Event engages community through informal discussions on energy, water, and environment
Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), recently hosted its Science Majlis community outreach event. Held in-person and online, the session featured a talk by Dr. Marcello Contestabile, Program Director at the Energy Economics and Policy Program, QEERI, which explored the topic: “How Can Qatar Best Reduce its Carbon Emissions?”
QEERI’s Science Majlis provides a platform for the institute’s experts and members of the community in Qatar to engage through informal discussions on energy, water, and environment topics relevant to the country. The event is designed to actively engage attendees of all ages, by offering them insight into the research carried out at QEERI, making it more accessible and better understood.
Dr. Contestabile explained that the State of Qatar is a signatory to the Paris Agreement and has recently committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 25% by the year 2030. This is an initial yet important step towards setting more aggressive targets for 2050 and beyond. Meeting Qatar’s long-term climate commitments requires a structured approach that balances emission reductions and economic growth. Analytical tools such as computer-based models can help policymakers assess different options and build consensus around the most promising ones.
He noted that one important tool used by policymakers in a growing number of countries are energy systems models. These computer models represent all sectors of the energy economy and all technological options, both present and future. They help identify deep carbon mitigation pathways that are both economically efficient and practically feasible. Energy systems models can also be used to design policies and plan investments that enable the desired pathways. QEERI is developing a state-of-the-art energy systems model of Qatar and is working with national stakeholders to make it relevant and useful to the country.
Commenting on the event, Dr. Contestabile said: “It’s great having the opportunity to talk about our work at QEERI with our community and explain how we are driven by helping the country address its grand challenges. The Q&A session and discussion that followed offered insight into the questions on people’s minds and how, as scientists and researchers, we can best tailor the message to be better understood.”
Dr. Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director, QEERI added: “Increasing awareness among the community in Qatar about key issues in the energy, water, and environment sectors is crucial to helping them understand the purpose behind the research that we do. Activities like the Science Majlis allow us, at QEERI, to have an interactive discussion, and listen to various viewpoints and different perspectives. We believe it is important to have these ongoing conversations with our community.”
Othman Gibreel, a recent graduate who attended, found the discussions informative and engaging. “A lot of people don’t fully realize that extensive research in the field of climate change, and the challenges of carbon emissions, and energy conservation, actually happen in the country itself. This Science Majlis discussion really covered a number of important points relating to where Qatar stands today, and what more it can do. I have to congratulate QEERI for organizing this event for the community.”
QEERI organizes community events throughout the year including the Science Majlis, the Young Innovator Award for students, webinars, lab tours, and mentorship programs.