredient in the above which is aided by the drop in the price of solar PVs. The last decade alone has witnessed a 90% drop in the price of PVs that it is able to stand tall and alone without the need for any subsidies.

  • How did Solar manage to perform this feat?
  • What exactly is in store for the future of solar in the MENA?
  • What would be the trends and technological innovations that may happen in the solar domain?

02:10– 02:30 PM

Tapping the potential of the Wind Power

Wind energy occupies a significant chunk of the global renewable energy mix amounting to approximately 7% next only to hydro. Wind turbines have been growing steadily in technology and size so much so that some of them can reach capacities as high as 15MW. Simultaneously their prices too have been witnessing a downward trend propped by technological advancements and increased efficiency levels.

  • What are the prospects of wind energy in this region?
  • What would be the potential role of offshore wind energy?
  • How can the region exploit the off-peak wind energy and synergize it towards green hydrogen production?
  • Is the Ecosystem around wind energy healthy? If not, why?

02:30 – 02:45 PM

Coffee break & Networking

02:45 -03:05 PM

Energy Storage Technologies

Renewable energy is arguably the current buzz word in all global climate conferences. The world is pinning all its hopes on this magic energy source for guiding it all through its emission reduction path. However how would the world sustain in the absence of sunshine and wind? Energy storage is the solution.

  • Can energy be easily stored to a grid scale?
  • What are the different energy storage technologies?
  • How do the energy storage systems interplay with the grid without causing imbalance?
  • Current trends and future possibilities in energy storages.

03:05 - 03:40 PM

Panel Discussion - “Greening the Industrial Sector

Emissions from Industries especially the heavy ones such as steel, cement and chemicals are unique. They are considered to be hard to abate due to the process emissions as well as the high temperatures required for such processes. Key questions to be discussed are

  • Key bottlenecks with emission reductions in industries?
  • What are the possible strategies to significantly reduce their emissions?
  • Role of green molecules in transforming industries climate friendly.

03:40 PM

Closing Remarks and end of day 1

08:50 – 09:00 AM

Opening Remarks Day 2

Session 3:

Green cities (smart cities & communities)

09:00 – 09:20 AM

Factoring climate Resilience and sustainability within in Urban Master plan

Traditionally Urban Master Plans have been attempting to provide a conceptual blueprint to guide future growth and development. With a projected economic growth as the basis, it provided recommendations for various aspects such as roads, transport, utilities, waste, community facilities etc. However, this has completely changed to align with climate goals and this topic shall debate on

  • Cities and sustainability
  • ‘Mainstreaming’ low-carbon, climate resilience thinking to urban development.
  • Integrated Urban Planning Processes for Resilience and Low Carbon Development
  • Embracing climate action into the master plans

09:20 – 09:40 AM

The Smart Green City –A weapon for urban decarbonization

55% of the world's population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. This is bound to put enormous pressure on cities’ infrastructure necessitating for a city that is SMART in design and function. The topic covers

  • Attributes that make a city smart
  • Role of a smart city in solving urban emissions
  • Ways by which smart cities can resolve urban inefficiencies

09:40- 10:00 AM

Delivering truly operational Net zero buildings – challenges and opportunities

A net zero building should truly stand testimony to its claims! The need is to move from net zero design to net zero operation. Following subjects are to be deliberated:

  • Is NZB a fallacy? Strategies for designing a net zero building
  • The technological challenges of a NAB in this region.
  • Policies Instruments that may support NZB

Session 4:

Green mobility

10:00 – 10-20 AM

Electric vehicles – re-visualizing the transport paradigm

Transportation is a with transportation sector being looked upon as

  • Infrastructure augmentations for EVs.
  • Policy frameworks required for driving the mass adoption of electric mobility.
  • Can EV assist in emission reductions without greening the grid.

10:20 – 10:35 AM

Coffee break & Networking

10:35 – 11:00 AM

Shipping and Aviation – Inherent challenges to decarbonization.

Shipping and Aviation pose major challenges to reducing emissions, due to their reliance on oil-based fuels. Although progress is being made on a limited scale, they appear to remain largely reliant on fossil fuels due to the large energy needed. This subject plan to tackle

  • The reasons as to why these sectors have become elusive
  • Current technological innovations and strategies that have been successfully deployed.
  • What sort of fuels would be driving this sector?

