Arab Youth Council on Climate Change Collaborates with HSBC to Empower Youth in Climate Action

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In conjunction with the Arab region’s preparations to host the COP27 and COP28

UAE: The Arab Youth Council on Climate Change, one of the initiatives of the Arab Youth Center, and HSBC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a “Sustainability Education” initiative, which aims to train higher education students in the Arab world on climate action, build their capacities, and develop their skills in the sectors of sustainability and innovative climate solutions.This educational initiative will be carried out in cooperation with the Arab Youth Council on Climate Change’s official knowledge partner, the Posterity Institute.

Under this partnership, the two parties cooperate to implement an interactive curriculum project available to all students of universities, colleges and higher institutes in the Arab world to have direct access, based on the open-source principle, to various educational, awareness and training materials on the causes of climate change, and mechanisms for creating qualitative solutions to confront it and advance sustainability goals set by the United Nations and the Paris Agreement signed in 2015 and the COP26 climate summit in the United Kingdom in 2021.

The partnership was announced at the Youth Pavilion at Expo 2020 in the presence of Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice President of the Arab Youth Center, and signed by His Excellency Saeed Al Nazari, Director General of the Federal Youth Authority and the Chief Strategy Officer at the Arab Youth Center, and Abdulfattah Sharaf, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC UAE and Head of International, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited.

Preparing Arab youth leaders to work for climate

Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Vice-President of the Arab Youth Center emphasized that “the Arab region’s hosting of two successive global climate summits, COP27 in Egypt this year and COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in 2023, requires the preparation of qualified young Arab leaders in various fields of climate action, which will reflect positively on the sustainability of the resources of our region and the preservation of its capabilities for future generations.

Her Excellency added: “In October 2021, the UAE announced its national strategy to achieve Net Zero by 2050, same as many countries in the region. Therefore, cooperation with regional and international institutions and the conclusion of strategic partnerships with those keen to support the work of young people in the public and private sectors through effective and purposeful initiatives that accelerate climate action and involve young people in developing its mechanisms and solutions is the best path to achieve these ambitious goals to protect the future of the planet, its environment and its biodiversity.”

Skills to combat climate change

His Excellency Saeed Al Nazari, Director General of the Federal Youth Authority and Chief Strategy Officer at AYC, stated: “The Arab Youth Council for Climate Change (AYCCC) was established to help Arab countries realise their goals in addressing climate change, while providing Arab youth with the skills necessary to accelerate that process. AYCCC includes leaders from the public and private sectors. Through AYC, it will continually expand its cooperation with regional and global institutions that target empowering Arab youth in climate action.

Al Nazari added: “The Sustainability Education project -which will build Arab youth capacities in climate action through a cooperation agreement with HSBC and the Posterity Institute- constitutes a model for environmental education and training programs. The program will provide Arab youth talents in universities, from various academic majors, with the skills required to promote climate action, so the Arab region can become an active supporter of global efforts.”

Abdulfattah Sharaf, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC UAE and Head of International, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, said: “HSBC has a longstanding commitment to support the communities in which we operate. Developing future skills is an important element of our community outreach and our partnership with the Arab Youth Council on this new sustainability education initiative for undergraduates in the region reflects that.”

Dr. Yasar Jarrar, Managing Director of the Posterity Institute, said: “Sustainability education is key to address climate change and unemployment threats in our region. This kind of partnership with HSBC is a great example of how the private sector can positively impact the global sustainability agenda.

Sustainability Education Objectives

The Sustainability Education program aims to build Arab youth capacities by including sustainability skills in academic courses. It also allows for creating innovative climate solutions, and upskilling young Arab leaders in climate action, who will pioneer the next stages of implementing the climate-neutral strategies ratified by many Arab countries. It also provides the public and private sectors in Arab nations with graduates who are familiar with the causes of climate change and are keen to establish sustainability across various sectors and the community around them.

The program is sponsored by HSBC to provide open-source sustainability skills, ideas and solutions to all university and college students in the MENA region. The program seeks to make sustainability and climate change a key subject across the various majors of higher education in the Arab region.

Arab Youth Council for Climate Change:

AYC launched AYCCC in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and private sector partners under the Arab League umbrella. It establishes a regional platform that enhances the engagement of Arab youth with environmental issues, supports Arab strategies related to the environment and climate change, achieves carbon neutrality, and offers sustainable solutions to climate change created by young people.

HSBC in the MENAT region:

HSBC is among the largest and most widely represented global banking institutions in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region. It is present in nine nations across the region: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE. In Saudi Arabia, HSBC owns a 31% share in the Saudi British Bank (SABB), and a 51% share in HSBC’s Investment Banking Advisory in the Kingdom.

On December 31, 2021, the HSBC’s assets in the MENAT region totaled $71 billion.