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ABB and UNEP join hands to accelerate the shift towards energy efficient products
23/09/14

ABB, one of the worlds’ leading companies in power and automation technologies, is joining hands with UNEP to support the Global Efficient Appliances and Equipment Partnership Programme, a new UNEP flagship initiative that will accelerate the transition to energy efficient products such as electric motors, distribution transformers, domestic refrigerators, air conditioners and information technology in developing countries and emerging economies.

Building on the company’s longstanding experience in developing energy efficient technologies, ABB will offer technical support to the Global Partnership Programme on energy efficient motors and transformers and their operation. The involvement of private sector expertise will be key to provide tailored assistance to developing countries and emerging economies in establishing policies such as minimum energy performance standards that will prompt the permanent move to efficient products, and ultimately reduce electricity demand, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Global Efficient Appliances and Equipment Partnership Programme is a key contribution to the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative and one of the flagship projects to be presented today at the UN Climate Summit that has a strong potential to catalyse global action for tackling climate change, including from private sector. Partners to this new UNEP initiative also include Global Environment Facility, UNDP, CLASP, the International Copper Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council. Dr. Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB, is announcing the collaboration today at the UN Climate Summit in New York, where he is invited to speak along with other business leaders on how the private sector can make a tangible and ambitious contribution to international climate change mitigation efforts.

For more information on the Global Efficient Appliances and Equipment Partnership Programme, please contact: Kornelia.Guse@unep.org

Read our IISD Guest Article: http://climate-l.iisd.org/guest-articles/high-efficiency-appliances-for-a-low-carbon-future/

UNEP and EDP join forces to improve access to clean energy in Mozambique
21/07/14

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Energias de Portugal (EDP), the Portuguese utility, are collaborating to bring clean energy to remote areas in Mozambique. The objective is to help communities in these areas to access energy from local renewable energy resources at an affordable rate. These new clean energy mini-grids will thereby support the country’s efforts towards low carbon development.

The project will be implemented in two steps. Firstly, target sites will be identified and business plans developed to show that such mini-grids can be commercially viable. This will be followed by building the actual mini-grid to demonstrate cost-effective operation under location conditions. The first phase has just been kicked-off in Mozambique with the identification of target sites.

This public-private partnership is part of a broader initiative by UNEP to demonstrate market-based, clean-energy applications in a range of isolated communities of developing countries worldwide. The aim is to attract private sector investment for clean energy mini-grids, which are a key element to bringing affordable clean energy solutions to the 1.4 billion people around the world who are still lacking access to electricity.

"We Have the Power" photo exhibition in Brussels Midi Station from 23 June to 29 June
20/06/2014

In 2013, Magnum Photos and the United Nations Environment Programme teamed up to showcase solutions already being implemented by UNEP and its partners to achieve the three objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

The resulting photo exhibition We Have the Power: efficient, renewable, affordable will open at Brussels Midi Station on June 23 as the train station’s newest special exhibition. Harnessing the talents of five photographers to portray the clean energy revolution taking place, We Have the Power will be on view until June 29, 2014.

UNEP Energy Branch celebrating World Environment Day 2014 on SIDS
05/06/2014

Today to celebrate World Environment Day on Small Islands and Developing States (SIDS), UNEP Energy Branch is launching a new video and photo-essay called: FIT FOR CHANGE!

Discover how Trinidad and Tobago, a Small Island Developing State, is taking action towards renewable energy. Although contributing less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, SIDS have decided to take steps to switch to renewable energy, reducing their dependence on fossil fuels. Trinidad and Tobago, the leading Caribbean producer of oil and natural gas, is demonstrating vision and political ambition through several decisions and projects on clean energy. The country is legislating to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, and is considering measures such as feed-in-tariffs (FITs).

To watch the video, please go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzaWoDIKsCI

Climate Finance & Investment Forum highlighting the potential of West Africa as destination of climate investment
03/06/2014

West Africa could soon become the new destination of climate finance and investment. This was reflected during the "Climate Finance & Investment Forum in West Africa" organized in Lomé, which saw great interest from public and private financial institutions. Investors and projects developers from the region gathered for the first time last week to consider opportunities arising from the combination of renewable energy and energy efficient projects as well as new and upcoming concepts of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, New Market Mechanisms and national carbon markets. The Forum, co-organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UNEP Risoe Centre, involved more than a 100 participants.

Speaking on the first day, Togo’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ouro Koura Agadazi, stressed the essential role of climate finance in combating climate change and keeping average global temperatures at or near the internationally agreed 2 degree limit.“The forum has demonstrated that funding opportunities are available and can be mobilized,” said BOAD Vice-President Bassary Toure. “I am confident the presence of BOAD, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development and now the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre of Lomé; will help West Africa meet its full potential with regards to development and climate finance.” “The Regional Collaborating Centre work plan for 2014 aims to strengthen activities tailored to reduce some of the barriers and uncertainties that the Clean Development Mechanism project developers are facing. The centre, together with other agencies, can help unlocking climate finance and better leverage the private sector,” said Luca Brusa of the UNFCCC.

