Young people are calling for green solutions to tackle global energy challenges.
More than 200 young delegates gathered at the 5th annual BRICS Youth Energy Summit hosted in Modderfontein, Johannesburg, this week to discuss the future of sustainable energy.
With more than 600 million African’s still without clean and reliable energy supply, organisers have encouraged young people to develop innovative energy solutions not just for BRICS countries but for the entire world.
Delegates say while unfortunate, global energy poverty has created a rare opportunity for the youth to explore their scientific potential.
Keynote speaker, Deputy Mineral and Energy Minister Dr Nobuhle Nkabane has stressed the role young scientists and energy entrepreneurs can play in solving energy challenges.
Young people, however, say despite their best attempts – their voices continue to be side-lined.
YNews spoke with several young black women working in the energy sector, some of who included accomplished entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers.
They’ve highlighted the challenges they face working in the male-dominated industry.
With about 76% less women in the sector than men, young women say their potential is not being fully realised.
Slow and careful transition
Russian delegates have meanwhile called for a slow and careful transition towards renewable energy sources.
Like South Africa, the east-European country relies heavily on coal for its electricity generation.
This despite environmental concerns and a push for a greener energy sources from the West.
Russian delegates, Darina Elizarova and Vadim Kuznetsov, have lent their voices to South Africa’s energy crisis.
They say South Africans, like Russians, should do what works in the context of their own energy needs.
The two-day youth summit comes ahead of the 15th Annual BRICS summit hosted in Sandton later this month. Article by Naomi Kobbie
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena