QU to host climate change activist at pre-COP18 talk

MOHAMED KHOULAIDI

DOHA QATAR University (QU) will host an internationally- recognised climate change activist Wael Hmaidan at a discussion on the relevance of the topic of climate change for young people in Qatar and the Arab world on November 15.

The university’s Energy and Environmental Law Forum (QUEELF) at the College of Law is organising the first youth-focused lecture ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP18), which will be held in Doha from November 26 to December 7
The guest speaker is the director of Climate Action Network (CAN)- International – a network of over 700 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in more than 90 countries working to slowdown humaninduced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

The lecture and workshop is part of the programmes run by the QUEELF, which focuses on academia, governmental organisations and experts in energy industry as well as on environmental and climate law.

Hmaidan said: “What the region requires is a strong, long-term movement to address climate change and help eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.

This can only be achieved if the issue of climate change becomes a priority of civil society, businesses and governments.” Wael is a former greenpeace campaigner in the Arab world and founder of IndyACT in Lebanon in 2007. Through his climate campaign, he was able to influence Arab climate policy and he was one of the leading negotiators for the Lebanese government team in climate change COPs.

QUEELF Director Rudiger Tscherning said: “One of the missions of QUEELF is to inspire the youth of Qatar to take part in the management of the country’s natural resources and in the protection of the local, regional and global environment.

“COP18 is the perfect catalyst for the involvement of the most valuable resource in Qatar - the youth – in building local capacity to meet global challenges by way of a dialogue on climate change and environmental awareness.” Tscherning is a specialist in environmental and climate change law and policy. He has worked as a lawyer in London, where his practice focused on advising the energy industry on environmental and climate change issues.

QUEELF was founded as an independent incubator, research and educational unit at the QU in 2011 to assist the country’s aspiration of achieving environmental sustainability along with an accelerated development towards a knowledge-based economy as enshrined in the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-16 and the Qatar National Vision 2030.

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