Young peo­ple to­day ac­tively cham­pion ef­forts to en­act change that will make the world a bet­ter place, says Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zey­oudi, UAE Min­is­ter of Cli­mate Change and En­vi­ron­ment

Utilities Middle East - - COMMENTARY -

While peo­ple of all ages share the goal of main­tain­ing a sus­tain­able and healthy planet, it is the youngest mem­bers of the global pop­u­la­tion who can have the longest in­flu­ence and make the big­gest con­tri­bu­tion to sus­tain­able liv­ing.

To­day youth in the UAE have a unique op­por­tu­nity and re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­tinue the en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion ef­forts of their fore­fa­thers in safe­guard­ing the UAE’s nat­u­ral her­itage. They are in prime po­si­tion to make the most sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to sus­tain­able liv­ing and en­sure the big­gest im­pact, as they find it easy to com­mu­ni­cate and share their ideas while also be­ing more re­cep­tive to change and adopt­ing new per­spec­tives.

As crit­i­cal thinkers, change-mak­ers and com­mu­ni­ca­tors, youth play a piv­otal role in achiev­ing the 17 sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals (SDGs) and 169 tar­gets set by the United Na­tions in the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment. Young peo­ple to­day ac­tively cham­pion ef­forts to en­act change that will make the world a bet­ter place.

In the UAE, the Min­istry of Cli­mate Change and En­vi­ron­ment (MOCCAE) seeks to pro­mote this trend through en­cour­ag­ing youth to take up green en­trepreneur­ship. In 2017, the Min­istry launched the Cli­mate In­no­va­tions Ex­change (CLIX) that con­nects young en­trepreneurs with in­vestors to help im­ple­ment sus­tain­able cli­mate change so­lu­tions. Po­ten­tially, CLIX could di­rect fund­ing worth mil­lions of dol­lars to green projects.

Al­though the UAE has some of the largest oil re­serves world­wide, its lead­er­ship places great im­por­tance on set­ting plans and strate­gies to diver­sify the coun­try’s en­ergy sources and in­creas­ing the use of re­new­able and clean en­ergy.

The UAE has launched sev­eral re­mark­able ini­tia­tives at a fed­eral and lo­cal level, in­clud­ing the UAE Vi­sion 2021, the UAE Cen­ten­nial 2071, and the UAE En­ergy Strat­egy 2050 that has set the am­bi­tious tar­get of in­creas­ing the con­tri­bu­tion of clean en­ergy to the coun­try’s en­ergy mix to 50 per­cent by 2050.

In the com­ing years, the UAE aims to re­in­force its sta­tus as an en­vi­ron­men­tal pi­o­neer and be­come a leader in en­dors­ing green ini­tia­tives. The launch of the World Green Econ­omy Sum­mit (WGES) in 2014 un­der the pa­tron­age of His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Vice Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was an­other step to­wards re­al­iz­ing this goal.

WGES fa­cil­i­tates the ex­change of knowl­edge and high­lights new tech­nolo­gies that can drive the growth of the green econ­omy, in­clud­ing im­prove­ments in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, en­ergy con­ser­va­tion and waste re­duc­tion. The fifth edi­tion of the event will run from Oc­to­ber 24 to 25, 2018, in Dubai un­der the theme ‘Driv­ing In­no­va­tion, Lead­ing Change’.

With com­pre­hen­sive strate­gies, tar­geted ini­tia­tives, and joint projects be­tween the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor, the UAE is well on track to achiev­ing its vi­sion for a more sus­tain­able fu­ture.

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