Top conference on water, energy and climate opens

A top water, energy and climate conference kicking off in Bahrain today is the first of a series of sustainability-focused regional events taking place this autumn.

The Global Water Energy and Climate Change Congress (GWECCC) will be inaugurated at the Gulf Convention Centre this morning, under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

Next month, the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Climate Week will take place in Saudi Arabia, culminating in the UN United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the UAE from November 30 to December 12.

“The GWECCC is an annual government initiative by Bahrain for the Arabian Gulf exclusively focused on addressing water and energy security and sustainability,” a spokesperson for the event added in a statement.

“The prime focus of the initiative will be to discuss challenges in the region and enable opportunities through policies, sustainable financing, global technology and best practices for sustaining and securing the water and energy value chain.”

The conference will take place over three days at the venue located adjacent to the Gulf Hotel in Adliya and is being chaired by Oil and Environment Minister and Bahrain’s UN special envoy for climate affairs Dr Mohammed Bin Daina.

Dr Bin Daina will deliver the welcome address this morning, followed by a speech by the United Nations Environment Programme deputy regional director Abdul Haddad.

More than 2,000 delegates from around 30 countries are expected to attend the congress which will feature more than 200 speakers taking part in different plenary sessions.

The opening panel, titled ‘Water – Energy – Climate Nexus|Time for Action’ will focus on balancing the region’s abundance of hydrocarbons and renewables, with its scarcity of ground water resources and will hear from the likes of International Water Association executive director Dr Kala Vairavamoorthy and UAE climate change and environment under-secretary Mohamed Saeed Al Nuaimi.

“This session will discuss actions taken by GCC governments to align their strategies on carbon neutral trajectories and achieve sustainable development – topics of discussion will span strategies and policies for reducing emissions, managing and securing water resources while meeting the needs of the population,” organisers added in a statement.

In the afternoon, leaders will convene for a panel diving into the financial side of water and energy sustainability, with National Bank of Bahrain chief executive Usman Ahmed and Saudi Water Partnership Company chief executive Khaled Al Qureshi expected to shed light on the strategies and trends facilitating a sustainable future.

Tomorrow’s sessions will further explore available technologies for wastewater treatment, energy conservation and water produced during the oil production process.

The final day of the congress will be on Thursday and will include the Youth Forum – a dynamic platform aimed at empowering young individuals in the GCC to address global water scarcity, energy conservation and climate change challenges.

The sessions will feature speakers from a number of organisations including the Supreme Council for Environment, World Energy Council, Bapco and Aramco.




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