Today, we speak with Andrew, a 16-year-old from Singapore, whose STEM expertise fuels his ambition to develop clean energy technologies. His POWER framework outlines a comprehensive strategy from research to tech innovation. With COP28 as a pivotal moment, Andrew discusses the crucial intersection of education, youth involvement, and eco-friendly initiatives. We delve into his expectations for COP28, emphasizing the need for substantial and immediate action in the face of environmental challenges.

” Education plays a pivotal role in empowering young minds to advocate for change effectively. It should not only elevate their ideas and perspectives to decision-makers but also equip them with the technical and soft skills necessary to make a meaningful impact. “

Tell us about yourself

 I’m a 16-year-old student and LearningPlanet Youth Fellow!  currently studying in Singapore, deeply passionate about a range of STEM topics, particularly engineering and computer science. My aspiration is to harness my skills and knowledge to design innovative technologies that enable clean energy consumption. I’ve devised a framework I call POWER, which stands for Potential, Outreach, Warrant, Energise, and Refine. It’s a five-step approach that begins with research and activism and culminates in technology innovation and development. This framework is versatile, allowing individuals to engage at any stage within it.

What do you expect from this COP? How do you feel about it?

My primary objective in attending COP28 is to gain deeper insights into the role of technology in promoting clean energy adoption and to understand the current landscape surrounding this crucial issue. I approach COP28 with a sense of hope and anticipation, believing that it will provide valuable guidance on the specific technologies we should put forward for a more sustainable future.

If you were at COP28, what would you say to politicians and decision-makers? What would be your priority topic?

I would strongly urge political leaders not only to enact eco-friendly policies but also to invest significantly in the development of green technology. In particular, I would emphasize the importance of advancing clean energy generation, encompassing technologies like wind and solar farms, hydroelectric generators, and nuclear fusion. Additionally, I would stress the need for energy-efficient infrastructure, which I had the opportunity to explore during a recent work attachment with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority. Initiatives like encouraging public transport and implementing energy-saving systems in trains and buses are crucial steps towards a more sustainable future.

Which decisions do you think will be the most pivotal?

in my opinion, the most impactful decisions to be taken at COP28 should revolve around resource allocation by national leaders. It’s essential to establish a system that prioritizes tangible and impactful eco-friendly actions. This system should be practical, aiming to expedite the implementation of sustainable solutions with reliability and efficiency.

How do you see education and youth contributing to driving change in the context of climate action?

Youth represents the demographic most deeply concerned about the environment and sustainability. Education plays a pivotal role in empowering young minds to advocate for change effectively. It should not only elevate their ideas and perspectives to decision-makers but also equip them with the technical and soft skills necessary to make a meaningful impact. Education is the gateway through which youthful enthusiasm can translate into tangible eco-friendly actions.

What do you think of young people’s participation in the COP? Do you think current and future generations will be adequately represented?

Young people possess immense potential to influence positive change at COP and in global climate action. However, there is a need for more opportunities to be created for their voices to be heard and their ideas to be considered. It’s crucial to recognize the importance of intergenerational cooperation, fostering collaboration between current and future generations to address the pressing challenges of our time.

Any final thoughts you would like to share?

I’d like to emphasize that while research and technological development are essential components of the journey towards eco-friendliness, their impact can only be fully realized in an environment with eco-friendly laws and policies. Political leaders play a pivotal role in creating this enabling environment and uplifting the efforts of individuals and innovators in the pursuit of a sustainable future.