Together we’ve got the Power

Why SE4ALL Needs Civil Society

The first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum was held at the headquarters of United Nations, New York. This session, moderated by Mr. Bros, the director of the Global Business & Biodiversity Programme of IUCN, reiterated the needs for civil society in charting the way forward to reach goals and targets on renewables and energy efficiency.

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The first speaker, Ms. Leopold, discussed capacity building, access to information were challenges faced during the mobilization of actions by Civil Society Organization (CSO). Clear commitment and transparent guidelines agreed among governments, United Nations, multilateral development banks to CSO participation, capacity building of CSO through inclusive participation and access to timely and meaningful information were three key pointers she raised to achieve a more meaningful participation by civil society.

Mr. Riley from WWF pointed out that there was a lack of social structure to promote civil society engagement, which impeded goals and energy policies from achieving. Right now, CSO had started to puttogether platforms in engaging all stakeholders by means of toolkits and roadmaps, so that messages can be shared and negotiated.

Ms. Zuniga carried on by saying that civil society was the voice representing local population, and it had the power to bring their own learning and experiences into discussion. Ms. Edjekumhene, executive director of KITE, cited an example of Guana being the first country to develop a CSO engagement action plan to identify energy use objectives.

The last speaker, Ms. Allam, believed sustainability was all about providing an enabling environment, but prior to that, required poverty reduction, energy and resources management. She emphasised that people need to change their norms to eradicate poverty and create a zero-carbon environment. Lastly, she envisioned a sustainable world where different genders, ethnic groups and marginalised communities can have affordable and reliable access for energy.

Meeting Title: Together we’ve got the power: why SE4ALL needs civil society
Speakers: Mr. Gerard Bros, Director, Global Business & Biodiversity Programme, ICUN; Mr. Aaron Leopold, Global Energy Advocate for Practical Action, Mr. Dan Riley, Lead Specialist Renewable Energy Policy of WWF US; Ms. Mariam Mohamed Adballah Abdelhafiz Allam, Arab Youth Climate Movement/IndyACT; Ms. Lizeth Zuniga, Director of Renewables Association; Ms Ishmael Edjekumhene, Executive Director of KITE
Location:
United Nations HQ, Trusteeship Council
Date: 5 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Tracy Lau

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