11:00 - 11:30 AM

Panel Discussion - Clearing the delusion behind Smart and Sustainable Cities

This electrifying panel is going to delve into the origin of the term “SMART” in the context of the climate action and further attempts to answer the pressing topics such as

  • Factors and considerations that make a city truly smart
  • The reasons for ambiguity in understanding a SMART city.
  • The role of technologies and innovations in building a SMART city

Session 5:

Water & Wastewater

11:30 – 11:50 AM

Industrial Water and Wastewater Treatment – A low hanging strategy to achieve SDGs

Wastewater is often an afterthought — flushed and forgotten — whether from household or commercial use. It receives a step motherly treatment in its perception and remedy. The 2017 United Nations’ Water Development Programme’s World Water Development Report (WWDR) – Wastewater: The Untapped Resource makes clear that we can no longer afford this disconnect. Apparently more than 80% of the world’s is released into the environment untreated posing a threat to mankind and aquatic eco systems. This subject is intended to

  • Understand how the wastewater sector can work together to deliver on net-zero targets
  • Overcome technical challenges to wastewater treatment including decarbonising treatment and circular economy
  • Use of intelligent technologies to treat fresh water, industrial process wastewater and sewage water helping organizations in their journey towards zero liquid discharge.
  • Water and Energy Nexus

11:50 – 12:15 PM

Integrated Water Resources management – A case study.

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), a well thought out strategy to promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources is crucial to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. This session would discuss a case study.

12:15 – 01:15 PM

Prayers & Lunch Break

Session 6

Waste Management and Clean Fuels

01:15 – 01:35 PM

Sustainable Waste Management Practices& Solutions

Sustainable waste management aims to keep materials in use for as long as possible and minimize the amount of solid waste that is disposed of in landfill or through incineration. However, the MENA region faces unsurmountable challenges in handling its waste due to several reasons. This session aims to discuss those in detail with the experts of the industry

  • The idea behind SWM and the need to refine and improve our existing waste management systems.
  • Region specific deterrents and Role of the government in implementing sustainable waste management practices in order to safeguard economic development and protect the environment.
  • Case studies of successful implementation of a well thought out SWM strategy

01:35 – 01:55 PM

Bending a Linear economy towards circularity

Circular economy is much more than closing the traditional linear flow of raw materials. It goes beyond the notion that it is MERE recycling. It changes the way in which value is created and preserved, how production is made more sustainable and which business models are used. It attempts to nudge the market towards value preservation and this session will seek to clarify these principles in detail:

  • New raw materials to value preservation.
  • Eco-efficiency to eco-effectiveness
  • Focusing on services as opposed to products

01:55 – 02:15 PM

Biofuels and E-Fuels. Are these the future Green Fuels?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) considers Bioenergy as a versatile renewable energy source that can be used in all sectors, and it can often make use of existing transmission and distribution systems and end-user equipment. Similarly, E-fuels which are produced with the help of electricity from renewable energy sources, water and CO2 from the air, is an interesting emerging subject. This session would attempt to bring clarity on these subjects by discussing

  • The history behind these fuels and their opportunities in energy transition.
  • The constraints on expanding the supply of these energies.
  • Trade-offs with sustainable development goals
  • Conflicts and possible disputes on Land use and biodiversity protection

02:15 – 03:00 PM

Panel Discussion – How to Develop an Effective Waste Management and Disposal Strategy

This panel would deep dive into the factors that need to be considered in designing an effective waste management and disposal strategy, by sharing their best practices while cautioning the pitfalls of missing key considerations.

3:00 PM

Closing Remarks and end of day 2

08:50 – 09:00 AM

Opening Remarks Day 3

Session 7:

Green Technology Trends

09:00 -09:20 AM

Green hydrogen – Puzzle and Promises

Currently, 96 % of hydrogen is produced on a fossil basis (Grey hydrogen). Green hydrogen which is produced by splitting water by electrolysis (Using Renewable energy) is touted as a potential vehicle to help global economies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and limit global temperature rises to 1.5C. This session plans to discuss the following

  • Can Green Hydrogen Production Be Economically Viable?
  • The sectors that they can effectively address and those where green hydrogen may not be effective.
  • Does Green hydrogen require specific MENA level push in terms of policies and infrastructure.

09:20 – 09:40 AM

Carbon capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)- Promises and Prejudices.

