UAE and other officials after the signing of the agreement at Youth Pavilion at Expo Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Arab Youth Council on Climate Change, one of the initiatives of the Arab Youth Centre, and HSBC bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a ‘Sustainability Education’ initiative.

The initiative aims to train higher education students in the Arab world in the sectors of sustainability and innovative climate solutions. This educational initiative will be carried out in cooperation with the Arab Youth Council on Climate Change’s official knowledge partner, the Posterity Institute.

Under this partnership, the two parties will cooperate to implement an interactive curriculum project available to all students of universities, colleges and higher institutes in the Arab world to have direct access, based on the open-source principle, to various educational, awareness and training materials on the causes of climate change, and mechanisms for creating qualitative solutions to confront it and advance sustainability goals set by the United Nations and the Paris Agreement signed in 2015 and the COP26 climate summit in the United Kingdom in 2021.

The partnership was announced at Youth Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in the presence of Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice President of the Arab Youth Centre, and signed by Saeed Al Nazari, Director-General of the Federal Youth Authority and the Chief Strategy Officer at the Arab Youth Centre, and Abdul Fattah Sharaf, CEO, HSBC UAE and Head of International, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited.

Preparing Arab youth leaders

Shamma Al Mazrui said that the Arab region’s hosting of two successive global climate summits, COP27 in Egypt this year and COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in 2023, requires the preparation of qualified young Arab leaders in various fields of climate action.

She added: “In October 2021, the UAE announced its national strategy to achieve Net Zero by 2050, same as many countries in the region. Therefore, cooperation with regional and international institutions and the conclusion of strategic partnerships with those keen to support the work of young people in the public and private sectors through effective and purposeful initiatives that accelerate climate action and involve young people in developing its mechanisms and solutions is the best path to achieve these ambitious goals to protect the future of the planet, its environment and its biodiversity.”

Skills to combat climate change

Al Nazari said: “The Sustainability Education project – which will build Arab youth capacities in climate action through a cooperation agreement with HSBC and the Posterity Institute – constitutes a model for environmental education and training programmes. The programme will provide Arab youth talents in universities, from various academic majors, with the skills required to promote climate action, so the Arab region can become an active supporter of global efforts.”

Sharaf said: “HSBC has a longstanding commitment to support the communities in which we operate. Developing future skills is an important element of our community outreach and our partnership with the Arab Youth Council on this new sustainability education initiative for undergraduates in the region reflects that.”

Dr Yasar Jarrar, Managing Director of the Posterity Institute, said: “Sustainability education is key to address climate change and unemployment threats in our region. This kind of partnership with HSBC is a great example of how the private sector can positively impact the global sustainability agenda.”