Abdelfattah Nada’s passion for climate action took him all the way to COP26. He tells us why world leaders have a lot to learn from young people like him.
Abdelfattah is a social entrepreneur and climate activist. In 2021 he represented Egypt in the Earth to COP message that was shown at the opening of COP26.
His speech called on world leaders to make action on climate change a global economic priority. It also highlighted the important role of young people and under-represented groups in responding to the crisis.
Abdelfattah is passionate about helping them to achieve this. His own work supports local communities in Egypt to develop eco-friendly initiatives that promote economic empowerment and gender equality.
In 2019 he launched Button Up, a social enterprise supporting women and young people in disadvantaged areas to make and sell high-quality, sustainable goods.
Button Up was developed through the British Council’s Active Citizens programme (2010–20). Abdelfattah describes the experience, which included an international study visit to the UK, as a ‘turning point in my career in the fields of development and entrepreneurship’.
Looking to the future, he is inspired by the people he met on the programme and the young people he works with in Egypt. He is optimistic that the next generation of leaders will be ‘more responsible for [the] environment and more supportive of social justice and gender equality’.
Until then, Abdelfattah is looking forward to welcoming world leaders to Egypt for COP27 in November. He believes they have much to learn from young people’s efforts to ‘protect our planet and safeguard a better future for all who live on it’.
‘Imagine what we can achieve together if we set this as our collective mission.’