Engaging Youth: University Students Challenged Tackle the Energy Transition in the UAE
May 2, 2023
Today in Dubai, around 100 university students came together to create a plan for the energy transition that would support the UAE’s 2050 net-zero emission goals. With the participation of executive leadership from GE, UICCA, Injaz, and the US Department of State, the students used critical thinking to come up with innovative ideas to a complex challenge.
This event serves to focus the minds of bright young people – the majority of whom were women and who hailed from the UAE and around the world – on one of the biggest issues facing not only the UAE but the whole world. The ‘Youth United for Sustainability’ event is the first action under an MoU signed on the same day between GE and UICCA to collaborate in three areas – youth and diversity, innovation and technology, policy collaboration and event partnership – to build momentum around climate action in the UAE and beyond.
The MoU was signed by H.H. Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President & CEO of UICCA, and Roger Martella, GE’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“GE is committed to inspiring and developing the next generation of diverse scientists, engineers, and leaders. We are honored to work with UICCA to equip future inventors and innovators with critical STEM skills and competencies that are required to build a lower carbon future. We hope this collaboration will support the UAE’s goal of ensuring the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) is inclusive and creates a better future for people and the planet.”
Working with advanced energy transition technologies, the students at the STEM event were tasked with solving an energy transition challenge regarding how to achieve a balanced energy mix for the UAE, while addressing the three key pillars of the energy trilemma – sustainability, reliability, and affordability.
Through this event, GE, UICCA and INJAZ UAE seek to encourage participants to pursue careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. GE has hosted a number of similar energy transition challenges in the UAE and across the region, including several held with INJAZ.
The university STEM event and the MoU reflect a key priority of the UAE, which is hosting COP28 later this year, to create an inclusive event that incorporates the new and diverse voices.
Cooperating under the first MoU pillar, GE and UICCA will engage young people and diverse communities in climate change solutions through a multi-pronged approach encompassing education, awareness-raising, and capacity building.
Regarding the second pillar to help build critical climate infrastructure, the two parties will lead joint efforts in research to develop breakthrough technologies that have the potential to be deployed at scale in the region and beyond.
Under the third pillar, GE and UICCA will collaborate with stakeholders in government, research centers, think tanks, and independent organizations to develop and advocate informed policy recommendations that support net-zero future.
Read more here about how GE is supporting customers and communities in the energy transition across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkiye region.