Global industry leaders will be in Abu Dhabi from May 23 to 25 for the Electric Vehicle Innovation Summit (EVIS) where they will discuss ways on how to make cities more sustainable by lowering their transport emissions and building the right infrastructure and policy framework for a sustainable and just mobility sector.

Some countries across the region have already taken some good steps towards this transition by investing in and developing mega renewable energy projects, said the event organisers.

Saudi Arabia and UAE have been in the forefront of these efforts not just regionally, but also globally. These two countries are home of the largest renewable energy projects worldwide, they added.

EVIS Director Engineer Naser Al Bahri said: "Middle East region is known for its hydrocarbon exports. As the world transitions from fossil fuel sources to clean and renewable energy sources, oil-dependent economies find themselves in a crunch and in urgent need to take urgent action to diversify their economy and mitigate the risk of climate change."

The transport sector is one of the most polluting and energy consuming sectors globally and across the Middle East nations with more than 25% of their carbon emissions and more than 27% of their energy consumption.

Accordingly, the need to decarbonize and electrify the transport sector in the region is one of the most important milestones for governments to prioritise, especially as we already have alternative modes that are more environmentally friendly and economical, observed Al Bahri.

The Middle East nations have already taken several steps to decarbonise their economies through investing in renewable energy, low-carbon hydrogen and clean transportation and also by providing policy incentives for the end-users and the investors to venture into low carbon industries.

There are many different ways to reduce the emissions from the transport sector and electrification is just one of them. Other effective ways include the introduction of fuel efficiency standards, upgrading the public transport infrastructure, supporting and incentivizing shared and active mobility modes and more, he added.

Masdar, a global leader in renewable energy, is applying these principles of sustainable transport and infrastructure development in its projects around the world.

In the United Kingdom, Masdar was the first commercial investor in the UK government’s £400 million Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF), which aims to more than double the country’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure with 3,000 new rapid charge points by 2024 as part of its ambition to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

In Abu Dhabi, Masdar City, one of the world’s most sustainable urban communities, bases its transportation strategy on a hierarchy that puts pedestrians first and emphasizes sustainable, public transportation, which is supplemented with clean point-to-point services, including personal vehicles.

"At Masdar City, we actively demonstrate how pioneering transport offerings can provide real-world solutions to decarbonising the sector. As part of our transportation strategy, since its inception, Masdar City has introduced several technologies that support its mission, both as commercial and pilot projects," remarked Stephen Severance, the Head of Program Management and Marketing at Masdar City.

"These include the introduction of Mena's first autonomous shuttle service, Navya; the first electric Eco-Bus in the region; and the world’s first Personal Rapid Transport System (PRT), which has carried more than two million passengers to date," stated Severance.

"An event like EVIS will provide an ideal platform to showcase solutions to make the transportation sector more energy-efficient and deliver a more sustainable future," he added.

Al Bahri said the three-day event will be featuring expert speakers from across the world to discuss on how cities can build the right framework for a sustainable and just transport sector and feature some of the world leading cities and case studies.

"By having the right policies, infrastructure in place along with the conscious consumer, the Middle East can lead the way in the transition of the transport sector to a more sustainable, just and clean sector," he added.

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