- Study at AUS
- Prospective Students
- New Student Orientation
- Bachelor's Degrees
- Master's Degrees
- Doctoral Degrees
- Forms and Publications
- Testing Center
- File Completion
- International Students
- Grants and Scholarships
- Sponsorship Liaison Services
- Executive Education
- Payment Guide
- Contact Admissions
- Apply Now
- Life at AUS
- Research and Graduate Studies
- Contact Us
- Apply Now
AUS students debate climate change at the second session of the Climate Ambassadors Programme
Forty students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) took part in the second session of the Climate Ambassadors Programme (CAP) 2023 held recently at Expo City Dubai where they discussed some of the most pertinent issues impacting climate change.
Simulating the climate negotiations that take place during COP events, CAP helps university students better understand the decision-making process related to climate change issues, their impact and the importance of coordination among different stakeholders to address climate challenges. It is an immersive educational experience where students collaborate with other student representatives to find solutions before drafting an action plan that will be shared with the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment.This session focused on curbing greenhouse gasses by identify how countries are affected by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and what can be done to reduce these emissions.
During the program, students acted as representatives of countries taking part in four negotiation groups including G77+China, which is the largest coalition in the United Nations, providing the developing world with means to articulate and promote its collective interests; Arab States; European Union; and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), which comprises small island and low-lying coastal countries that share their vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change. These four groups are representative of actual groups taking part in COP28.
"In the lead up to COP28, it is AUS Sustainability's mission to increase climate literacy among the AUS community and empower our students to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow. Thanks to the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Expo School Programme, AUS students have the opportunity to obtain unique insights at the discussions and negotiations that take place between nations at a COP. AUS Sustainability is working with Expo City Dubai to host more CAP sessions in the coming months, and we encourage all students, regardless of their major, and participate in this unique learning experience,” said Julia Carlow, Acting Head of Sustainability at AUS.
Fatima Abdelrahman, a finance student in her second year who was part of the German delegation at CAP, spoke about her experience.
“These sessions incentivized students to be more aware of the issues contributing to climate change and how to combat them. They also helped us familiarize ourselves with the way discussions at COP conferences take place and the terminology employed so that we can have more understanding at the upcoming COP28 and benefit the most,” she said.
Her discussions at CAP centered on several issues, including greenhouse gas mitigation, adaptation strategies and climate smart goals.
“We discussed the various issues and developed strategies in a group setting within an unmoderated caucus, with everyone having the opportunity to speak. We argued and counter argued until we reached the strong points we wanted to present. I did a lot of research on greenhouse gas mitigation and read many articles about Germany’s approach to climate control,” she said.
Abdelrahman noted that ever since she joined AUS, she started participating in student clubs and volunteering, which eventually led her to the path of sustainability.
“AUS hosts many events around the theme of sustainability making information always accessible. The first sustainability-related event I attended as part of my active campus life was the Youth Speak Forum held by the International Association of Students in Economics and Business. It immediately drew my attention to the climate change conversation, and ever since then I have been preparing to participate in events such as CAP. I have learned a lot about how to communicate in formal settings, how to debate and negotiate, about the amount of collaboration and work that goes into working these sessions,” she said.
Sania Shanavaz, an urban planning graduate student, was part of the UAE delegation at CAP. “This was a unique experience, and I am glad that I was part of it. It was enlightening on many levels, especially in relation to decorum and protocol that must be followed during the actual COP conference. This experience also showed me, as a student of urban planning, the kind of support students from other academic disciplines could provide for in the fight against climate change,” she said.
Shanavaz also noted that her AUS education provided a strong foundation to build upon during her participation. “Through the thoughtfully designed curriculum, AUS has ingrained within us the fundamentals of sustainability, issues with climatic change, environmental planning and so on, which equips us to handle the challenges the future holds,” she said.
AUS has made sustainability and climate change mitigation a strategic priority, offering all of its students, regardless of their chosen major, the opportunity to participate in the many sustainability-related initiatives led by the university. The UAE Climate Envoy to COP28 has invited AUS to be a member of the Universities Climate Network (UCN). The network comprises UAE-based universities and higher education institutions facilitating dialogues, workshops, public events and youth participation in the lead up to COP28. To learn more about how AUS is making the most of this opportunity, please visit www.aus.edu/cop28.