The Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar is the first registered independent, non-profit, youth-led, grassroots association in Qatar.
The Middle East’s first-ever Carbon Footprint tracking application was launched by the Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar (AYCMQ) in commemoration of Earth Day.
The application is called ‘AYCMQA’ and is available for download on both the Apple Store and Google Play.
To calculate the approximate footprint for each household, users are required to put in information in the designated logs on the application. This includes their type of housing, consumption of gas or electricity for cooking, the number of cars a home has, etc.
Once the first stage of the household carbon footprint is measured and properly calculated, individuals will receive a unique code to use for future measurements and comparisons of their footprint.
AYCMQs will be hosting various workshops and events where students reflect on the activity and their participation in this initiative. “What were they surprised by? What changes do they want to make in their lives to reduce their carbon footprint? We will give them methods to reduce, reuse and recycle in their collective effort to reduce the carbon footprint,” said Neeshad Shafi, AYCMQ’s Executive Director.
What does ‘Carbon Footprint’ mean?
A carbon footprint is a measurement of how your actions impact the quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere as a result of the burning of fossil fuels. It is measured as a weight of CO2 emissions in tonnes.
CO2 emissions contribute to global warming and climate change, which has serious ramifications for both humans and the environment. CO2 emissions function as a blanket in the atmosphere, trapping heat and warming the planet.
“Humans contribute to climate change primarily by burning fossil fuels, through activities such as driving cars, using electricity, and disposing of garbage into landfills,” said Sayeed Mohammed, AYCMQ’s Director of Policy and Research.
One’s carbon footprint is a critical tool for determining how a person’s actions affect global warming. This is why, at the very least on an individual scale, everybody who wants to effectively contribute to reducing global warming must assess and track their personal carbon footprint.
2,000 households goal
AYCMQ has already taught 700 teachers and hundreds of children on how to use the app, and the organisation ultimately hopes to reach 2,000 households in the near future.
“We have already started the initiative with various schools, and universities. Our current focus is through schools, it’s the best place to start as these young students will lead the world of tomorrow,” said Hessa Al Noaimi, Director of Development at AYCMQ.
Currently, they are doing in person visits to schools to present the initiative and encourage both students and teachers to take part.
Shafi told Doha News that they “are getting maximum requests and doing presentations in around 5 to 10 schools per week, so we are sure to surpass the baseline number we are targeting.”
The goal is to take at least the first step in climate education and to make government policymaking easier to facilitate, according to Al Noaimi.
AYCMQ the first registered independent, non-profit, youth-led, grassroots association in Qatar.
The initiative of the local organisation is backed by a grant from the United States of America (USA) Embassy in Qatar.
The app’s introduction comes following the launch of the ‘Household Carbon Footprint Initiative’ last year. The US Chargé d’Affaires Ian McCary, ministry officials, US Embassy personnel, and the AYCMQ team all attended the launch event.