It is great when you get the chance to meet with someone who inspires you. It’s even better when you get to meet a few of such inspiring people at once and it is phenomenal to then see those people engage with each other in an open, frank, honest and inspiring way.
Such discussions are things we rarely get to see or experience but today – for once – I got that chance.
In prior blogs you may have noticed that ONE has been talking about United Nations Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. (Details can be found at our blog here). Today at a co-hosted Civil Society Consultation event ONE along with Practical Action and Christian Aid brought the leaders behind this initiative together with Civil Society groups for an open and frank discussion on the initiative… and we certainly got that.
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and head of United Nations Development Programme Helen Clark,
Founder of Barefoot College and on the ground implementer of pro-poor energy initiative Banker Roy,
World Bank Climate Change Envoy, soon to be head of World Resources Institute, Andrew Steer,
World renowned renewable energy professor and politically savvy energy expert Dr Dan Kammen
All amazing, inspiring, speakers in their own right but today these members of the High Level Group behind SE4ALL didn’t hold back in their discussions. From pushing each other on the ways to ensure the voices of the poor are listened to, to admitting the need for further action, to challenging the audience on how they can help leaders, to addressing issues of political leadership, private sector involvement and legitimacy the other participants in the discussion, of which I was one, were treated to a really inspiring discussion that also challenged us on what we can do to address the energy poverty. Because for all the comments made today all the panelists were clear addressing energy poverty is the priority.
There is still a lot to be done however and this is just the start of the process. As the discussion showed – if we are to address the energy poverty challenge we must not only raise awareness, but work together and with developing countries to tackle this problem. ONE will be working hard over the next year to do just this because if we cannot work together we will not be able to provide the modern energy access to those in the poorest countries so desperately want and have a right to.
We would like to thank everyone who came for their contributions.
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