The inaugural Model IRENA programme kicked off today in Abu Dhabi with more than 50 UAE-based students and young professionals participating. The two-week-long series of events aims to raise awareness about pressing energy and environmental challenges specifically, and IRENA’s work in general. Model IRENA will culminate in a simulation exercise modelling one of IRENA’s principal governing bodies, the Council.
Today, the introductory workshop’s theme was the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy deployment. Students from New York University, Sorbonne University, Masdar Institute, Khalifa University, and the Petroleum Institute were introduced to the structure of IRENA institutional meetings, and had opportunities to meet with IRENA Scholars, staff experts and representatives of IRENA’s learning partnership programme IRELP.
Students spoke about their motivation and expectations for Model IRENA:
I’m joining Model IRENA because I want to learn more about renewable energy, and I feel like IRENA is the best source for this. We have a lot of opportunities to learn from experts in the field. – Carrisa Tehputri (representing Norway), New York University
Sustainable development is a broad concept being discussed by everyone in the world today, concerning our future and our existence. I would like to see how IRENA contributes to the promotion of sustainable development. – Minjian Hu (representing Fiji), Sorbonne University
Today’s workshop is one of four events leading up to the Model IRENA Council simulation on 25 April, when participants will assume the role of IRENA delegates and present their country’s position vis-à-vis two topics ‘Renewable energy and climate change’ and ‘Socio-economic benefits of renewable energy deployment.’ Delegates will work toward reaching a commonly agreed outcome document.
The simulation structure is based on procedures of intergovernmental bodies, including scheduled country interventions, open floor debates and negotiations, and bilateral and multilateral side-meetings. Participants will be paired in delegations of two representing the IRENA member country they were assigned.
The remainder of Model IRENA’s event schedule consists of: a workshop on debating skills at New York University in Abu Dhabi (14 April), a mock-up session (21 April), a visit to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (23 April) and the Model IRENA Council Simulation (25 April).
Follow along with Model IRENA on Twitter, #Model_IRENA
See photos of Model IRENA.