The UAE Ministry of Education and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have signed an agreement to cooperate on the integration of renewable energy and sustainable development into the national education system. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, the U.A.E. Minister of Education and Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA at the 17th IRENA Council in Abu Dhabi.
The agreement, signed in the presence of Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, assistant under-secretary of activities and Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, the UAE Permanent Representative to IRENA, identifies areas of cooperation between the Agency and the Ministry of Education to introduce training initiatives around low-carbon forms of energy into federal education. The cooperation aims to promote and support the achievement of the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UAE and around the world, namely SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy for all) and SDG 13 (climate action).
“We are delighted to form this partnership with IRENA, which serves as a blueprint for the integration of sustainable development into national education systems around the world. This agreement supports the UAE’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development.” said Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi.
Al Hammadi also confirmed that this memorandum reflects the interest of both parties in promoting the concept of sustainable development, making it part of the educational system, and devoting best educational practices in this area in order to achieve the UAE Agenda and its future objectives with regard to sustainable development.
“The Ministry of Education is determined to build a comprehensive and integrated educational system that contributes to the development of the cognitive aspects of students in various fields with renewable energy and sustainability at the forefront of this agenda.” he concluded.
“It is critically important that we engage young people in the pursuit of sustainable development and climate action,” said Francesco La Camera. “The UAE has demonstrated its commitment to playing a leading role in the global energy transformation, and to adopting a sustainable development model. Working with the Ministry of Education, we aim to inspire youth to support the action agenda and develop a model of collaboration that can be replicated in countries all over the world.”
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “Youth development is a high priority for the UAE’s visionary leadership and stems from its conviction that when we invest in our youth, we invest in our future. The new partnership between the Ministry of Education and IRENA is indeed a promising one. Incorporating renewable energy and sustainable development into the educational curricula will not only enable us to harness young minds and prepare them to become environmental stewards, but also pique their interest in pursuing careers in the emerging domains.”
Renewable energy is a key solution to climate change and an enabler of universal energy access, however, it is also a critical contributor to a number of UN’s 2030 SDGs. Good health and wellbeing (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4) and sustainable economic growth (SDG 8) represent a few of the goals served by the increasing use of renewable energy.