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Saudi Arabia hosts Youth Green Summit

On Monday 25 October, in-line with the Saudi Green Initiative, Saudi Arabia hosted the Youth Green Summit. It connected young people with leaders from government and the private sector to collaborate on climate action. The Youth Green Summit acted as a platform for environmental literacy, advocacy, and policy making. Participants worked to shape the future of climate action through interactive activities and provoking discussions.

The Kingdom is dedicated to involving youth in climate action believing they are essential to implement change and manifest the Saudi Green Initiative, a core aspect of Vision 2030. His Royal Highness Prince Mishari Al-Saud elaborated the vital engagement of youth, “70% of Saudi society is represented by youth which translates to amplified potential for environmental sustainability and achieving our climate ambitions.”

One session presented testimonials from young people working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s energy ecosystem. They talked about how their work reflects their passion for creating a sustainable society, and how they contribute to achieving their country’s goals. Additionally, the summit presented a climate simulation designed to help youth connect intellectually and emotionally with what it takes to achieve the Paris Agreement. As for the maritime focused aspect of the summit, World Ocean Council CEO & Founder led a workshop focused on preserving marine life with the focus on protection, enhancement, and management of marine areas. Young people presented their ideas on how to build this into society and contribute to the preservation of the marine ecosystem.

“If you leave it to the youth to lead, they will surprise you because they are quite capable of achieving their goals.” With this statement, Mohammed Alkhalid, the CEO of Nabatik and one of the many young leaders invited to speak at this green youth summit, set the stage for the day. As the rate of environmental damage increases across the globe, young people will face the worst effects. However, instead of being passive victims, young people across the globe are taking action to fight for a greener future at an unprecedented level. “The important thing is to manage to change the tone of the discourse to make the youth feel more involved.” Their involvement was facilitated through numerous workshops, panels with leading activists, collaborative activities, and exercises at the day that will continue beyond the summit.

During the Summit, Saudi Minister of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud stated that, “We are the holder of the cheapest kilowatt/hour when it comes to renewables, both solar and wind, and we intend to maintain that record…We are also working on hydrogen…and putting our money where our mouths are. We intend to produce and export something in the neighbourhood of 4 million tons of hydrogen by 2030.”

Eshraq Al-Haddad addressed the audience at the summit, “the future of national development in The Kingdom hinges on empowering its youthful majority.” Through advocacy, education, and technology, they are mobilizing their efforts and their skills to move the needle on the most pressing environmental issues. The Youth Green Summit demonstrates The Kingdom’s dedication to emboldening youth as key stakeholders in the fight against climate change.

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