Connecting Young Women Toward a Sustainable Africa

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The Ghana Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa hosted today’s meeting. Established in 2004 as a Women’s Initiative for Empowerment and Leadership Development (WIELD) Foundation, it is a non-profit organization that pursues proactive strategies to develop and empower young women to take on leadership roles in their communities. Despite the increasing potential in Africa, the majority of women still lack access to equal opportunities and resources for leadership development. Ms.Adwoa Bame, the program director and founding member of Moremi Initiative, spoke briefly about the organization’s goals in the future. She stated that the investment in young women’s leadership will provide double dividends to make the world a better place for all, and that the strategies that seek to improve the lives of young women significantly affect the population. In 2009, Moremi Initiative started the process of having young women across the continent come together and meet, to become young women leaders and discuss pertinent issues. This program is known as the Milead fellowship.

After Ms. Bame spoke about the organization, she introduced various young members of Milead Fellowship, who spoke about their passions, goals, and experiences in their countries. The first member was Ms. Hadeye Maiga from Mali, and she discussed her experience as an engineer, and the need for more women engineers. She explained that although engineering work does take a lot of time, she has a strong passion for the field. Another member was Ms. Baba Jackson from Ghana, and she mentioned the importance of support, and encouraging more programs like Milead Fellowship where young women can meet. She noted that the only way we can richer definition of feminism is when we meet new people and experience different perspectives. After various members of the fellowship spoke about their experiences, Ms. Bame gave a closing statement.

Meeting: Enhancing Young Women’s Voices for Women’s Empowerment and Sustainable Development: A Multi-generational Dialogue with Emerging African Women Leaders

Date/Location: Wednesday March 16, 2016, 10:00 –11:15; Conference Room 1

Speakers: Ms. Adwoa Bame, Program Director and Founding Member of Ghana Moremi Initiative; Ms. Hadeye Maiga, Milead Fellowship member from Mali; Ms. Baba Jackson, Milead fellowship member from Ghana; Milead Fellowship member from Botswana; Milead Fellowship member from Kenya; Milead Fellowship member from Uganda; Milead Fellowship from Benin

Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Youth Independent

The Sustainable Year

Ms. Thompson opened the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) meeting by highlighting that we need to develop sustainable energy and overcome financial challenges. Energy is critical to global development, but the future cannot depend on fossil fuels. In addition Energy efficiency and technology can provide universal energy access for all. The international community must replace fossil fuels by addressing the financial constraints of renewable energy. A committee, designed to investigate sustainable energy investments through public and private sectors, has proposed a draft report to catalyze investments by 2020. The report identifies significant financial gaps. Mr. Gulati illustrates that traditional and non-traditional investments are needed to accomplish three objectives: access, renewables, and efficiency. Also, Policy reforms need to attract capital, and address aggregation mechanisms and the lack of capacity.

Main issues focus on dealing with capital flow, de-risking environments, creating a predictable framework, and blending. Public and corporate governments must become financially viable, attract capital, and keep consumer costs fair. Mr. MacGeorge introduces the problem of channeling funding into countries below investment grade level. Sustainable Energy for All has a challenge of filling a $45 billion dollar gap. Not many renewable energy projects are attractive to financiers because of un-developed technology. Governments in low-income countries cannot take on the challenges of renewable energy, placing the burden on uninterested private developers. Another challenge lies in creating an attractive risk and return balance. Risk is only lessened when preparation of the project and policy mechanisms are improved. Larger projects generate more interest, leaving many middle-sized projects in an ignored category. Aggregation initiatives are being used to make assets appear more attractive to investors. Ambassador Pedersen related sustainable energy back to the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

 

Meeting: Event on “Financing Sustainable Energy for All” (organized by the Special Representative of the Secretary – General for Sustainable Energy for All)

Date/Location: Wednesday, January 28th, 2015; 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm; Conference Room 12

Speakers: Abyd Karmali, Managing Director, Climate Finance, Bank of America Merril Lynch; Elizabeth Thompson; Richard MacGeorge, Lead Infrastructure Finance Specialist, World Bank; Mohinder Gulati, Chief Operating Officer of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative; Ambassador Geir O. Pederson, Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations

Written by: Ellie Guner

Edited by: Modou Cham

 

 

 

 

Energy Efficiency Accelerators at SE4ALL

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Luis Gomez-Echeverri, moderator of the Sustainable Energy Forum, spoke about options for alternative resource development in a number of countries, and spoke about the importance of energy efficiency. Between 1974 and 2010, energy efficiency was the main focus in 11 countries associated with the International Energy Agency. R.K. Pachauri, Director General of TERI, talked about conservation of energy. To maintain energy efficiency, the negative carbon emissions need to decrease by 450 million. In order to accomplish this, legislative procedures need to be put in place and also budgets needs to increase.

