Today, the world we live in is home to the largest generation of youth in history, with more than 50% of our population younger than the age of 30. And in a world that is being challenged by a global pandemic, the impacts are being seen in all sectors challenging our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
During the recent MI-5 Ministerial Meeting, which took place on Sep 23 and was hosted and organized by Saudi Arabia, Noura Alrubaiq, Head of Saudi Arabia’s Y20 Delegation, delivered a keynote as a representative of the young people from around the world. Her participation in this important meeting highlighted the ongoing collective recognition by MI member countries for the importance of inclusivity in energy related discourse and decision making, as well as their commitment to deliver tangible real-world changes.
During the opening session of the meeting, Noura issued a call for action to the world’s energy ministers, leaders and decision makers. The recommendations that were shared focused on three main areas:
- Continue the efforts to ensure active and meaningful involvement of youth in energy related discourse and decision making platforms. Saudi Arabia’s chairmanship of the Ministerial this year was a true testament to their commitment to actively involve and empower the youth as a continuation of the great efforts that were initiated last year during the Canadian hosting of MI-4; however, a continuation of these efforts is strongly recommended to achieve more inclusivity of our youthful majority.
- Further encourage public-private sector partnerships and collaborations to create more opportunities for youth. This is particularly important now more than ever to ensure that the current huge pipeline of talent is being nurtured, harnessed and integrated into the ecosystem.
- Increase investments in youth as innovators, thinkers, agents of change and as custodians of our world in the future. There’s no doubt about youth’s ability to innovate, generate and actualize so many great ideas; however, only a proper and continuous investments in R&D is what will bring all of these ideas to fruition.
Before closing the opening session, HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Al Saud highlighted that youth will not only be part of the conversations and discussions, but will also lead these endeavors. These endeavors will deal with the future, and the future is the youth.
Youth participation at this year’s MI-5 ministerial meeting was a true testimony to their readiness and commitment to invent, to bring in new revolution and to accelerate into a future of sustainability, growth and clean energy. We look forward to a continuation of youth’s involvement in this second phase of Mission Innovation, where young people are meaningfully involved in achieving the global clean energy goals that we aspire to accomplish.