17 June, 2015

Empower at Vienna Energy Forum 2015 to support UNEP's global District Energy in Cities Initiative

Empower CEO Ahmad Bin Shafar

Empower CEO Ahmad Bin Shafar

Delegation headed By H.E Ahmad Bin Shafar to attend UNEP Annual Partner Meeting in Vienna on June 18 to showcase district cooling expertise to emerging cities

Dubai's district cooling development model has been adopted by developing cities around the world under UNEP platform

17 June 2015
Dubai - What Dubai endorsed as an efficient and pro-environment method of cooling more than a decade ago is now being considered for implementation as pilot project by many developing cities globally, according to HE Ahmad Bin Shafar, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (EMPOWER), the world's largest district cooling services provider. Bin Shafar led a delegation to Vienna, Austria, to participate in the Vienna Energy Forum 2015 and attend the Annual Partner Meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) global District Energy in Cities initiative, scheduled to be held today (18 June 2015).

Empower teamed up with the United Nations last September in the UN Climate Summit held in New York, in a special meeting under the theme - Sustainable Energy for All: Global Energy Efficiency Platform, which addressed the challenges of climate change . At that time, Empower has signed a joint statement on the importance of promoting district cooling systems to accelerate its adoption, which was developed by UNEP.

This Initiative focuses on three work areas in cities and countries, including technical, capacity building and training, communication and outreach. Empower, as a successful model in district cooling efficiency, aims to initiate or guide similar ventures in developing cities in the field of District Cooling. The initiative is facilitated by UNEP aiming at better district cooling efficiency in developing cities across the globe, and with support of international funding agencies and banks.

"In an effort to offer our expertise to cities started considering district cooling, we have joined the global District Energy in Cities initiative launched by the Unites Nations Environment Programme," says Bin Shafar. "We are attending this year's Annual Partner Meeting to discuss a work plan that sets out a roadmap of actions for the initiative."

The activities of the Initiative at the global level will entail developing methodologies and tools as well as exchanging the knowledge and competencies. On the other hand, locally the initiative will deliver projects and will enable frameworks for district energy in selected cities and countries.

According to the UNEP, one of the low-cost and most efficient solutions in reducing emissions and primary energy demand is the development of modern, climate-resilient and low-carbon, district cooling in emerging cities.

"A new report from UNEP has surveyed low-carbon developed cities worldwide to identify the key factors underlying their success in scaling up energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as in attaining targets for zero or low greenhouse gas emissions. District Energy Systems (DES) has emerged as a best practice approach for providing a local, affordable and sustainable energy supply, improve energy efficiency and support energy access efforts," said Bin Shafar.

"Our meeting with the initiative team will allow us to discuss and adopt the work plan for a period extending to December 2016, in order to set the key strategic focus and priority areas of the initiative over the next two years," added Bin Shafar.

The initiative engages partners in working with expert and practitioner groups and building on lessons learned and best practices, developing and delivering appropriate training and capacity building activities to cities and countries, and bringing to the attention of decision-makers the importance of modern district cooling systems and the need to make political commitments. Moreover, global and regional forums and events will be held to convene all major stakeholders for a dialogue on district cooling systems.

Empower currently operates more than 1 Million RT, providing environmentally responsible district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments,such as Jumeirah Group, Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai World Trade Centre Residences and Dubai Design District, among others.


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© Press Release 2015