Abu Dhabi: The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in collaboration with the professional services organisation EY, French climate education NGO Climate Fresk, and over 1,100 students from Aldar Education set two Guinness World Records. These records were established for hosting the largest climate change awareness lesson and for having people from the highest number of nationalities attending a climate awareness lesson.
In association with Aldar Education, a leading education group in the UAE, and with the support of ADNEC, and the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi, the record-creating attempt aligns with the focus of youth participation in climate negotiations at COP28, which will have the first Youth Climate Champion with a ministerial role.
The cohort of Aldar Education climate conscious students gathered at Abu Dhabi’s ADNEC Exhibition and Conference Centre to break the record, while discovering more about climate change, and what part they can play in mitigating its effects.
The group included students from 57 different nationalities, setting the record for most nationalities attending a climate change awareness lesson.
The attempt was launched by Mariam Bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change & Environment, who said: “COP28 is set to be the most inclusive COP to date, and today we have made record-breaking history, while ensuring so many of our youth have a better understanding of the challenges, we all face.”
“Our aspiration is to transform the UAE into one of the most climate conscious nations on earth. To do that we need to ensure our youth not only understand the challenges and issues we collectively face, but how they can become more involved in our journey to climate neutrality.”
“After all, these students are not only affected by climate change, but they hold the power to shape the way our future society evolves to mitigate its impact and adapt to its effects.”
Sahar Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Aldar Education, said: “We take immense pride in our students’ active participation in establishing a new world record in climate change awareness. We believe that education plays a pivotal role in nurturing environmentally conscious citizens and empowering them to drive positive change. Today’s youth are not just the leaders of the future; they are the changemakers of today. Their proactive engagement in addressing climate change underscores the critical role they play in accelerating global sustainability efforts. This milestone inspires us to push the boundaries of sustainability further and reinforces our mission to empower the next generation with the knowledge, passion, and responsibility to make a lasting impact on our planet.”
Anthony O’Sullivan, UAE Managing Partner, EY, added: “EY is incredibly proud to be a part of building climate change awareness focused on the very real challenges of climate change. In empowering this diverse group of youth with knowledge, they will play a crucial role in being environmental stewards for a sustainable world future.”
“The advocacy of youth inclusion at COP28 UAE will set the stage for today’s youth to be heard and take action to effect climate change policies as the global leaders of tomorrow.”
Climate Fresk founder, Cédric Ringenbach, said: “Climate change is a complex problem that affects us all, but it is still very badly understood by the general population.
“We don’t have much time, but by understanding the challenge we can take our response to the next level.
“Our ambition is to create a growing network of people who can pass on this quality climate education to reach a social tipping point that will help guide us to a low carbon world.”
Climate Fresk prompts participants to take constructive action to help tackle climate change.
The event concluded with the Department of Energy in Abu Dhabi providing all participants in the record-breaking attempt with an ‘Energy Kit’, which includes tips, advice and behaviour-nudging interventions to enable the students to take more sustainable actions.