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Sunday, December 5, 2021

AYCMQ partners with national stakeholders to measure household carbon footprint

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The Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ) has taken action to measure carbon footprint in the Gulf state.

The Household Carbon Footprint Initiative is one of the signature projects of the Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ) to understand the resource consumption and carbon footprint profiles of different socioeconomic groups in Qatar. Carbon footprint depends on various factors and so far, there is no study to understand the extent of different factors influencing carbon footprint in Qatar.

The first phase of the study will start with government and private schools across Qatar, where students, above aged 12, will participate in collecting data from households. The household carbon footprint collects data from households of all the resources consumed such as electricity, water, fuel. Also, includes, domestic and international travel, and different types of waste generated. The survey developed unique indicators to compare the footprint with national average and average of similar households.

This Initiative is launched as the pretext of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) happening in Scotland, which demonstrates Qatar’s commitment for mitigating carbon footprint.

The Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar, in partnership with key national stakeholders, Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy and UNESCO GCC, is part of the launch of this Initiative.

Neeshad Shafi, Executive Director, AYCMQ, said: “We are very delighted and happy to collaborate with national stakeholders and we appreciate their full support and cooperation in making this Initiative successful. The Initiative has three phases. In the first phase, we collect footprint data from 2000 households to identify where the problem is. In the second phase, we interact with households to better understand the nature of consumption and challenges of changing behaviour and open up the survey for general public to participate in the study. And in the final phase, we co-develop and co-create campaigns and interventions where the community come forward in taking actions to reduce their household carbon footprint.”

Dr. Sayeed Mohammed, who is leading this Initiative, said: “AYCMQ developed a unique tool where it not only provides the total carbon footprint but will also compare with national and normalized averages of identical households. This will help the households to compare how well they are doing compared with other households. He added that, this is the first-of-the-kind initiative in the Arab world. The burden of reducing carbon emissions doesn’t rest only on the government and industry, also on the community. Focusing on households’ level instead of individuals, will have a meaningful impact on the local environment.

“Our role is to support the survey implemented by the AYCMQ that trains teachers and educates students on how to collect the appropriate data to in order to measure their carbon footprint per household. This is in accordance with the framework of the 13th sustainable development goal (SDG) on climate action, activating the role of youth participation, and facilitating training workshops for teachers to apply the survey for students, and we are confident that the questionnaire will contribute to educating students about environmental conservation and raising community awareness, and providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary to preserve the environment”, said Mr. Abdullah Al Kubaisi, Qatar National Committee for Education, Culture and Science.

“This collaboration is supported by the Healthy Cities Network of Qatar, which brings together multi-sectoral stakeholders and creates opportunities for synergies and joint work. As the Health in All Policies unit of the Ministry of Public Health, we are confident that this survey will provide a vital baseline according to which appropriate policies and interventions can be developed and tailored. By raising awareness on our resource consumption, waste generation and carbon emissions by measuring household carbon footprint, we engage our youth and our communities to take responsibility and play an active role in mitigating the impact of their lifestyle on global warming.”, said Dr. Roberto Bertollini, Advisor to the Minister of Public Health.

“It becomes evident that now more than ever we should all, as individuals, also commit to achieving these goals, starting at an early age, learning about our carbon footprint and how to reduce it to achieve a climate neutral world and healthier planet. Therefore, I am very pleased to have established this collaboration with AYCMQ that will support national efforts in raising awareness on the impact of climate change and encouraging all members of the society to take action, including the youth.”, said Dr.Anna Paolini, Director of UNESCO Office in Doha.

B4Development, the first nudge unit in the MENA region, created of the supreme committee for delivery and legacy, is proud to be collaborating with the youth climate initiative. Environmental sustainability is pressing public policy issue that has strong behavioral roots which cannot be addressed using conventional weapons. It requires behavioral tools such as ‘nudge’ and other types of interventions that factor in human cognitive biases and limitations that stand in the way of people acting in their own interests and those of their communities.”, said Dr. Fadi Makki, Director of B4Development.

The partnership will galvanize a national movement to encourage as many households as possible to participate in this Initiative and raise awareness about their household activity and find creative ways, both modern and traditional, to reduce carbon footprint in Qatar.

About Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ)

Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ) is a registered, non-profit, youth-led environmental think-tank based in Qatar. It is an independent organization that aims to shift the environmental discourse and advocate for better evidence-based policies in order to transition to an inclusive, low-carbon society while adhering to local ecological limits and principles. AYCMQ has three tightly linked interconnected pillars: grassroots awareness and education, capacity building and community development, and policy and advocacy. For more information, visit: www.aycmqatar.org


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