Dubai-UAE: 30 March, 2022 – 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) organized a youth circle entitled ‘The Road to COP27 and COP28’. With the aim of promoting youth empowerment and engagement in climate action and shaping the future of the region, the session brought together Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and Her Excellency Dr Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment of Egypt.
The ministers had an insightful conversation with youth concerned about the climate and environment, including a group of AYCCC members.
Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed 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, as 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, in addition to their contribution to raising public awareness of the need for all segments of society to participate in climate action. Therefore, the UAE is keen to enhance their representation in all activities and events related to environmental and climate action.”
In her dialogue with the youth participating in the session, Her Excellency 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 enabling them to provide innovative climate solutions.
She pointed out that MOCCAE, in cooperation with the concerned authorities, will prepare guidelines for young people that outline the effective roles they can play in climate action.
For her part, Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui said: “The role of youth is crucial in driving climate action and achieving sustainability, which is something that 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 emphasize this key role, the UAE launched AYCCC with the aim of stimulating the participation of young people from the region in climate action efforts, and to benefit from their energies and capabilities in providing innovative solutions and spreading community awareness.”
And she continued: “Through ongoing cooperation, we are currently working to ensure the readiness of young people and communicate their visions and proposals to decision-makers at COP27, hosted by Egypt in November, and COP28, hosted by the UAE in 2023.”
On reinforcing the participation of youth in COP27, Her Excellency 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.”
The Minister stressed that COP27 will focus on transforming climate pledges into large-scale and accelerated actions on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
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 specialization. COP27 will create a large space for youth participation with a focus on green entrepreneurship and sustainable small and medium-sized enterprises in combating climate change.”
Her Excellency Dr Fouad noted that financing climate action globally and in the Arab region in particular will be one of the main issues in focus at COP27. She said: “To ensure effective presentation and discussion of this issue, we are working closely with youth to identify the needs of the region 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.