May 03

EDA and Sky News Arabia Bring Climate Change to the Fore

May 03, 2020

The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), in partnership with Sky News Arabia (SNA), hosted a virtual panel discussion to examine the changing role of societies, economies, and governments in combating climate change and protecting the environment, in light of current global circumstances brought on by COVID-19.


The virtual panel discussion featured His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; His Excellency Francesco La Camera, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); as well as His Excellency Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, the Ambassador of Denmark to the UAE.


More than 70 EDA students, guests and experts attended the dynamic conference, which was inspired by the eye-opening documentary, ‘Hot Ice.’ The unique documentary focuses on the role of climate change in geopolitics and how it has took a drastic turn in the last decade. The documentary also shed light on how the disruption to the Earth’s climate will ultimately require more attention, and undoubtedly have a greater influence on international affairs.


The panel discussion was moderated by Sky News Arabia’s Executive Producer Nivine Afiouni, who was also the documentary’s Executive Producer and Correspondent to the Arctic, reporting from Greenland and Iceland.


His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “This documentary presents compelling evidence of the evolving climate change scenario in the Arctic region. Climate change is a continuous phenomenon that will not stop on its own, nor will it slow down just because we are facing a global pandemic. Our collective efforts, in the UAE and around the world, to adopt more renewable sources of energy, reduce our carbon footprint, and encourage a sustainable lifestyle are more important today than ever.”


His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of the EDA, said: “Protecting our precious environment requires the effort of all, and although many forward-thinking nations, as the UAE, are making immense contributions towards sustainable development and helping protect our resilient planet, it is also important for us, as diplomats, academics and researchers, to educate our communities, as well as our students, about the most pressing challenge of our time.”


The Director General of EDA added: “We are proud to collaborate with our partners and host this crucial panel discussion, which welcomed world-renowned experts, who all share a common urgency - and that is to put a spotlight on the rising consequences of climate change, while providing valuable knowledge and insight.”


“COVID-19 recovery packages can put the world on a path towards sustainable growth and prosperity,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera.


“The Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Agenda present a medium-term vision for a more resilient and inclusive future that can serve as a framework for the national stimulus measures needed today,” continued Mr. La Camera.


“IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook shows that by placing the energy transition at the heart of the recovery, we can grow the world economy, create millions of jobs and improve the lives of people everywhere,” concluded Mr. La Camera.


His Excellency Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, Ambassador of Denmark to the UAE, expressed, “I am delighted to be joined by likeminded individuals to discuss the impact of Climate Change and the various measures countries worldwide are taking to mitigate its impact. Denmark recently commit to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in the next ten years and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Documentaries such as Hot Ice captured the challenges faced by Denmark and more specifically in Greenland and my hope is that it will inspire more people to act today and save our planet.


‘Hot Ice’ also examines the reasons and roles of significant players outside the geography of the Arctic, and how they are immensely shaping the future of this monumental area.


On her unique experience in the Arctic, Afiouni commented, “Reporting on climate change and its effects on our planet is a topic high on the priorities of Sky News Arabia’s agenda. I first reported on this matter years ago from the South Pole and today, continuing this mission, we’ve dug deep into the North Pole, to shed light on the changing conditions brought on by climate change and human impact. Witnessing the Glacier retreat at an unprecedented pace is truly alarming. There were numerous areas in Greenland that were typically covered with ice that are today unfortunately, only water. We could also see how many species no longer exist or are near extinction, including Polar Bears.”