The Embassy of Italy in Abu Dhabi held a seminar titled "Italy and the UAE towards COP28 - private sector engagement for energy transition" aimed at identifying new opportunities for collaboration and solutions to address the energy transition.
The seminar was in line with the Declaration on enhanced cooperation towards COP28 between Italy and the UAE, signed by Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-designate of COP28.
Italian companies, renowned for technological solutions for clean energy, are willing to contribute to the energy transition and make COP28 a successful event.
Antonio Tajani, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, commented on the seminar, stating that the event organised by the embassy in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Il Sole 24 Ore, is an immediate operational follow-up to the declaration. Tajani further emphasised that the green transition offers great opportunities, and Italian companies in the sector are ready to collaborate with those from the UAE to develop mutually beneficial projects.
The seminar commenced with Lorenzo Fanara, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, and Mirja Cartia d'Asero, CEO Gruppo Sole 24 Ore, delivering welcoming remarks. Italy and the UAE already have a strong energy partnership, but there are significant growth margins that both countries intend to pursue.
Ambassador Fanara emphasised the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders, including the private sector and public opinion, stating that "we need the contribution of all" to successfully address the energy transition challenge. He also commended the UAE's commitment to inclusivity in COP28, involving the youth and private sector.
During the first panel discussion titled "The Road to COP28: building partnerships for climate action," experts such as Umberto Tavolato, Director of International Relations at the Med-Or Foundation, and Niccolò Heilpern, Region Vice President of MAIRE, discussed the strategic partnership between the two countries. Heilpern shared how Italian know-how is being exported to help the UAE develop the circular economy on an industrial scale, showcasing the polymer upcycling plant in the Kezad industrial area in Abu Dhabi as an example.
He also mentioned other initiatives, such as the construction of a low-carbon impact ammonia plant in the industrial district of TA'ZIZ.
During the second panel discussion moderated by Laura La Posta, Managing Editor Head of Special Projects at Il Sole 24 Ore, Zouheir Sabra, Group Chief Financial & Investment Officer at BEEAH; Daniela Gentile, CEO of Ansaldo Green Tech; Alessandro Motta, Head of Public Affairs at SAIPEM; Giovanni Chianetta, CEO of the Global Solar Council; Andrea Lovato, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Hydrogen at ACWA Power; and Pietro Calugi, General Manager at Intesa Sanpaolo Abu Dhabi branch, IMI Corporate & Investment Banking Division, discussed the business case for the green transition between Italy and the UAE.
Sabra emphasised the importance of recycling in achieving a zero-waste future and contributing to the circular economy.
Gentile explained the need for energy storage systems to make renewable energy usable and discussed Ansaldo Green Tech's various energy storage technologies and electrolysis technologies for hydrogen production.
Motta discussed Saipem's collaborations with UAE companies in various large-scale engineering and construction projects and proposed solutions using innovative technologies to reduce the carbon footprint in the construction and operation phases of the plants.
Over 3000 people had the opportunity to follow the event's live streaming at https://24oreventi.ilsole24ore.com/abu-dhabi-festival-economia-2023/.
The seminar aimed to create networking spaces between Italian and local companies and build synergies in response to present and future challenges.