Sheikha Shamma receives climate change award in Washington

The head of UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators continues the sustainability legacy started by her grandfather, Sheikh Khalifa

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The granddaughter of Sheikh Khalifa has received an award in Washington for her work on climate change.

Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan, chief executive and founder of the Alliances for Global Sustainability and co-founder of Aurora50, received the Young Leaders in the Field of Climate Change award from Trends Research & Advisory, continuing the sustainability legacy started by her grandfather.

She received the award while participating in the Trends–Atlantic Council's second annual conference, under the theme of Sustainable Security of the Middle East: Climate Change Challenges and Prospects, in the US capital.

The award marked the culmination of a successful visit to the US that included Sheikha Shamma meeting several senior figures to discuss climate change.

"As I prepare to return to the UAE, I find myself reflecting on an incredibly productive and successful couple of weeks in the United States," she said in an Instagram post.

"I’m so grateful to have met leaders and decision-makers from across the public and private sector, and civil society, and to discuss the importance of tackling climate change.”

Last month saw the launch of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators during New York Climate Week. This initiative will be led by Sheikha Shamma.

The UICCA is a non-partisan, climate action entity that will bring together members of the public and the private sector, including academic institutions and NGOs, to drive the UAE’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050.

In the lead-up to Cop28 in Expo City Dubai, the UICCA — the first-of-its-kind entity on a global scale — will establish an independent body that enables collaboration, co-operation and innovation.

The UICCA will operate as a think tank and predominantly focus on providing advice and recommendations to stakeholders on positive climate action that facilitates the transition to a green economy.

This transition will contribute to boosting gross domestic product growth and job creation, and reinforce the UAE’s position as a global environmental, social and governance hub and first-mover on climate action, state news agency Wam said.

"It is an honour to be tasked, by the leadership of the UAE, with building and driving the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators," Sheikha Shamma said.

"Our goals as a nation are clear, and we have made significant headway towards implementing the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

"However, this is only our first milestone. It’s the synergies we create today that will allow us to live a more sustainable future, far beyond 2050.

"The only way for us to do this is by enabling and energising an ecosystem that actively participates in realising one shared vision, and the UICCA is the nucleus that will bring this ecosystem to life."

In addition to acting as a catalyst for a knowledge-based green economy and attracting global talent to the UAE’s sustainability sector, the UICCA will facilitate international business, innovation and technology partnerships that work towards the common goal of tackling climate change.

The main sectors of focus will include electric mobility, sustainable fuels, energy efficiency, green buildings, smart cities, carbon capture and storage, nature-based solutions, and a growing AgTech and Climate Tech segment.

In a speech delivered in May at an international event in Rome focused on sustainability, Sheikh Shamma said she was committed to continuing the sustainability legacy started by her grandfather.

"We paid the utmost care and attention to our environment for it is an integral part of the country, our history and our heritage," she said.

"Our mission at AGS has always been to tackle climate change by building resilience and driving a shift towards a circular economy."

"This has ranged from identifying clean energy sources, investing in infrastructure to enable food and water security and exploring new waste-management solutions with the efforts of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the UAE Circular Economy Council."

Updated: October 01, 2022, 12:29 PM