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January 2013: Recent Happenings

  • The Global Energy Consultation 

The Global Consultation on Energy is now underway! Its purpose  is to invite an extensive range of stakeholders to build a shared vision of the world’s future energy challenges and the need to integrate energy into the post-2015 development agenda. The effort is a part of a larger global conversation comprising over 50 National Consultations and 11 Thematic Consultations, one of which is on energy. The consultation is taking place both on a web-based platform and at various face-to-face events worldwide. 

The online dialogue has begun with a first phase of discussions  to explore why energy matters and key priority issues. Please join the 1,500+ people that have accessed the conversation to date.  Further information on the global energy consultation, including an evolving calendar of events, is available on the World We Want energy consultation site.

  • A UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All

​On 21 December 2012, the UN General Assembly underscored the importance of energy issues by declaring 2014 to 2024 the Decade for Sustainable Energy for All. Its resolution (A/RES/67/215) calls upon Member States to galvanize efforts to make universal access to sustainable modern energy services a priority. It also emphasizes the importance of improving energy efficiency, increasing the share of renewable energy and cleaner technologies. As a next step, the Secretary-General will prepare, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, guidance on activities for the Decade in time for the Assembly’s next session.

Action Update: Energy + Women's Health

Delivery in rural Uganda 2012, PHOTO CREDIT: We Care Solar

What does energy have to do with women’s health? Simply put, it can mean the difference between life or death for a woman needing urgent medical care in a community without access to  electricity. The newest SE4ALL High Impact Opportunity on energy and women’s health will catalyze action to provide electricity for medical clinics, with a focus on obstetric care.

In developing countries, an estimated 400,000 healthcare facilities still lack access to reliable electricity. This means that vaccines and blood cannot be stored safely, diagnostic equipment is often useless, and operating rooms cannot function at night. For pregnant women, the lack of reliable electricity poses a significant risk to their own lives and those of their babies. Energy access benefits health workers too. Community health practitioners often lack reliable energy services for lighting in patients’ homes, for charging cell phones, and for their own safety when traveling after dark.

This High Impact Opportunity works to address these issues. For example, it will encourage appliance efficiency to help manage energy loads in clinics and support the local maintenance of energy systems. The World Health Organization, UN Women and the UN Foundation are co-leading this work, along with others from government, the private sector, the medical community and civil society. For more information, contact Yasemin Erboy.

Update on Tracking Progress

The first round of methodological consultations for the SE4ALL Global Tracking Framework concluded at the end of November 2012. The Steering Group received a wealth of comments from a wide range of stakeholders - international agencies, governments, civil society organizations, the private sector - and looks forward to sharing a revised report in early February during a 2nd round of consultations. Participants at the recent World Future Energy Summit were also given a preview of the main emerging findings at a side event opened by Kandeh Yumkellah.

The Global Tracking Framework is scheduled to be published in April. Updates on its development are available on SE4ALL’s website.

Resources from the SE4ALL Network

At its recent Assembly in Abu Dhabi, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) presented its global roadmap for renewable energy, REMAP 2030, which highlights ways to achieve the renewable energy objective in SE4ALL. IRENA also launched the world’s first open-access Global Atlas of renewable energy resources. The Atlas is the largest-ever initiative to assess renewable energy potential, bringing together data and maps from leading technical institutes and private sector companies. It charts solar and wind resources, and will expand to other forms of renewable energy.

At the World Future Energy Summit, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced the recent winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, launched in 2008 to reward achievements and spur innovation in renewable energy and sustainability. The UAE awarded $4 million in prizes, recognizing accomplishments in five recipient categories.

 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina has issued a challenge to find a renewable energy solution capable of providing off-grid power for the needs of an average war-returnee family in rural Bosnia and Herzegovina. Can you impact the lives of people affected by war? Read the detailed description of the challenge.