A picture taken on Jan 22, 2021 shows Dubai skyline including the world's tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa. (GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)

A partnership between Chinese and United Arab Emirates energy companies and the launch of a new green business initiative fronted by Britain's Prince Charles were among the highlights of this year's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which ran all last week.

The UAE has invested heavily in renewable power in recent years, which Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said is a necessary preparation

Virtual delegations of business leaders and ministers representing 175 nations participated in the annual renewable energy trade fair, which was held online this year because of the pandemic.

During the event, major civil engineering company China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company, or CGGC, signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company Masdar to explore future partnerships on green power projects around the globe.

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The UAE has invested heavily in renewable power in recent years, which Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said is necessary preparation for the day the "last barrel of oil" is shipped abroad from the fossil-fuel dependent region.

State-financed Masdar is at the core of this strategy, and the latest agreement with CGGC plays into the company's long-held ambition to break into the Chinese market.

"CGGC is one of the world's leading international engineering companies, and is active in many sectors that Masdar is interested in, including renewable energy and urban communities, both of which are key to sustainable development," said Masdar chief executive Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi.

Potential areas

"We look forward to seeing if there are global potential areas of collaboration and concrete projects that could be mutually beneficial for our companies to engage in."

CGGC chairman Lyu Zexiang said he hopes to establish Masdar as a "key partner" in the establishment of "clean, sustainable landmark projects, contributing to global green development".

During the trade fair, Prince Charles promoted the recently launched Terra Carta, a new business charter aimed at providing environmentally-focused recovery strategies for businesses impacted by the pandemic.

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"Reflecting on all that we have endured together, it is clearer than ever that human health and planetary health are fundamentally interconnected," he said.

"We must entice regional and global cooperation around green and renewable energy production. The energy transition is a global one and we must all move together. For smaller states, economies of scale can only be achieved through regional cooperation."

He described the Terra Carta as "the basis of a recovery plan; one that will harness the innovation and resources of the private sector".