Masdar News

Third webinar in WiSER Wisdom Series explores role of science diplomacy in advancing climate action

21 Dec 2020

Science diplomacy is fundamental for furthering international cooperation, mitigating climate change and fulfilling the gender equality agenda, attendees of the third WiSER Wisdom Series heard.

Hosted by the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform in collaboration with the Embassy of Canada to the UAE, the session saw HE Dr Nawal Al Hosany, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and HE Patricia Fuller, Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change, discuss how nations can successfully combat the growing threat of climate change through science diplomacy, touching on the crucial role of women in leading these efforts.

“Some people may think that there is a contradiction between science and diplomacy but the way we see it, the empirical evidence offered by science is the way forward. Science gives us evidence on the current and future situations and offers guidance to solving these challenges,” said HE Dr Al Hosany. “The UAE has shown clear leadership, guiding many other nations, in particular through our response to the COVID pandemic,” she continued.

Her Excellency also reiterated the UAE’s role in bringing together policymakers and facilitating discussions that are furthering the sustainability agenda and working to reverse climate change, a view HE Fuller agreed with. 

“Cooperating internationally with science is not only a way to address challenges but a way to develop relationships with countries that build international peace and security,” said HE Fuller.

Gender equality as it relates to climate action and diplomacy was also discussed, with HE Dr Al Hosany highlighting the UAE’s progressive gender equality efforts: “Achieving the right gender balance has been a core pillar for the UAE since the founding of our nation. We are committed to increasing the number of women working in science diplomacy to level the playing field for both genders, but also to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which can be advanced by involving women.” 

The UAE has recently been ranked as the most gender balanced country in the Middle East region and number 18 globally in the United Nations Development Program 2020 Gender Balance Index.
Canada is also at the forefront of gender equality efforts as HE Fuller highlighted: “The government of Canada has placed gender equality at the top of the agenda, ensuring equality across the board. In terms of our support for women globally, we have made gender equality a central part of our Feminist International Assistance Policy, so all of our international assistance efforts are driven by the belief that they work better when they advance the gender equality agenda.”

WiSER is supported by Principal Partner Abu Dhabi Global Market. 

Watch the full session here.