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Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, participated in the 2022 IRENA Youth Forum, held under the theme ‘Youth-led solutions to accelerate the energy transition and achieve climate objectives’ as part of the 12th session of the IRENA Assembly.

The event aimed to highlight the contribution of young people to developing solutions that can fast-track the transition to renewable energy, and identify the main areas of the global energy transition that require youth’s support.

In her opening remarks to the audience of youth delegates, the Minister said: “It is clear by now that your involvement and leadership play a pivotal role in realizing a just and inclusive sustainable energy transition. Collectively and individually, your innovations will help develop renewables that accelerate the energy transition and put the world on a path to meet climate targets. For you, this is personal. Climate change is here. Its impacts are intensifying over time, and so it is our duty to equip you with information, skills, know-how, science, and technology, and involve you in shaping our response to climate change.”

She added: “Here in the UAE, we strongly believe in our young people’s ability to play an active role in strengthening climate action. They will be at the forefront of fulfilling our net-zero ambition. Over the course of the next three decades, we will rely on young innovators to help us achieve our Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative by developing climate-smart solutions that are instrumental to our success in making the UAE climate-neutral by 2050.

“Sadly, I notice that you are often excluded from decision-making processes in climate action, even though your ability to bring fresh perspectives and insights is of such great value when addressing global challenges. And so our promise to you is that we will have the highest levels of youth participation in delegations to the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) that the UAE will host in less than two years. Young people just like you will be sitting at the negotiation tables side by side with senior officials, making sure your voices are heard when shaping your future. We hope that by bridging the gap between the young generation and decision makers, we will deliver a youth-centered event that will drive momentum towards robust, ambitious climate action.”

The Forum featured a presentation on the outcome of the Global Youth Energy Outlook (GYEO) report by Student Energy, a youth-led international organization empowering young people to accelerate the sustainable energy transition. Moreover, promising young innovators and entrepreneurs from across the energy space showcased their renewables solutions that can help the world meet its climate goals.

Source: APCO Worldwide