The 24th World Energy Congress 2019 in Abu Dhabi has created some firsts in the history of the 95 years World Energy Council, the largest network of energy leaders dedicated to delivering a sustainable energy system for the greatest benefit of all.
Though the decision of the Council to select Abu Dhabi as the venue for the 24th World Energy Congress itself was historic for being first in the Middle East, the most pleasant surprise came during the concluding ceremony on the last day of the Congress – appointment of the first-ever woman Secretary-General for the Council. The ICC Plenary Hall of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) echoed with the thunderous applause of the global energy leaders as the outgoing Chair of the Council – Mr. Younghoon David Kim announced the appointment of Dr. Angela Wilkinson as the Secretary-General of the Council.
Angela will be the 7th Secretary-General of the Council since 1924 and the first woman to hold the position. The Secretary-General is the executive head of the World Energy Council and also holds the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Mr. Kim also announced the appointment of Jean-Marie Dauger as his successor. The outgoing chair also appreciated the dedication and innovations of Dr. Angela Wilkinson during her previous assignment with the Council. The outgoing Secretary-General Christoph Frei was appointed in 2009 and worked for a decade.
Before reaching the top administrative position of the council, Angela was holding the prestigious position of Senior Director of Scenarios and Business Insights with the Council. She has been the brain behind two prestigious reports of the Council released during the 24th World Energy Congress 2019 – World Energy Scenarios 2019 and World Energy Trilemma Index 2019. She holds a PhD in physics and experience of providing strategic advisory of services to leaders in government, business, and civil society for over 25 years including the large, international, and multi-stakeholder initiatives. Her work spans over 40 countries, 100 futures projects, three books and many articles on using futures methods to face global and complex challenges.
"Angela will be the first woman to manage our organization which is now approaching 100 years of age. We look forward to you Angela as we continue to promote sustainable energy for all," said Mr. Jean Marie Dauger in his first speech as Chair of the Council. Jean-Marie Dauger has served several positions within Gaz de France, including Chief Operating Officer, and since the merger of Gaz de France and Suez, with GDF SUEZ, then ENGIE, as Former Senior Executive Vice President in charge of the Global Gas & LNG Business Line, one of the five business lines of the ENGIE Group.
Mr Dauger is a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Jean-Marie Dauger is also Chair of the World Energy Council's Studies Committee.
Celebrating 4 days of Innovation and Collaboration
The closing plenary of the 24th World Energy Congress celebrated the event's achievements and successes as well as reflecting on the innovative ideas and bold solutions that were formulated over four impactful days.
Dr. Christoph Frei, Secretary General & Chief Executive Officer, World Energy Council, moderated the final plenary of the week that celebrated the achievements of the first World Energy Congress to be held in the Middle East. Speaking in front of an assembled audience, Mr. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, said the previous days were an important step towards helping to reshape the future of the energy industry. He said: "It has been an excellent World Energy Congress and the overall result of the discussions between ministers of the governments have led to an excellent outcome. We have agreed that all of us are committed to reduce the emissions that we produce and make sure that we can all work together to help serve the whole industry well,".
Mr. Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy, Russian Federation said, "I would like to invite all those present here to attend the Russian Energy Week as the perfect opportunity to follow up on the achievements of the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi. Major trends in the industry including the need to modernise production, capacity and grid management, the need for huge capital investment in the sector, for AI, for improved efficiency, the renewables and hydrocarbon mix and much more have all been discussed at great length by leading experts right here in Abu Dhabi at the 24th World Energy Congress,".
The 25th World Energy Congress 2022 in St Petersburg, Russia
Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, flew into Abu Dhabi and personally invited the thousands of global experts to the next staging of the World Energy Congress in 2022.
The audience witnessed a presentation that highlights the vision of Russia and the energy sectors and what to expect three years from now in St Petersburg. Mr Kozak said Abu Dhabi has set the benchmark for success, but Russia will strive to exceed expectations at the 25th World Energy Congress while building on the solid foundations that have been laid by the UAE capital over the last four days.
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(Siddheshwar Shukla and Neeraj Singh Mehta, Team Devdiscourse from Abu Dhabi)