Reid Detchon discussed the governmental role in providing funds to start an accelerator program. In order to accelerate the implementation policies on the Energy Efficiency Accelerator approach, the current slow process in formulating effective funding must be accelerated.

Setting the correct policy framework is the main goal. Detchon suggested that all willing governments address policy questions, provide technical services and, most importantly, engage civil society. Clay Nesler, who represents Johnson Controls’, approach to the realization of the accelerator program is to engage cities to commit to participate with the program and get local governments to commit to funding. Nesler announced that if all goes through, the official kickoff will be in Paris. He elaborated on getting assistance by using logistics to scale up the cost of sustainable and renewable energy, and ensuring price and project autonomy.

 

Meeting Title: Sustainable Energy Forum: Energy Efficiency Accelerators
Speakers: Luis Gomez-Echeverri, Senior Research Scholar, IIASA and Senior Advisor, SE4ALL; Reid Detchon, Vice President Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation; R. K. Pachauri, Director General, TERI; Steven L. Kukoda, Vice President, International Copper Association, Ltd.; Clay Nesler, Vice President Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Controls; Alfred Haas, Vice President, Osram; Ivan Jaques, Head, Energy Efficient Cities, Energy Sector Management Assistance Program ESMAP, WB; Paul Voss, Managing Director, Euroheat and Power; Sheila Watson, Director of Environment and Research, FIA Foundation; Josué Tanaka, Managing Director, Operational Strategy, EBRD
Location: United Nations UQ, Trusteeship Council, New York 
Date: 4 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Leslie Anokye
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark 

 

Reactions and Suggestions to the Sustainable Development Goals

An informal meeting convened by the Co-chairs of the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held this morning. Representatives of major groups and other stakeholders gathered to discuss their viewpoints on the Zero Draft of the SDGs.

Mr. Harris called for more ambitious targets under Goal 7 in a bid to provide all people with access to renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and ensure that new energy production is renewable. He used biomass as an example to illustrate the need to define qualifiers such as “clean”, “sustainable” or “modern” energy within targets under Goal 7, since biomass is renewable yet its potential negative social and environmental impacts can impede sustainability itself. He further made suImageggestions on the reformulation of targets under Goal 7, with more attention to women, indigenous people, farmers and entrepreneurs.

Ms. Hansen reiterated the necessity of the stand-alone goal on climate change towards a climate-resilient future and to drive urgent international action. She asked for more concrete and ambitious targets under goal 13 by taking into account the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), and setting a target of a less than1.5°C increase in global average temperature. She also suggested one additional target related to financing, since financing is one of the most critical means of implementing the SDGs.

Ms. Wright spoke about goal 9, industrialization, and raised concern in which the language and focus of goal 9 would counteract the real essence of sustainable development. She, on behalf of her group, proposed merging the “production related” target of goal 12, with some of the targets in goal 9. Melany Grout emphasized the need to address the multidimensional face of poverty and the target under goal 1, poverty eradication, should focus on the measure of well-being rather than on income alone. Furthermore, social protection should be universalized.

 

Meeting Title: Reaction to Zero Draft: Joint Statements
Speakers: Grove Harris, speaking on behalf of Women’s, Children and Youth, Indigenous Peoples, NGO Major Groups, Mining Working Group, Beyond 2015; Mette Bloch Hansen. speaking on behalf of the Major Groups of NGOs, Children & Youth and Women, Beyond 2015, Climate Action Network International; Nozipho Wright, speaking on behalf of Women’s Major Group, NGO Major Group, the youth Major and other stakeholders; Melany Grout, speaking on behalf of Plan International, Psychology Coalition at the UN, Commons Cluster, ATD Fourth World, Oxfam, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, GNDR, Plan International, World Animal Protection, World Vision International, Major Group Children and Youth, Landesa.
Date: 19 June 2014
Location: United Nations, Economic and Social Council Chamber, New York
Written by WIT Representative: Tracy Lau
Edited by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan

Acceleration Sustainable Energy Deployment through Support for Energy Innovation

On the first day of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum, the second session focused on catalysing investment through innovative business models.

