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Bahraini Youth Engagement

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Waleed Al Bassam Leads Discussion on Climate Solutions at COP28

 A Bahraini youth shined a spotlight on the national initiative Safa, on the sidelines of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Waleed Al Bassam, Director of Studies at the Prime Minister’s Office, Bahrain, took the audience on an interesting journey through the project at a panel discussion on Government-Business Collaboration for Technological Solutions to Climate Change. This event, hosted by the World Green Economy Organisation and moderated by Bahrain This Week Editor Raji Unnikrishnan, brought together influential voices such as Abdullah Ali Al Busaidi, Net-Zero Manager at the Transport, Communications, and Information Technology Ministry, Oman, May Youssef, Talabat Regional Public Affairs and Communications Head, and Raji Hatter, Aramex Chief Sustainability Officer.

Safa initiative launched by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), – its voluntary carbon offsetting platform, helps businesses and individuals better understand and manage their carbon footprint by contributing to exemplary climate initiatives. It was launched earlier this month, coinciding with Bahrain’s participation at COP28.

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“Safa is not an alternative to decarbonization efforts; rather, by building awareness, educating communities, and empowering action at the individual and corporate levels, it aims to complement critical decarbonization initiatives by providing a user-friendly offsetting function for hard-to-abate emissions from activities like travel, accommodation, and logistics,” said Waleed.
“It also aims to bring this service to users’ fingertips by integrating directly into their favourite everyday apps; it is a testament to the kingdom’s utilisation of technology and innovation as key enablers of a faster, more affordable, and more effective transition to net zero by 2060.”

Safa is accessible to all individuals and businesses to facilitate the transaction of high-quality and globally certified carbon credits, allowing them to calculate and offset their carbon emissions. These credits are allocated to international environmental projects aimed at the reduction or elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of expanding to include local and regional projects in the near future.

During the panel discussion, Waleed highlighted that it was crucial to recognize the pivotal role of collaborative efforts in leveraging technological advancements to combat climate change. He cited that the public and private sectors possess unique strengths and resources, and when combined, they form a potent catalyst for driving innovation, scaling solutions, and effecting meaningful change on a global scale.

The participation of Waleed, representing Team Bahrain, underscores the growing importance of involving young leaders in shaping the global response to climate change, a topic of paramount importance in today’s world.

 Meanwhile, the Bahrain pavilion also organised a session with BNP Paribas on cross-generational capacity building to accelerate SDG action. It focussed on the International Labour Organisation’s prediction that by 2030, over 60 per cent of young people could potentially lack the skills required to flourish in the green economy.

“The just transition will need the power of youth and industry leaders to come together, and scaling up capacity building is critical across skills, knowledge sharing, and inspiring action across all generations,” heard the session, which facilitated collaboration between science and youth. Together with young leaders around the world, the United Nations Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund (UN Joint SDG Fund), finance, and industry leaders, participants will explore practical examples of cross-generational capacity building to accelerate SDG action.

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