Often considered the last missing link to reach REAL Net Zero, CCUS has been witnessing several ups and downs in its journey. Notwithstanding the inhibitions, hesitations and animosities surrounding it, CCUS is still being pursued in several nations as a last resort to compensate for the emissions that cannot be abated.

  • Scope and opportunities for CCUS in MENA
  • Successful CCUS projects
  • Possibility of CCUS working in Tandem with specific sectors

09:40- 10:00 AM

Human Capital: The Hidden Gem In The Sustainability Journey

10:00 – 10:20 AM

The role of Sustainable and smart materials - A journey to Net Zero

Achieving net zero target requires a paradigm shift in the way we have been dealing with our tried and tested energy systems. Recent inventions, innovations and technologies in materials science have paved the way for several path breaking materials that are not merely smart but sustainable too. Assimilating them across sectors brings about a drastic reduction to the energy demand and hence the associated emissions.

10:20 – 10:35 AM

Coffee Break & Networking

10:35– 11:00 AM

Role of Big Data and AI in climate change adaptation and mitigation

11:00- 11:30 AM

Diversifying Block Chain for monitoring Global Environmental Projects

Blockchain is best known as the underlying technology behind digital currencies like bitcoin, but it is seen as a technology that has applications well beyond that. This session attempts to explore it further by directly addressing the following topics

  • Is Blockchain sustainable and can it be projected as a key to sustainability?
  • What makes blockchain a powerful tool for driving social impact?
  • How does it help environmental mega projects?
  • Its role in energy transition and emission reductions

11:30– 12:15 PM

Panel- Assimilating the right technology for the right application – A Technological Brainstorm

With a portfolio and a very wide basket of technologies, knowledge, and resources available at our free disposal, how exactly to assimilate them to suit our specific requirement is a conundrum. Overdose Detox is the need of the hour and the energetic panel discusses several wide-ranging topics to reinforce the need for critical analysis and introspection prior to assimilation.

12:15 – 01:15 PM

Prayers & Lunch Break

Session 8:

Clean Tech Start-Ups

01:15 – 01:35 PM

Role of Clean Tech startups in shaping a sustainable economy.

  • How does technology help sustainability?
  • The creation of cleantech startups at the local level (MENA)
  • How to Jump-Start the Clean-Tech Economy?

01:35 – 01:55 PM

Start-up Success Story - Metamorphosis from a start up to an Establishment

Session 9:


01:55 – 02:15 PM

Role of Green Investments in reaching Paris Goal – an Investor’s guide to Sustainability

To advance the global energy transformation investment in renewable energy needs to be scaled up significantly and urgently. Alongside Investment is greatly desired for climate adaptation as well ensuring that the world in general and MENA in particular in resilient to face the eventual outcome. The following topics gain relevance

  • What are ‘Paris Aligned Investment Initiative’ and ‘Net Zero Investment Framework?
  • The role pf carbon markets?
  • Are there reasons for optimism in MENA region?

02:15 – 02:30 PM

Coffee Break & Networking

02:30 – 02:50 PM

Public- Private Partnership (PPP) Law and it’s implication on Green Financing

Public-private partnership is undoubtedly one of the implementation methods of investment and delivery of public services. This has gained rapid recognition as nations fight to reduce emissions through clean energy technologies as well as supporting their socio-economic agenda.

02:50 -03:15 PM

ESG – Environmental, Social and governance – What it means to be ESG compliant

Investors are increasingly applying Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities. While this non-financial reporting helps to evaluate companies and countries on how far advanced, they are with sustainability and climate action, a big gap seems to be emerging between reporting and actual action.

  • How Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria Work?
  • Pros and Cons of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Criteria

03:15 - 03:45 PM

Panel Discussion - The barriers to Green Investments - A discussion on Policy Levers, Regulations and factors derailing green funding

While there is an obvious propensity towards sustainable investments, industrialists and entrepreneurs feel there are significant barriers to investing sustainably. Significant efforts are underway to alleviate these difficulties and make sustainable investments easier to comprehend for individual investors.

  • What do people view as the greatest barrier to green bond investment?
  • Can companies in “dirty” sectors be allowed to issue green bonds under specific conditions?
  • The role of Green Bond managers / Fund managers

03:45 PM

Thank You Speech by Chairman

05:30 - 8:00 PM

Award Show, Majlis & Gala Dinner

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