Led by Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), a multi-city tour of the US has been completed by the UICCA, which successful engaging with members of the public, private and third sectors. The visiting delegation met with key players in the sustainability innovation ecosystem across five cities and four states, in partnership with the UAE Embassy in the US and the US Chamber of Commerce. Over the course of three weeks, the UICCA leadership team forged more than 150 new connections across 80 entities.

Established in 2022, the UICCA operates as a think tank and accelerator committed to driving the UAE’s transition to Net Zero by 2050 and beyond. During the US roadshow, the UICCA team explored opportunities for cross-border cooperation, strengthened advocacy for climate action, and shared achievements in sustainability innovations and youth empowerment. These diverse engagements included participation in round table discussions, speaking engagements at climate action conferences, and networking events with high-level global ambassadors, thought leaders, academics and innovators.

Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President & Chief Executive Officer of UICCA, said: “While we have had the opportunity to visit the United States many times, this roadshow was particularly insightful and promising, with many of the inspirational leaders and members of society we met with demonstrating a strong appetite for international cooperation.  There was clear recognition that we must no longer operate in silos, as we work towards our respective national commitments in tackling climate change – the impact we can make through collaborative ventures is far greater. We look forward to further developing these relationships and actioning the ideas discussed as, together, we look to build a more sustainable and resilient planet.”

In Washington, D.C., Sheikha Shamma engaged in an interfaith dialogue with Melanne Verveer, former US ambassador for global women’s issues, to discuss the empowerment of women and youth across a wide range of sectors. The UICCA leadership team also participated in a roundtable discussion, hosted by the Atlantic Council, focused on the development of sustainable agriculture and the importance of tailoring technological advancements to different geographies. The team also met with several corporate entities, including Honeywell and General Electric, to learn more about the latest innovations in green fuel, smart solutions for the construction industry and the application of Artificial Intelligence to improve sustainable practices.

In Boston, Massachusetts, Sheikha Shamma spoke with high-level attendees at an event, organised by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), about the vital role of technology in transitioning to a green economy. The UICCA team had the opportunity to visit Mass Challenge, a global zero-equity start-up accelerator and non-profit organisation dedicated to seeking solutions for today's biggest challenges, during which they met with several emerging startups working on energy generation, smart aquaculture, and smart water monitoring – innovations that could be the solution to the Middle East’s prevailing water scarcity challenge.

The UICCA team also visited the campuses of leading academic institutions, touring the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sustainability Lab, where they learnt about the institution’s carbon reduction strategy, and the Indiana University (IU) Business Sustainability and Innovation Lab, where they explored developments in transportation services and renewable heating and cooling sources for building projects.

While in Indianapolis, Indiana, the UICCA team met with Brad Chambers, Indiana Secretary of Commerce, to discuss the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s innovative work in manufacturing green building materials and generating sustainable fuel. The team also engaged with Indiana-based business leaders, scientists and venture capitalists to discuss developments in sustainable agriculture, particularly in bio-fermentation and seafood manufacturing and harvesting.

In Miami, Florida, Sheikha Shamma was presented with the keys to the city by Mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber. During this event, Her Highness and Mayor Gelber discussed similarities in the weather patterns of Miami and the UAE, identifying the shared threats of climate change and the need for proactive climate action in both regions. Her Highness also spoke at the Aspen Ideas Climate Conference, alongside Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava. Her Highness and Mayor Cava demonstrated their shared passion for climate action, innovation and community. They discussed how these pillars shape their respective approaches to building a more sustainable future for the UAE and Miami.

The roadshow concluded in San Francisco, California, with a visit to Stanford University, where the UICCA team was introduced to the institution’s efforts in advancing sustainability and healthcare. Events hosted by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Climate AI saw Sheikha Shamma participate in critical discussions focused on the importance of financial mechanisms, youth empowerment and capacity building, particularly in the Global South and across the Small Island Development States (SIDS), as well as the need to prioritise action through a gender-balanced lens.