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Mr. Zindler, a representative of the Bloomberg team, started by introducing his field, which focuses on new energy technologies and investment in clean energy. Mr Zindler highlighted the current challenges for policymakers, especially in developing countries. Firstly, it is difficult to find the appropriate level of support for renewables, given the uncertainty over costs. Allocating support costs equitably, integrating renewables into the grid and preparing for cost parity are equally difficult. Therefore, he would like to come up with ideas about promoting innovation for policies and financials, efficiently in the near future.

Mr. Sarkar followed by highlighting the current challenges in terms of energy efficiency implementation in the developing world since different countries use different financial instruments. Therefore, he introduced three implementation models to tackle the challenges and financing gap categorized under the Energy Efficiency Fund (EE Fund), namely the public model, private model and public private partnerships (PPPs). He emphasized that PPPs has a possibility of bringing in new sources of financing for funding public infrastructure and service needs. Some countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Korea and India are already implementing the EE Fund. This fund would be able to support energy efficiency, renewable energy and promote economic development and energy security.

Mr. Roders, who moderated the meeting, concluded the session with an example – introducing the innovative programming for climate change, which is a performance-based financing for projects and sectors. One of the advantages of this programming is that it catalyses the engagement of the private sector, including PPS, risk-mitigation and structured financing tools, global certification, standards programs and SME Small Grant Program.

 

Meeting Title: Accelerating Sustainable Energy Deployment through Support for Innovation
Speakers: David Rodgers, Senior Climate Change Specialist, Climate and Chemicals, GEF; Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis, Bloomberg New Energy Finance ; Ashok Sarkar, Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank
Location: UN Headquarters, Trusteeship Council
Date: 4 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Samantha Kong
Edited by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark 

 

Water-Energy-Food Nexus

At the ‘Sustainable Energy for All Forums’ there was a panel discussion on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, which highlighted interlinkages in the energy and water sector. Tania Rodiger-Vorwerk (Deputy Director General-Directorate 31, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) began the discussion, by stating that this was the very first public discussion on the HIO nexus. The demand for natural resources is consistently increasing and it is anticipated that the there will be severe shortages of natural resources if we don’t control and manage our resources effectively. Thus the aim of the nexus is to find intersectoral solutions designed to increase efficiency.
NEXUS News image 1.0.ashxRodiger also highlighted that Germany has been involved in the nexus through supporting regional dialogues through the high level African dialogue on Water-Food-Energy nexus in Nairobi in 2012 and supporting educational management. The main objectives of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development for the nexus are: collect and develop resources for nexus challenges; exchange information concerning practical experiences; integrate nexus perspective on policy level; promote nexus in other related sectors such as agriculture, irrigation etc.; and ensure HIO policy coherence.

Olivier Dubois (the Senior Natural Resources Officer and Coordinator, Energy Programme, FAO) added that nexus contributes phenomenally to sustainability, through three dimensions: resource efficiency; tradeoffs; and linking tradeoffs to opportunities. He highlighted that we are at the initial stages of building the nexus and thus need to develop nexus assessment and cost effective tools approach.Martin Hiller (Director General, REEEP) shared REEP’s contribution and initiatives, for instance a very simple technology of solar water pumps was converted into a private business in Kenya.

Anna Delgado (Water Unit, World Bank) noted that it is important to integrate energy-water planning at local and international level. The Thirsty Energy Initiative works to ensure governments integrate across the food, water and energy sectors. REEEP is in dialogue with China, as their water resources required energy expansion plans. She concluded by saying that the nexus requires a methodological approach, driven by demand and we should quantify tradeoffs.

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Meeting Title: Water-Energy-Food Nexus HIO, Sustainable Energy for All Forums
Speakers: Tania Rodiger-Vorwerk, Deputy Director General-Directorate 31, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; Olivier Dubois, Senior Natural Resources Officer and Coordinator, Energy Programme, FAO; Anna Delgado, Water Unit, World Bank; Martin Hiller, Director General, REEEP; Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General, EuropeAid, European Commission.
Location: United Nations HQ; Conference Room B, New York
Written By WIT representative: Aslesha Kaur Dhillon

Together we’ve got the Power

Why SE4ALL Needs Civil Society

The first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum was held at the headquarters of United Nations, New York. This session, moderated by Mr. Bros, the director of the Global Business & Biodiversity Programme of IUCN, reiterated the needs for civil society in charting the way forward to reach goals and targets on renewables and energy efficiency.

