More than 5,000 school and university students from across the UAE experienced how world leaders are addressing the challenges of energy, climate change, sustainable development and water conservation during this year’s World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and International Water Summit (IWS) in Abu Dhabi. The students, representing more than 800 schools and universities from all seven emirates, were hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company.
The students were welcomed by dozens of exhibitors throughout the event, including Total, Shell and Change Initiative. Japanese Pavillion also participated and showcased Japan’s renewable energy initiatives through organisations such as the Japanese Business Alliance for Smart Energy Worldwide, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and the Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East.
“Developing our next generation of energy leaders through education and underscoring the importance of clean energy, water conservation and sustainable development is a key focus at Masdar,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.
“The UAE’s leadership in renewable energy and sustainable development can only be maintained through initiatives that capture the imagination of our young people,” added Al Jaber. “We remain dedicated to maturing human capital and encouraging our future leaders to engage and pursue careers in emerging sectors.”
On the Masdar stand, the young people were treated to briefing sessions, demonstrations and interactive presentations throughout. The sessions were full of informative dialogue and stimulated the minds of the students.
Safwan Ali, a 13-year-old student from Our Own English School in Abu Dhabi, said attending the two events increased his understanding of the energy challenges of the future, and encouraged him to be a more responsible user of environmental resources.
“The Masdar presentation was very inspiring,” said Safwan Ali. “Too much electricity is being wasted in the big cities. For future generations, it’s a problem. My future and others’ futures are being threatened because of pollution. I admire Masdar’s commitment to reversing all of this and their hard work to develop electricity from solar panels, wind turbines and many other things. It’s saving fossil fuels and making a big difference to younger generations. I will be sure to make my contribution.”
Aida Al Busaidy, responsible for Masdar’s youth outreach programmes, said: “Our youth engagement gets bigger every year and we are delighted that so many of our young people have been exposed to the critical, global sustainability challenges Masdar and its partners strive to address.
“Not only do the students gain enormous insight through their interaction with the business community, but the industry itself benefits equally,” added Al Busaidy. “Both are vital if the future of clean technology is to remain bright.”
This year, WFES and IWS formed part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2013 – a five-day initiative that will also welcome the third session of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s General Assembly, the Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony and the International Renewable Energy Conference.