Monday, January 16, 2012

The Man of Two Worlds - Ban Ki Moon Calls for Paradigm Shift in Energy Poverty.

There are approximately 2.7 billion people in the world without a clean cooking facility and 1.3 billion people without electricity. This creates a class of our fellow human beings living with indoor air quality polluted by residues from charcoal, wood chips, or animal fat and limited opportunities to compete for global labor demand to improve their lives.

The World Future Energy Summit opened today. Mr. Ban Ki Moon, a son of post war Korea, made his pleas.

Energy is central to everything we do – from powering our economies to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, from combating climate change to underpinning global security.

It is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity and preserving the environment.
Mr. Ban Ki Moon point to the two steps towards ending energy poverty: scale up successful clean energies along with energy efficient technologies and reduce emission with a keen focus on sustainable developments.

When access to energy services is combined with strategies that enhance incomes, and that strengthen public infrastructure, we can expect substantial and rapid progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

But, ending energy poverty is only one half of the energy equation.

Sustainable development needs sustainable energy.
Mr. Moon goes on to affirm some of the scientific findings. 

Our planet is over-heating. . . .

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, tells us, unequivocally, that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to half by 2050 to keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Centigrade since pre-industrial times.

According to the International Energy Agency, we are nearing the “point of no return”.
The United Nations established three objectives with a expected time-frame of 2030: providing modern energy access to all people around the world, double the rate of energy improvement, and double the renewable energy market share.

We are here to build a new energy future, a future that harnesses the power of technology and innovation in the service of people and the planet.

Sustainable energy for all is within our reach.
In closing, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, having warned of the connections between technology, social demand, and global security, challenges the world that has transformed itself with technology with the goal of a sustainable paradigm shift.


For those who may doubt, I say look no further than the phenomenal spread of mobile phone technology.

It has touched every corner of the world and empowered billions of people – a direct result of innovation, investment and government support.

We can create a similar paradigm with sustainable energy.
There is opportunity here for social entrepreneurs. As wealth will eventually redistribute by market forces and social demand, lifting people out of poverty means an increased consuming base capable of supporting sustainable energy and businesses. While nonrenewable sector will continue, their share of the pie will eventually decrease, so it makes no sense to build a company to grow in that sector. The incentive is to catch the sustainable energy market place early, incorporate equally the responsible social demands that will support the business model in a more and more social world, and develop a business strategy that hybrids on social engineering and free-market based decision making.  




Get a copy of the November Vision Statement from the U.N. 

Access Mr. Ban Ki Moon's speech here.

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