H.E. Awaidha Al Marar, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Energy: “Young people will lead the energy sector towards greater sustainability and efficiency by embracing eco-conscious mindset and new-age technology.”
Empowerment of youth is of paramount importance to the UAE’s growth, according to Abu Dhabi Department of Energy’s Chairman H.E. Awaidha Al Marar, who today gave the opening keynote for the Youth 4 Sustainability Forum at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2020.
This year’s ADSW focuses on youth as the agents of change who will lead the world towards a sustainable future.
Making up 42% of the country’s population, young women and men in the UAE have the power of numbers to make the change possible. What they need is the right skillset and an ecological ethos to lead the country towards a sustainable future.
“The youth are poised to lead the energy sector – and society as a whole – towards greater sustainability and efficiency. With our sights set on the sustainability objectives outlined in our vision and in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, the DoE strives to come up with programmes to engage the youth and harness their energy to achieve the emirate’s sustainability goals,” Al Marar said.
He pointed out that young people have the highest stakes in the future because they are the leaders of tomorrow. The youth today are open to embracing technology which makes them the ideal candidates for taking charge of the future. According to the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Survey, 78.6% of young people think technology is ‘creating’ as opposed to ‘destroying’ jobs.
H.E. Al Marar said the youth’s affinity towards technology was a positive indicator for growth. He further added that the youth are far more aware and concerned with sustainability and climate issues. In fact, nearly half (48.8%) say climate change and the destruction of nature are the most serious global issues.
The UAE is investing wisely in its youth to make the most of the demographic dividend in the next few decades. In 2016, 22-year-old Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui was appointed as Minister of State for Youth. She became the youngest minister in the world to serve in a government. Her appointment was followed by several youth-driven policy frameworks, indicating the UAE’s intent for encouraging young talent.
Furthermore, the UAE government is encouraging its youth to bring fresh new ideas to the table by involving them in making decisions on strategic issues. The Youth Councils in government departments provide a platform for young women and men to express themselves and impact decisions. The country’s youth are not only bridging the government and private sectors but also reaching out to the community.
H.E. Marar concluded by saying that young people have the potential to lead the energy sector and ensure its sustainability. The onus is on the Governments and decision-makers to establish an ecosystem where the youth have a space to contribute and a dedicated role to play.