Clinton Lauds UAE for Renewable Energy Research, Investment

“I want my country to know how advanced you are in pursuing clean renewable energy. I want the world to know that the US is partnering with you because we are betting on Abu Dhabi and the UAE”

— U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

On the second stop of a six-day trip to the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a research institute working to develop clean energy and commercially viable sustainability solutions.

In her remarks given at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology [see video below], a graduate level research institution in Masdar City focused on clean energy and sustainability, Secretary Clinton showered praise on the United Arab Emirates efforts in renewable energy and sustainability research, as well as education programs like those at the Masdar Institute and Zayed University that are positioning the UAE “to be a center for innovation and entrepreneurship for years to come.”

“What I admire about the steps that the UAE has taken is that it’s not only this Institute – which is very impressive just to be part of and to view – but it’s also working while continuing your role as a leading oil producer, investing in renewable energy sources like wind and solar, and moving toward a knowledge-based economy,” Secretary Clinton said.

The Masdar Institute is located in the emergent cleantech cluster, Masdar City, which aims to be not only a hub for clean energy research and development, but also a zero-waste city powered by renewable energy and featuring sustainable transportation technologies for its 40,000 residents and 50,000 commuters.

Masdar City and the Masdar Institute are part of Masdar (the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company), a multi-faceted company leveraging UAE’s substantial oil wealth to advance the development commercialization and deployment of renewable energy solutions and clean technologies.

“We are betting that this incredible investment represented by Masdar is going to pay off. And when it pays off, it will not only mean a better life for the people in this country and in this region, it will have ripple effects throughout the world,” Clinton said.

A different kind of diplomatic trip

Unlike most of Secretary Clinton’s trips to the region, where her focus is usually on pressing security issues, this trip was designed to showcase other kinds of diplomatic engagement the U.S. is involved with on the international stage. In particular, on every leg of this trip, Secretary Clinton will meet with representatives of civil society and the private sector.

“Typically, when the Secretary is traveling to our part of the world, she is doing a lot of business on these core relationships, on important regional security issues, on conflict resolution,” said a senior State Department official before the trip.

“But we have a lot more going on across the region, and this trip is really an opportunity to showcase that these other dimensions of U.S. engagement in the Middle East and in the Gulf, particularly the emphasis that we’ve placed on building partnerships beyond the government-to-government level, reaching out to civil society,” said the State Department Official.

In her Abu Dhabi stop, Sec. Clinton was clearly on message, calling attention to the strong partnerships between the U.S. and the UAE, particularly in terms of the collaboration between the Masdar Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The partnership that we have established between the United States and Abu Dhabi around renewable energy and climate change and sustainable development that takes advantage of human capital is one of the most important partnerships for the future that we could be pursuing,” Sec. Clinton said.

“I want my country to know how advanced you are in pursuing clean renewable energy. I want the world to know that the US is partnering with you because we are betting on Abu Dhabi and the UAE,” Secretary Clinton said.

Next week, Abu Dhabi will host the World Future Energy Summit, which is quickly emerging as one of the leading renewable energy conference and exhibitions in the world.

Article by Timothy B. Hurst, appearing courtesy ecopolitology.

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