ABU DHABI – February 25, 2016 – The Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Yvo de Boer, today visited Abu Dhabi’s Zayed University for a town hall-style meeting with students.
A total of 50 students listened to Mr. de Boer give a brief presentation on green growth and the importance of the UAE’s decision to move away from traditional, hydrocarbon-based economic growth models and toward a more sustainable vision.
Mr. de Boer’s visit to the university came as part of the Green Growth Youth Program, an initiative sponsored by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and GGGI to introduce young people in the Emirates to the concept of a green economy and support the country’s national green agenda.
“We are pleased to see young people involved in this process and will continue to work closely with the UAE government to support the implementation of their green agenda,” said Mr. de Boer.
In the face of global climate change, resource scarcity and environmental degradation the government of the UAE has begun the transition to an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development model by adopting a national green growth strategy that emphasizes opportunities for a prosperous, inclusive and climate-resilient future.
Innovation in science and technology and investment in young talent are two of the strategy’s main components.
“Young people can make a difference in society with their energy, enthusiasm and ideas,” said His Excellency Dr. Thani Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment. “The drive to innovate should be harnessed and supported in the UAE to transition to a clean energy, sustainable and inclusive future.”
In their Q&A session with Mr. de Boer, the students put forth many questions on how the UAE will tackle challenges related to water scarcity, energy security and socially inclusive economic development.
The session was moderated by Zayed University students, three of whom are currently completing an internship with GGGI in Abu Dhabi.
The internships are a part of the Green Growth Youth Program and are designed to give young people real world experience and exposure to international level economic and environmental issues.
The Program will also deliver a number of green growth-themed workshops throughout the year to introduce students to various ways the UAE can transition to a more sustainable growth model and inspire more research in the field.
The UAE is a founding member of GGGI and is collaborating with the organization to deliver green growth in the country and across the Middle-East North Africa region.
Based in Seoul, GGGI is an intergovernmental organization founded to support and promote green growth. The organization partners with countries to help them build economies that grow strongly, are more efficient and sustainable in the use of natural resources, less carbon intensive, and more resilient to climate change. GGGI works with countries around the world, building their capacity and working collaboratively on green growth policies that can impact the lives of millions. To learn more, see https://gggi.org and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.