Energy access key to Rio+20 summit
Practical Action Chief Executive Simon Trace has urged global leaders to maximise the opportunity presented by the Rio+20 Summit next week in a pre-conference video blog.
Simon and a small group from Practical Action will use their 40 years’ experience in implementing international development projects on the ground to engage with global leaders and non-governmental organisations at Rio.
In his blog, released today and available to view here, Simon argues that it is vital the conference takes the opportunity to get global backing for total energy access.
The charity has been working with the UN to promote their goal of Sustainable Energy for All by 2030, is European communications partner of the UN Foundation in the 2012 Year of Sustainable Energy for All and a recognised leader in delivering energy access for poor people.
In addition to his views expressed in the video, Simon said: “Rio presents a real opportunity to change the direction of the politics of international development. It’s crucial that the conference does not become an expensive talking shop which fails to set a global agenda.
“Practical Action believes that total energy access can help people to work their way out of poverty. We have decades of experience in enabling the poorest people on the planet to access better services, better education and better job prospects. Vulnerable communities need energy access in order to develop.
“It is shocking that in 2012 one and a half billion people are without electricity, and two and a half billion are cooking over open fires. This is unhealthy, environmentally damaging, and, importantly, unnecessary.
“Practical Action has provided technological solutions which use simple, sustainable methods to provide energy. We support the UN goal of universal access to energy by 2030 – which also involves doubling energy efficiency and doubling the amount of renewable energy in use. We believe that the Rio conference is an opportunity to get global backing for these goals.
“We believe the goals are achievable – but it is all too easy to talk rather than do. We believe in taking practical action for change.”
Practical Action’s Poor People’s Energy Outlook report examines the links between access to energy and the ability of an individual to bring themselves out of poverty. More information and the report can be viewed here.
Practical Action will be hosting and attending a number of events throughout the conference:
- 13-22 June: Working with Bosch Siemens (BSH) on their exhibition stand - Practical Action and Bosch Siemens have worked together on a project to design and deliver smoke hoods for stoves to reduce indoor air pollution, so reducing deaths from smoke inhalation.
- 16/17 June: Presenting at “Fair Ideas for a Sustainable Planet” event showing projects that deliver solutions to energy poverty in the developing world.
- 18 June: Participating in a Civil Society thematic Session on Energy
- 19 June: Energy Day: Hosting, with Christian Aid and the Kenyan Government, an event about the implications of the Sustainable Energy For All initiative, based on the Total Energy for All concept and the Poor People’s Energy Outlook report – in an African context.
Practical Action works with some of the poorest people in Africa, South America and South Asia and has experienced first-hand the effects of climate change and lack of access to energy on vulnerable people.
For more information about Practical Action in Rio, log on to www.practicalaction.org/rio
Notes for editors
Members of the media will be able to get updates throughout the Rio+20 Conference from Helen Marsh, Head of Global Advocacy for Practical Action who will be blogging throughout the conference.
Helen will be available for comment and analysis throughout the conference, you can reach her on +44 (0)7855 861403 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact Practical Action CEO Simon Trace on +44 (0)7813 885862 and there will also be similar opportunities with representatives from Practical Action representatives from Kenya, Peru and Nepal.
Practical Action can also provide members of the media with personal stories, case studies and statistics about the issues addressed at the Rio+20 conference from some of the poorest people in the developing world.
For more information about Practical Action, please visit www.practicalaction.org.