Farm workers in a field in California. More than 97 per cent of the state of California's land area is in severe drought status, with nearly 60 per cent in extreme drought. AFP
Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar has launched an online platform, SkillUP, to equip one million young people by 2030 with the knowledge and skills necessary to fight climate change in their communities, schools and workplaces.
Launched under Masdar’s Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) initiative, SkillUP platform harnesses the appeal of a gamified mobile app to engage young people in the fight against climate change by offering them opportunities to develop skills critical to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Masdar said in a statement on Saturday.
The programme will also enhance their employability, Masdar said.
“Empowering young people to become sustainability champions is the core mission for Y4S as we at Masdar recognise that young people have significant untapped potential to drive sustainable change, and it’s critical that we educate and prepare them now to meaningfully contribute to our global energy transition,” Lamya Fawwaz, Masdar executive director of brand and strategic initiatives, said.
“Masdar works through Y4S to engage students and young professionals wherever they are, and in ways they find compelling, which is why SkillUp’s globally accessible, mobile platform is so promising.”
The UAE is taking the lead regionally and stepping up efforts to hit its target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 through a wide-ranging green strategy focused on a shift to renewable energy and the adoption of new technology.
The UAE will host the Cop28 climate conference at Expo City Dubai in 2023. The meeting of world leaders in November 2023 will seek to find solutions to the threats posed by climate change.
At the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties, as it is formally known, leaders will be urged to commit to tougher action on climate change, including cutting the use of coal-fired power stations, reducing reliability on fossil fuels and boosting renewable energy sources.
The Y4S SkillUp platform provides 42 hours of learning and engagement opportunities, from video presentations to information materials, activity sheets, and quizzes, all of which focus on more than 20 skills that are relevant to achieve the SDGs, Masdar said.
Users can complete specific courses to earn certificates for each of the skills. Some focus areas include Stem (science, technology, engineering and math) knowledge, critical reasoning, digital fluency, innovative thinking and new media literacy, among others.
The platform also offers users guided lessons about each of the 17 SDGs. They can define SDG-related challenges in their daily lives and pitch workable solutions for their communities, schools, and workplaces, Masdar said.
The Y4S initiative hosts two year-long education and skill training programmes: the Future Sustainability Leaders and Sustainability Ambassadors schemes.
Both aim to empower the next generation of sustainability leaders by connecting them with global policymakers, corporate decision-makers, entrepreneurs and technology pioneers to learn about best sustainability practices, according to the statement.
The FSL programme targets university and post-graduate students aged 18 to 35, while SA targets students aged 13 to 17 in high school.