Tuesday, 21 September 2010

SELCO gets the message across in New York

Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder director of the Ashden Awards, arrived in New York yesterday to participate in events surrounding the UN General Assembly and the Millenium Development Goals Summit. The first event Sarah attended celebrated the work of Ashden award-winner SELCO (pic). Sarah sent this short report back from last night's event in New York.

The SELCO event was excellent. SELCO is 15 years old now and is being hailed as an exemplary organisation for delivering clean energy to the poor. The event was hosted at the CitiBank Foundation offices and supported by the Lemelson Foundation, E+Co and the UN Foundation.

At the Clinton Global Initiative today, the UN Foundation is launching the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves which aims to end energy poverty by 2030. [See Clinton calls Cookstoves "a crosscutting issue".] As a senior member of the UN Foundation said, "We cannot achieve our Millenium Development Goals without providing access to modern forms of energy to the poor, it is essential for alleviating poverty."

The UN Foundation is very keen to promote the solutions - such as SELCO's - that bring clean reliable energy to the poor. The phrase 'energy access for the poor' seems to be on everyone's lips here.

One of the people at the SELCO event was the Indian Minister, Deepak Gupta, who was at our Ashden Awards conference in India, and who is in charge of India's Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). He remembered the Ashden Awards event and was proudly telling us that next year they will electrify 500 new villages through decentralised power and renewable energies.

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