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The first speaker, Ms. Leopold, discussed capacity building, access to information were challenges faced during the mobilization of actions by Civil Society Organization (CSO). Clear commitment and transparent guidelines agreed among governments, United Nations, multilateral development banks to CSO participation, capacity building of CSO through inclusive participation and access to timely and meaningful information were three key pointers she raised to achieve a more meaningful participation by civil society.

Mr. Riley from WWF pointed out that there was a lack of social structure to promote civil society engagement, which impeded goals and energy policies from achieving. Right now, CSO had started to puttogether platforms in engaging all stakeholders by means of toolkits and roadmaps, so that messages can be shared and negotiated.

Ms. Zuniga carried on by saying that civil society was the voice representing local population, and it had the power to bring their own learning and experiences into discussion. Ms. Edjekumhene, executive director of KITE, cited an example of Guana being the first country to develop a CSO engagement action plan to identify energy use objectives.

The last speaker, Ms. Allam, believed sustainability was all about providing an enabling environment, but prior to that, required poverty reduction, energy and resources management. She emphasised that people need to change their norms to eradicate poverty and create a zero-carbon environment. Lastly, she envisioned a sustainable world where different genders, ethnic groups and marginalised communities can have affordable and reliable access for energy.

Meeting Title: Together we’ve got the power: why SE4ALL needs civil society
Speakers: Mr. Gerard Bros, Director, Global Business & Biodiversity Programme, ICUN; Mr. Aaron Leopold, Global Energy Advocate for Practical Action, Mr. Dan Riley, Lead Specialist Renewable Energy Policy of WWF US; Ms. Mariam Mohamed Adballah Abdelhafiz Allam, Arab Youth Climate Movement/IndyACT; Ms. Lizeth Zuniga, Director of Renewables Association; Ms Ishmael Edjekumhene, Executive Director of KITE
Location:
United Nations HQ, Trusteeship Council
Date: 5 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Tracy Lau

Private and Public Sector Collaboration for Renewable Energy Solutions

During the Sustainable Energy For All Forum a side event was held on forming partnerships between the private and public sector in order to find renewable energy solutions. Beginning the discussion, Ms. Eibs-Singer spoke about opportunities for the public and private sector to collaborate using public sector instruments at the policy level and private sector investment at the market level in order to invest in renewable energy.

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A more direct integration of the public and private sector is necessary for successful renewable energy projects to take off. However, Ms. Eibs-Singer pointed out that a potential problem in working together is how much slower progress can occur in the public sphere than in the private , and that the two need to reconcile this problem in order to effectively work together.

Mr. Ford, the Managing Director of Accenture (one of the world’s largest consulting and technology companies), then spoke about Accenture’s nexus with civil society, corporations, and donors, and how these partnerships can be used to find renewable energy solutions. Mr. Ford also mentioned Accenture’s work in renewable energy, and how this relates to education, health, and capacity building for development.

The Rockefeller Foundation gave a statement about the need to build resilience for disadvantaged communities and cities, and to make economies more inclusive; allowing more opportunities for participation. The key to this, he said, is energy access from renewable sources. Access to energy is necessary for withstanding climate change, health pandemics, and for having access to information, and is also fundamental for participation in the modern economy. Government capacity, the skills of the private sector, as well as money from funders is needed to find renewable energy solutions.

Mr. Fast then followed up this statement with an example of Accenture’s project in Northern Uganda, which helps local villagers use solar energy more efficiently. Accenture created this project with the help of local schools and businesses. To close, Mr. Rubin a professor at University of Pennsylvania, talked about his project in Zimbabwe, which, with the help from universities, private sector donations, and public sector infrastructure, produced an innovative solution to efficiently refrigerate vaccines for children by using the electric infrastructure from already existing cell phone towers to power the refrigerators.

Meeting: Energy Access for Development Impact: How Can the Private and Public Sector Collaborate on Renewable Energy Solutions?
Speakers: Ms. Christine Eibs-Singer; Senior Advisor, SE4ALL; Mr. Roger Ford, Managing Director, Accenture Development Partnerships; Mr. Zia Khan, Vice President for Initiatives and Strategy, The Rockefeller Foundation; Mr. Scott Fast, Executive Director, Accenture Foundation; Mr. Harvey Rubin, Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and Director, Energize the Chain
Location: United Nations HQ, New York, Conference Room A
Date: 4 June 2014
Written By WIT representative: Marli Kasdan