The Youth Circle's meeting comes during the Year of Sustainability (2023) in the UAE and ahead of the upcoming COP28 Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Dubai Youth Council, in cooperation with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Youth Council, organised a Youth Circle under the theme ‘Towards a Sustainable Future’ to discuss environmental sustainability and the vital role of global cooperation and COP28 in facing the challenges of climate change.

The event also discussed the objectives of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which seeks to transform Dubai into one of the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities.

The Youth Circle was attended by Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, Secretary-General of The Executive Council of Dubai; Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, and Ahmad Saeed bin Meshar Al Muhairi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Legislation Committee (SLC).

The Circle also saw the participation of the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for COP28, and members of youth councils from the public and private sectors.

Al Basti said: “This Youth Circle is part of the Dubai Government’s efforts to realise the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, to invest in the nation’s youth, involve them in building a bright future and encourage them to use science, knowledge and innovation to create a truly sustainable world.”

He added: “The UAE has designated 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, reflecting the high priority it places on environmental preservation. The hosting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [COP28] at Expo City Dubai further demonstrates the nation’s commitment to forging international collaboration to advance environmental preservation. In this context, it is vital to involve the youth in developing unique solutions to address the climate crisis.”

Al Basti highlighted the UAE’s comprehensive efforts to support the global mission to combat the challenges brought by climate change. He emphasised the importance of collaborative work and urged the youth and society to adopt appropriate measures to contribute to strengthening global sustainability efforts.

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Youth Circles are governed by the Federal Youth Authority Image Credit: Supplied

Al Tayer said: “The youth represent a vital pillar of the present and a beacon of hope for the future. They will lead efforts to realise the vision and directives of the UAE’s leadership to advance sustainability. The UAE’s pioneering role in fostering a climate-conscious platform for youth in the run-up to COP28 remains unparalleled in the event’s history. We are committed to solidifying youth engagement, actively listening to their perspectives, empowering them with knowledge, cutting-edge technologies and skills, opening unique new opportunities, and supporting their initiatives in climate action.”

He added: “One of the most critical global challenges of our era, climate change has the potential to cause higher temperatures, shifts in weather patterns, sea-level rise, and a cascade of other phenomenon that can affect life on our planet. The UAE has emerged as a leader in climate change mitigation, spearheading a host of strategic initiatives and transformative projects. Aligned with the visionary guidance of our leaders, the UAE was the first country in the Middle East and North Africa to launch a comprehensive strategy to achieve Net-Zero emissions by 2050.”

Green targets

Al Tayer continued: “Dubai is resolutely focused on achieving the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050 to generate 100 per cent of the emirate’s total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. To achieve this, DEWA has launched several leading renewable projects, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world.

“Built based on the Independent Power Producer [IPP] model, it will have a capacity of 5,000 megawatts [MW] by 2030. COP28 provides an opportunity to enhance international cooperation in combating climate change, explore ways to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and develop innovative solutions to counter the multi-faceted impact of climate change. The conference will also provide a platform for governments, corporations, and civil society to exchange experiences and insights and develop synergistic action plans to achieve sustainable development goals.”

Speakers and attendees during the event Image Credit: Supplied

Al Muhairi said: “Our participation in the Youth Circle reflects our strong belief in the significance of empowering youth in climate action and environmental preservation. They represent a key driving force behind positive transformation and are vital to creating the foundation for a more sustainable future. Apart from shedding light on the crucial role played by legislative frameworks in tackling climate and environmental challenges, the event served as a platform for forging collaboration and exchanging insights and experiences among Youth Councils in the public and private sectors.”

He added: “During the Circle, the Supreme Legislation Committee Youth Council conducted a workshop on environmental degradation and the mechanisms for legislative solutions. They also highlighted the UAE’s pioneering accomplishments in this area, underscoring our commitment to heightening awareness of climate risks and legislative approaches for mitigating them. Organising the Youth Circle in conjunction with the UAE’s preparations to host COP28 underscores the Dubai Youth Council’s dedication to empowering the younger generation.

“The event provided an invaluable platform for the youth to voice their opinions and ideas and deepen their involvement in decision-making processes that will shape the future of climate protection strategies and the advancement of sustainability.”

Comprehensive programme

The Youth Circle featured a workshop presented by the SLC Youth Council on environmental damage and legislative solutions to mitigate them. It highlighted key ecological issues the world is facing due to the fast pace of economic development, climate change and global warming, as well as the UAE’s legislative initiatives to tackle them.

3DXB GROUP, the first company in the region to provide 3D printing services to the construction sector, presented a workshop on the future of the sector. The workshop highlighted the importance of expanding the use of 3D printing to advance the transformation of the construction sector in the UAE and the region. These efforts are aligned with Dubai’s vision to become a leading city in using 3D printing technologies in construction by 2030.

Hasan Sabt, President, Dubai Youth Council, said: “Under the theme ‘Towards a Sustainable Future’ the Youth Circle engaged in a comprehensive dialogue encompassing a diverse spectrum of issues related to environmental sustainability. Topics included the role of global collaboration and COP28 in addressing the formidable challenges posed by climate change, as well as the role of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 in accelerating change towards a sustainable future in ways that serve the best interests of forthcoming generations.”

He added: “The event is aligned with the directives of the leadership to mobilise the youth to get involved in climate work as well as the generation of practical climate solutions and efforts to ensure the success of COP28. We believe that cooperation and interaction among all members of society will play an effective role in achieving our ambitious vision for sustainability.”

About Youth Circles

The Youth Circles initiative, launched by Sheikh Mohammed, and governed by the Federal Youth Authority, aims to inspire youth-centric dialogue across a variety of areas as part of promoting closer engagement with the younger generation and generating innovative solutions for global challenges.

In April, The Executive Council of Dubai, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Youth, announced the formation of the sixth cycle of the Dubai Youth Council for 2023-2025. The Council’s members, who include talented young individuals from Dubai, seek to work collaboratively to support the emirate’s growth plans.

The formation of the Council is part of the leadership’s commitment to ensuring youth are represented in the decision-making process and empowered to solve challenges and create a more prosperous future.

The members of the Dubai Youth Council for 2023-2025 include Abdulla Majid Al Hathboor Al Rumaithi, Afra Sultan Al Suwaidi, Rashid Mohammed Al Zarooni, Hasan Khalid Sabt, Hind Ibrahim Mohammed Al Hammadi, Salem Saqr Majid Saqr Al Marri and Hind Saeed Mohammed Matar Al Ketbi.