16th January 2018

Guinness World Record-breaking lesson in environmental sustainability

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Nearly 300 students from across the UAE have helped set the Guinness World Record for attending the largest environmental sustainability lesson.

The Zayed Future Energy Prize, an organisation that awards grants to sustainable energy innovators, organised the event and officially achieved the record. Each year a prize is awarded to recognise outstanding contributions from individuals, companies, schools, and non-profit groups.

This year the 30-minute interactive lecture, attended by 282 students, highlighted how young people around the world can help to reduce energy poverty while also challenging them to devise solutions that will bring about a more sustainable future.

The sustainability-themed lesson took place at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, and was presented by Illac Angelo Diaz, executive director of Liter of Light, the non-profit winner of the Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2015.

The Philippines-based previous winner has provided affordable solar lighting to thousands of homes, schools and workplaces struck by natural disasters through its education and self-help programmes.

Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “The last decade has seen the lives of millions of people positively impacted by the prize’s many winners, of whom Liter of Light is truly a shining example.

“This gathering highlights the critical importance of youth in driving forward the renewable energy and sustainability conversation, and the power they have as change agents, now and for the future.”

The gathering also saw the assembly of 2,400 solar lanterns, arranged to create a unique light installation in tribute to UAE founding father Sheikh Zayed, the centenary of whose birth is being celebrated across the UAE this year.

The lanterns, assembled by the students for the installation, will then be donated to Red Crescent, to be installed in the streets and homes of those who need it most.

Illac Angelo Diaz said: “Our youth are a tremendous source of energy and ideas in promoting sustainability and responsible action. This event sends a powerful message of hope to young people around the UAE and the world about the difference they can make in addressing global sustainability challenges.”