• Rob Thornton: The UAE is creating a historic opportunity to achieve real progress in the field of global climate action

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation PJSC (Empower), the world's largest district cooling service provider, announced its participation in the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) by hosting the District Cooling Summit 2023 in the Green Zone, organized in association with the International District Energy Association (IDEA). The DC Summit will be held on the 5th of December from 10:00 am to 01:30 pm at the Connect Conference Centre (Home of the United Nations Hub), Expo City (COP28 Site), Dubai, and will feature recognized global industry experts who will share their insights on the implementation and optimization of district cooling.

Empower indicated that the Summit is organized to showcase the role of district cooling in achieving energy efficiency, meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, and mitigating climate change. The event will spotlight district cooling as an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly strategy for cities, communities, and campuses. It will also highlight the pioneering role of the UAE in adopting sustainable cooling solutions, as Dubai has been chosen as one of the "Champion City" for district cooling by the United Nations.

The Summit Agenda is enriched with various programs that include engaging panel discussions on various topics, most notably; ‘Energy Transition and Low-Carbon Solutions’, ‘Need for District Cooling Favorable Policies, Financing for District Cooling Infrastructure’ and others.  The Summit is aligned with the magnitude of the COP28 thematic program for December 5, 'Energy Transition', and seeks ambitious actions toward rapid decarbonization of the cooling sector.

The District Cooling Summit 2023 will feature in-depth and diverse discussions to discuss the importance of district cooling and its tangible pioneering role in confronting climate change, including reducing energy consumption and its superior ability to protect natural resources. This ultimately translates into a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It also helps to promote the dissemination of the culture and values of environmental sustainability.

International strategy

H.E. Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower, Board Member Emeritus of IDEA and Chairman of the Association of District Cooling Operators Dubai, said: "The District Cooling Summit, organized as a side event of COP28, is of great significance, and is evident in bringing key players in the global district cooling industry. Being the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement and as a leader in district cooling, the UAE can accelerate adoption in regional and emerging economies”. “Collaborative efforts are necessary to address pressing climate issues, and we are committed to supporting any efforts to transition to sustainable cooling that reduces emissions. Hosting the District Cooling Summit alongside COP28 furthers our dedication to promoting district cooling solutions locally and globally”, he added

A historic opportunity

Rob Thornton, President and CEO of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), expressed the Association's pride in continuing the fruitful collaboration with Empower, especially in actively participating in organizing the District Cooling Summit alongside the prestigious COP28. He explained that such an event is an important milestone, as it gives the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the advantage of forging a unique historical opportunity to make actual progress in the field of climate action and build a better future for all in cooperation with countries around the world. He pointed out that the IDEA looks forward to continuing its work towards an essential transformation in the district cooling sector through close cooperation and constructive partnerships during the Summit, and supporting the UAE in fulfilling its ambitious environmental agenda during and after the event.