In the backdrop of the UAE Government’s `Net Zero by 2050’ energy strategy and the hosting of COP28 in Abu Dhabi in 2023, Abu Dhabi-based German Gulf Engineering Consultants (GGEC) has joined hands with the UAE University to offer an energy management and audit training programme and internship to young Emirati nationals.
As part of the programme – Energy Voices 2023 – a campaign to promote the use of refillable water bottles will also be rolled out simultaneously to instill the responsibility of sustainability among young nationals for a carbon-neutral future. 
Under this initiative, students across five universities in Abu Dhabi will be provided with re-fillable water bottles to support the UAE Government’s endeavor to ban single-use plastics.
On the programme, Dr Saud Muhammad AlMarzooqi, the Acting Associate Professor for Students Affairs, UAE University, said: "Winning the hosting rights for the global climate summit, COP28, in 2023, adds yet another positive angle to the strategic goal of the internship and energy training program for Emirati nationals. The program perfectly fits into the UAE’s youth participation in climate change, energy saving measures, and focus on renewables."
Under the programme, paid internship will be provided to 50 selected Emirati students from five universities of both genders along with the training in energy management and audit. Certificates of accomplishment will be issued to students at a grand award ceremony at the completion of the programme."
The CSR initiative by GGEC - Energy Voices 2023 - also fits into the context of the next 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) which will be hosted by the UUAE at the Dubai Expo City. Energy Voices 2023 is also supported by the Abu Dhabi University, Zayed University, Adnoc and key private partners.
"All participants in the training, our partners and those who are associated with the Energy Voices will commit to use refillable water bottles and stop using single-use plastics," said Sunilan Menothuparambil, the Managing Director of GGEC, adding that specially designed reusable bottles have been procured and will be distributed  to all stakeholders in the training and climate change awareness campaign.
"Our programme will also include promoting a ten-point action on saving energy across  themes such as - save energy at home, walk, bike or take public transport, eat more vegetables, control travel urge, stop food wastage, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle, shift from conventional to renewable energy, support eco-friendly products, go electric and promote planet-friendliness," he stated.
This will also promote the UN SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing – and contributing in its own way to the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 goal. he added.
"Probably, this is the first time an integrated and comprehensive climate change and energy management programme and internship has been offered in the UAE. Energy Voice 2023 is also unique with state entities joining hands with private sector to advance the cause of sustainability. This shows the wider adoption of UAE’s Net Zero strategy commitment
 and how private sector players are keen to advance this cause," noted Menothuparambil.
The focus of the training will include effective energy audit, energy management practices in the real estate sector, energy conservation in buildings, tools and techniques to be energy efficient, as well as on efficient operations and management.
Apart from current students, all national and expatriate can also enroll for the programme.