“Youth empowerment is paramount to the UAE’s growth”, said Abu Dhabi’s Department of Energy (DoE) chairman HE Awaidha Al Marar on Monday.
Speaking at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2020, Al Marar highlighted the importance of harnessing youths to achieve the emirate’s sustainability goals.
“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, the DoE strives to come up with programmes to engage the youth and harness their energy to achieve the emirate’s sustainability goals,” he said.
This year’s ADSW focuses on youth as the agents of change who will lead the world towards a sustainable future. Currently, youths make up 42 percent of Abu Dhabi’s population.
Al Marar said 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,” he said.
Al Marar added that the country’s youth are far more aware and concerned with sustainability and climate issues.
The UAE is investing 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.
The UAE government is also 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.
Marar concluded by saying that young people have the potential to lead the energy sector and ensure its sustainability.
“The onus is on governments and decision-makers to establish an ecosystem where the youth have a space to contribute and a dedicated role to play,” he said.
The Abu Dhabi DoE was established in February 2018 to drive the future direction and provisioning of the emirate’s energy sector in all its forms and to create an efficient system that enables economic growth, energy security and sustainable development.
DoE’s mandate includes enacting policies and regulations and developing strategies to ensure an effective energy transition that underpins Abu Dhabi’s sustainable growth, all while protecting consumers and the environment.