UAE: New platform for Arab youth to fight climate change

AP file
AP file

Abu Dhabi - Arab Youth Council for Climate Change will enable youth climate activists to find ways to stem the tide of wildfires, floods and other challenges.



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Thu 12 Aug 2021, 4:34 PM

The Arab Youth Centre (AYC) is offering youngsters a new platform to join the fight against climate change.

The Arab Youth Council for Climate Change (AYCCC) will enable the Arab world’s leading youth climate activists to find ways to stem the tide of wildfires, floods and other challenges. The initiative comes days after the release of the world’s largest report on climate change by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice-President of AYC, said: “The launch of AYCCC could not have come at a more critical time. The move marks a qualitative leap in the interaction of Arab youth with environmental issues, and directly supports Arab efforts to protect our environment against the devastating impact of climate change.”

The AYCCC will play a key role in supporting the UAE’s bid to host the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).

The AYC will launch the council in cooperation with several key partners, including the Arab League, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Office of the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change.

Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, noted the ministry has been taking several measures to empower youth to play an active role in tackling climate change. “I am confident that this all-inclusive Arab youth driving force will go a long way in boosting climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in the region,” he said.

The council’s strategic goals include equipping young Arabs with the skills required to face the challenges posed by climate change, representing their voices at Arab and international environmental events, supporting Arab countries in achieving their climate objectives, making strategic recommendations to decision-makers in the Arab world, proposing effective solutions in partnership with the public and private sectors, and encouraging investment in start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the field of environmental protection and combating climate change.

Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, said: “The launch of AYCCC is a strategic step that will enhance youth participation in climate action.”

The council members aged 18 to 35 will be selected for a two-year period and will cover six areas: Optimal natural resources and water management, clean and renewable energy, circular economy, agriculture and food security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality and adaptation to climate change.

Al Mazrui underlined climate change has become a daily challenge in many parts of the world. “As the interest of young people in pressing issues increases, AYC – under the guidance of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs – responded by launching the AYCCC to achieve a quantum leap in Arab youth’s engagement with environmental issues.”

United Nations Resident Coordinator for the UAE, Dr Dena Assaf, said the UN considers the UAE as a strategic partner for regional and global sustainable development issues. “We foresee that the council can have a leading role at the regional level and thus an ability to influence the new generation of Arab youth, who will be the leaders of tomorrow.”

A council member must be an Arab youth with a track record of achievements in combating climate change and environmental advocacy, motivation and drive, leadership abilities and advanced communication skills. The candidates must have experience in climate change work, or an academic degree in environmental sciences or a similar discipline, or a passion for the cause that is proven by projects they have completed. Youngsters meeting these criteria can submit applications at climate.arabyouthcenter.org.


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