“While $US 214.4 billion was invested in renewables this year, West Africa still represents a small portion of these investments. Securing the necessary financing still remains a challenge in the region”, said Françoise d’Estais from the United Nations Environment Programme. “’However, creative solutions are beginning to emerge. Listening to the 20 project developers coming from 10 different countries demonstrated that numerous endeavours are already taking place all over West Africa, in areas such as energy-efficient cookstoves, small-scale and larger-scale solar technologies, waste management to energy, and afforestation/reforestation.”

Renewable Energy Institute opens in Fukushima, Japan
14/06/2014

The Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, AIST (FREA) has two basic missions: the promotion of R&D into renewable energy, which is open to the world; and to make a contribution to industrial clusters and reconstruction. The institute is located in Koriyama, 60 kilometres west of the stricken nuclear plant, and has been established by the Tsukuba-based National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) to promote R&D into renewable energy So far, it has attracted interest from electronics companies such as Panasonic and Sharp, and foreign collaborations are also in the pipeline, including one with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany. Inside, about 100 researchers will work across areas including solar, hydrogen, wind and geothermal power.

For more information: http://www.fukushima.aist.go.jp/en/

UNEP Energy organising a side event at the World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia
07/04/2014

Already back in 2011, when the Wall Street Journal discussed “How to Build a Greener City,” district energy was touted as the first solution on the paper‘s list of priority actions to address the energy and environmental challenges facing growing cities.

UNEP ICLEI and UN Habitat have recently joined forces in an effort to support energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies in cities. In the research undertaken for the UNEP REsilient Cities Project, district energy emerged as a high impact opportunity leveraged by cities leading in sustainable energy. As an outcome, a district energy teaser has been developed which looks at emerging innovations, success factors and best practices in the deployment of district energy.

When: April 9, 16:30-18:15
Where: UN One Room
What: Don't Waste the Waste - the Economic Opportunity to Harness Waste Streams, Reject Heat & Integrate Local Energy Sources

WORLD WATER DAY

This year, the UN has dedicated World Water Day 2014 to Water and Energy to draw attention to the fact that: more than 1.3 billion people live without electricity; 768 million people lack access to potable water; and 2.8 billion live in areas of high water stress. Water and energy have critical impacts on eliminating poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

Workshop on bioenergy and water: developing strategic priorities for sustainable outcomes
20/02/2014

This workshop was organized by IEA Bioenergy Task 43, IINAS, UNEP and Winrock International. It was the 5th event arranged in collaboration with different organizations exploring the interlinkages between bioenergy and water and ways to address related risks and harness opportunities, and builds on the workshop "Spotlight on Energy and Water" organized by the Tasktogether with Oeko Institut and UNEP in July 2010.

Since the 2010 workshop, several organisations have undertaken related work and some gaps identified at the first workshop have been closed, but others remain. The 2014 workshop was organized to develop a co-ordinated and common approach to addressing and communicating water-related issues for bioenergy. The common vision derived at the workshop is goodmanagement of resources - benefiting from complementarity of different systems -can provide food, bioenergy and biomaterials AND improve the state of water. Theworkshop specifically explored how integration of bioenergy systems into forest and agricultural landscapes can deliver positive outcomes for environment and socio-economy.

The workshop drilled deeper into assessment, policy and implementation issues, as well as data gaps. The participants identified strategic priorities to enable the benefits of bioenergy to be captured and delivered. A set of common goals was agreed and possible contributions from the represented organizations were identified. Based on this, a work plan and a group communication strategy will be developed.

Hybridizing Diesel Mini-Grids for Decentralized Energy – Public-Private Investment Opportunities
22/01/2014

In 21 January adjacent to the WFES, UNEP, IRENA and Siemens organized a workshop to discuss the market potential for clean energy mini-grids in developing countries. The workshop included a presentation of the preliminary results of an ongoing assessment to demonstrate the commercially viable operation of such mini-grids and so reduce the risks for future investors.

UNEP contributing to Sustainable Energy for All
05/12/2013

UNEP, in collaboration with the Magnum Photo Agency, launched on 27 November 2013, a new media campaign entitled ‘We Have The Power: Efficient, Renewable, Affordable. A UNEP Contribution to Sustainable Energy for All’, showcasing:

  • Market Transformation for Energy Efficient Lighting, Chile (reflecting the work of UNEP’s en.lighten initiative) by Moises Saman
  • "Nafa Naana” (guaranteed savings), Burkina Faso (reflecting the work of UNEP’s Africa Carbon Asset Development Facility) by Dominic Nahr
  • Bus Rapid Transit Improvements in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (reflecting the work of UNEP’s Transport Unit) by Jerome Sessini

We Have The Power: Efficient, Renewable, Affordable photo exhibition was opened on 26 November by the Secretary-General. Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, joined the Secretary-General at the opening.

The media campaign illustrates solutions already being implemented by UNEP and its partners to support the three objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

For more information, please visit: www.unep.org/wehavethepower

UNEP Launches the Guidebook for the Development of a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Strategy on Efficient Lighting
05/12/2013

A new guide that shows countries how to turn country-wide efficient lighting programmes into key tools to combat climate change has been launched at the international climate negotiations in Warsaw.

The Guidebook for the Development of a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Strategy on Efficient Lighting, released at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP19) in Warsaw, by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), emphasizes the role of energy efficient lighting and its investment potential for rapidly reducing carbon emissions and delivering economic and environmental benefits through Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).