KSA LCOY18: Empowering Saudi Youth to Drive Climate Change Solutions

October 24, 2023
LCOY Event 2

RIYADH: The KSA Local Conference of Youth (KSA LCOY18) marked a resounding success as it concluded its 2nd conference in Saudi Arabia. The event, hosted by the Saudi Youth Climate Network in partnership with Pristine NGO and Global Shapers Riyadh Hub, and proudly sponsored by EDF Saudi and UNDP, took place on the 21st of October at the United Nations House in Riyadh. It brought together passionate young climate advocates and experts to inspire intergenerational dialogues, debates and actionable solutions that promote climate literacy, adoption of green skills, and expediting the implementation of Saudi Arabia’s green goals.

Having run for 18 years, LCOY18 is the official event of the Children and Youth Constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), YOUNGO. KSA LCOY18, the second of its kind in Saudi Arabia, sought to unify, empower, and engage youth, climate advocates, and subject-matter experts to foster meaningful action. The conference served as a vital platform for dialogue, collaboration, and advocacy within the youth climate movement.

The conference featured keynote speeches from leaders of EDF, UNDP, UNICEF, and IsDB, addressing a spectrum of critical topics, including innovative low-carbon technologies in KSA, youth inclusion in sustainable development as a pillar of Vision 2030, children and youth rights across all sectors, and comprehensive social, environmental, and economic development efforts in Muslim-majority countries. Margaret Jones Williams, the Deputy Resident Representative said “UNDP Saudi Arabia is committed to empowering youth voices and supporting their engagement in policy-making and helping guide the development of youth-inclusive climate change policies.”

The event also featured an engaging panel discussion that explored how different stakeholders can collectively mobilize youth in Saudi Arabia as key players in the Kingdom's green transition and spearhead target implementation. Distinguished panelists, moderated by Naif Alharthi, included Noura Alissa, International Policy Specialist at the Ministry of Energy, Faisal AlQurooni, Clean Energy Technologies Specialist at the Ministry of Energy, Fawaz Abu-Ghazaleh, CEO of Remedium Network, Ahmed Alsaidlani, CEO of Roots Ventures, Dr. Sultan Alshareef, the Sustainability Director of New Murabba, and Dr. Mohammad Nurunnabi, Chair of the Accounting Department at Prince Sultan University.

The event concluded with an interactive Global Youth Statement session, where the primary objective was to gather inputs from the audience. Youth participants presented valuable insights and demands, which have been carefully noted. The organizers at Saudi Youth Climate Network are now preparing a comprehensive policy document to echo these demands and effectively convey them to decision-makers!

The Global Youth Statement policy document, which will feature the voice of youth in Saudi Arabia, will be submitted to the Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference of Youth (RCOY) in Oman in November, followed by the Global Conference of Youth (GCOY) in the UAE at the end of November. This represents a significant step toward youth involvement in the official youth policy paper for the COP28 climate negotiations, the supreme decision-making body of the Climate Change Convention.

Hassan Qadi, Vice Curator of Global Shapers Jeddah Hub, expressed enthusiasm, said, "Global Shapers Jeddah Hub is thrilled to be part of KSA LCOY18. As a community-led project, we are dedicated to supporting initiatives like the Saudi Youth Climate Network to reach a maximum number of beneficiaries and create meaningful and sustainable change. We believe that our efforts align with Saudi Arabia Vision 2030's focus on environmental sustainability and community development, as we strive to make a significant contribution to the Kingdom's transformation journey.”

Hanan Alnuwaiser, Founder of the Saudi Youth Climate Network, emphasized the impact of KSA LCOY18, said, "KSA LCOY18 granted a platform for young climate advocates and leaders in Saudi Arabia to share ideas, foster innovative discussions, and drive tangible and actionable climate policy recommendations. Witnessing the immense potential of our youth in addressing climate challenges is inspiring and exciting - our future will be in good hands.” The Saudi Youth Climate Network is on a mission to unite, equip, and train youth in Saudi with the skills, resources, and opportunities to lead sustainable change, with the vision of mobilizing talent in the Kingdom and establishing an inclusive space that empowers the youth of Saudi Arabia to be at the forefront of the climate movement.

LCOY Event 1

About Global Shapers Jeddah Hub: Global Shapers Jeddah Hub is a part of the Global Shapers Community, a World Economic Forum initiative that aims to spark dialogue, action, and change. Comprising a diverse pool of talented and driven Saudi youths from various backgrounds, Jeddah Hub works together to drive social, economic, and environmental growth in their local community by addressing crucial gaps often overlooked but vital for prosperity. They believe in a world where young people are central to solution-building, policy-making, and lasting change. For more information, please visit [https://www.globalshapers.org/hubs/jeddah-hub].