On the sidelines of the first-ever Middle East and North Africa Climate Week 2022, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE), the Federal Youth Authority, and the Arab Youth Council for Climate Change (AYCCC) organised a youth circle titled “The Road to COP27 and COP28”.
The session brought together Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Dr Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment of Egypt, to promote youth empowerment and engagement in climate action and shape the future of the region.
The ministers had an insightful conversation with youth concerned about the climate and environment, including a group of AYCCC members.
Mariam Almheiri said, “Empowering young people and enhancing their participation in shaping and implementing future directions is a strategic priority for the UAE. Our wise leadership has long provided the necessary support and care to ensure youth’s contribution to creating a better sustainable future.”
She added, “Young people represent a major driver of climate action ambitions globally. They are the group most capable of making an effective impact by employing their abilities to find innovative solutions to the challenges of climate change, and contribute to raising public awareness of the need for all segments of society to participate in climate action.”
In her dialogue with the youth participating in the session, Almheiri indicated that during the past sessions of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP), MoCCAE was keen to have a wide representation of young people in the negotiation teams. She stressed that COP27 and COP28, which will be held in Egypt and the UAE, respectively, will focus on enhancing the participation of young people in all aspects of climate action and solutions.
Shamma Al Mazrouei said, “The role of youth is crucial in driving climate action and achieving sustainability, which the UAE attaches great importance to as part of its strategic priority to empower young people and enhance their participation in designing and implementing all future directions.”
She added, “To emphasise this key role, the UAE launched AYCCC to stimulate the participation of young people from the region in climate action efforts, and benefit from their energies and capabilities in providing innovative solutions and spreading community awareness.”
On reinforcing the participation of youth in COP27, Dr Fouad said, “As per the directives of the President of Egypt, we are pursuing a broad and active participation of the civil society, particularly young people, in COP27, set to run in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh next November.”
She added, “Youth participation in climate action is one of the main pillars of inclusivity. In this context, the Egyptian government launched the National Climate Dialogue to enhance the participation of all segments of society in climate action, regardless of their age group or specialisation.”
Dr Fouad said, “To ensure effective presentation and discussion of this issue, we are working closely with youth to identify the region’s needs to better determine funding priorities. As the president of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE), Egypt is currently overseeing the preparation of an Arab strategy for climate finance.”