Home Climate Change Bezos Earth Fund to Sponsor World’s Largest Youth-Led Energy Event 

Bezos Earth Fund to Sponsor World’s Largest Youth-Led Energy Event 

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The Bezos Earth Fund, founded by Jeff Bezos, is the largest philanthropic commitment ever to fight climate change and protect nature.
The Bezos Earth Fund, founded by Jeff Bezos, is the largest philanthropic commitment ever to fight climate change and protect nature.

The Bezos Earth Fund announced its headline sponsorship of the 2023 Global Student Energy Summit (SES 2023), under the theme “Reimagining the Future”, hosted by New York University Abu Dhabi from November 28th to December 1st, 2023. This historic event will take place at the margins of COP28, bringing together 650+ young people from over 150 countries with industry leaders and energy experts, championing youth participation in driving a just and equitable clean energy future. 

SES is the world’s largest youth-led energy event, ensuring equal gender representation and diverse perspectives with 40% of attendees experiencing their first international conference.  The summit provides a transformative space for collaboration on energy solutions, engaging over 30,000 young people in virtual and in-person capacity-building and digital engagement sessions leading up to SES 2023. 

Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, expressed enthusiasm for this groundbreaking partnership, stating, ” Since its founding in 2009, Student Energy has become the world’s largest youth-led organization working on energy, empowering a network of 50,000 young people in over 120 countries accelerating the transition to a sustainable and equitable energy future. Our support of SES 2023 aligns seamlessly with Bezos Earth Fund’s mission to foster innovation, collaboration, and action in the realm of clean energy. The youth-led initiatives and start-ups emerging from this summit are pivotal in driving systemic change, and we are proud to be part of this movement.” 

As the next generation of energy sector leaders, young people are presented with a challenge and unique opportunity. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net-Zero Emissions Scenario, over 30 million jobs will be created in low-carbon technologies by 2030. However, the Energy Transition Skills Report, conducted by Student Energy in partnership with Ørsted, indicates that 47.6% of the survey’s 2,000 youth respondents lack awareness about existing job opportunities. With over half the global population under 30, young people need training to participate in the energy sector to bridge labor shortfalls, promote economic development and social welfare, and support climate resilience in the most vulnerable communities. 

The summit serves as a catalyst for action and entrepreneurship, supporting 15 youth-led clean energy start-ups in priority regions through training and seed funding. “Climate change is an issue that affects each and every single one of us, and there are millions of young people all around the world who share the same feeling of frustration but still manage to find the drive to fight for change. SES23 is a platform to not only connect us with each other, but also sit at the table with representatives of governments, companies and institutions during these 3 days, whilst fostering a lifelong connection to join forces and increase global efforts of accelerating the adoption of renewable energy,” said Lydia Sanz Lozano, Co-Vice Chair of Programming, SES. 

Additionally, SES 2023 acts as a launchpad for youth climate activists and advocates, training and supporting delegates to join a COP28 delegation that amplifies key messages from SES 2023 through partner-driven events. SES will be coming to the Middle East for the first time, highlighting the vision of the UAE’s energy transition

Nicole Iseppi, Managing Director of Global Energy Innovation at the Bezos Earth Fund, added, “Leveraging the strategic location and timing of SES, we will support up to 40 SES delegates to attend COP28. Our partnership provides students with the opportunity to engage in the UN proceedings and will enrich the conversations at the highest level of climate change negotiations by ensuring that a diverse group of youth leaders are at the table. We have a responsibility to support young innovators and elevate their voices on the global stage. SES 2023 is not just a summit; it’s a platform for tangible change, and we are excited to be a part of it.” 

SES 2023 key missions include: 

  1. Decent Jobs & Economic Development: SES will provide a platform for students to learn about career pathways in the energy sector, gain new industry-relevant skills during workshops and upskilling sessions, and connect with potential employers and mentors/experts from the global energy industry. 
  2. Scaling Solutions through Youth Innovation: SES 2023 will unlock an ecosystem of youth-led enterprises by delivering Innovation Jams. This initiative will provide business development training and small-scale seed funding for projects that meet Student Energy’s impact assessment framework. 
  3. COP28 & Inclusive Decision-Making: SES 2023 team is closely coordinating efforts with the 2023 COP28 Presidency team to synergize programming and themes, addressing significant barriers that prevent young people’s voices from being heard at decision-making roundtables. 

The Bezos Earth Fund, founded by Jeff Bezos, is the largest philanthropic commitment ever to fight climate change and protect nature. The fund supports organizations and efforts working on innovative solutions to climate change, aiming to contribute to a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable planet. The Bezos Earth Fund works with others to monitor 50 key transitions required in this decisive decade, driving systems change across climate, biodiversity, and human development.  

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