Saudi-German Youth Forum
Where do Saudia Arabia and Germany stand in the area of renewable energies and energy efficiency? Which initiatives and projects are leading? Who is driving development – and how can Saudi Arabia profit from Germany’s experiences? These and other questions framed the Saudi Germany Youth Forum that took place 13 to 22 November 2011 in Berlin and Hamburg. The program, developed and organized by Ecologic Institute, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office, focused on students from Saudi Arabia and Germany.
The forum sought to connect the participants to important aspects of European as well as German environmental policy through presentations, lectures and discussions. Likewise a core point of the program was the meetings and dialogues with German students. The emphasis of the program was on the themes of renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate protection. The program was further complemented by excursions and visits to environmental policy-relevant institutions in Berlin and Hamburg (Green Capital 2011).
The exchange was lead by representatives of the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, as well as by Prince Mohammed Bin Saud Bin Khalid Al Saud (Deputy Minister for Information and Technology). The leader of the delegation was H.E. Ambassador Dr. Yousef Bin Terad Al Saadon (Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic and Cultural Affairs).
Various program formats (discussion sessions, individual lectures, excursions, culture programs) with representatives from ministries, parliament, think tanks and NGOs in Berlin and Hamburg ensured a comprehensive insight into the themes.
In Hamburg (Green Capital 2011) the group visited the Ministry of Urban Development and Environment (BSU) and heard lectures on the Environmental Capital and the city’s development project "Leap over the Elbe." Furthermore there was a tour through Hamburg’s HafenCity, under the keyword "sustainable urban development, sustainable building" as well as a visit to the IBA Docks of IBA Hamburg (International Building Exhibition Hamburg) including in the program a tour of the IBA projects, such as the energy bunker in Wilhelmsburg. Aside from this, the group met with Hamburg’s Science Minister and Deputy Mayor Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt.
At the University of Hamburg the participants received lectures on the themes of climate protection policy and DESERTEC, and could see the Environmental Wind Tunnel Laboratory during a tour. Also, the group visited the Airbus factory in Hamburg.
In Berlin the following points were on the program:
- Federal Foreign Ministry with discussions on international energy policy and renewable energies
- Visit to the Körber Foundation
- Lecture on German and European environmental policy at Ecologic Institute
- Lectures at the Free University Berlin followed by discussion groups with German students
- Visit to the Innovation Center for Mobility and Societal Change, lectures on E-mobility and thereafter test driving e-cars and e-bikes
- Presentations at the Renewables Academy (RENAC)
An Ecologic Riverside Chat on the theme "Challenges and Opportunities on the Way to an Electricity Supply from 100% Renewable Energies" gave the group the chance to speak with further experts as well as to insert their own perspectives.
The program concluded with a celebratory closing ceremony at the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Berlin.