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First Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

The first annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held on 6-7 June in New York focusing on the topic "Realizing the potential of STI for all to achieve the SDGs". This is part of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) which was launched at the September UN Summit in recognition of the key role of STI in achieving the SDGs. This Forum was a major milestone since the adoption of the SDGs, attracting more than 600 participants representing 81 governments and more than 350 scientists, innovators, technology specialists, entrepreneurs and civil society representatives. The outcome of this forum will provide timely input to the next High-level Political Forum in July, which is the UN central platform for the follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNEP has been actively involved in the development and implementation of the TFM by taking a leadership role in co-chairing, with UNDESA, the UN Inter Agency Task Team which is also part of the TFM.

For information is available at the TFM website:

Roadmaps for Successful Climate Action: C40 Cities Share 100 Case Studies Proven to Work

As cities around the world look for ways to implement the Paris Declaration and meet the ambition of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21), C40 is showcasing 100 real world examples of projects and approaches that have already proved successful in our member cities. With 100 case studies taken from cities of every size, geography and stage of development around the world, the Good Practice Guides provide tangible examples of climate solutions that other cities can learn from. One of these Good Practice Guides focuses on district energy. The guide draws from the research and findings of UNEP District Energy in Cities Report and focuses on the key elements to successfully deliver district energy in cities, with a survey of best practices leading to better economic, social, and environmental outcomes for cities.

Download the Good Practice Guide on District Energy.

Belgrade to become a champion of low-carbon district heating

UNEP is among bodies providing technical advice for the overhaul of Belgrade’s district heating system, with the aim of securing major efficiency gains. A wide range of stakeholders – including the private sector and finance institutions – were consulted in Belgrade’s Hotel Metropol today on possible ways of rehabilitating and integrating renewables in the city’s district heating system.

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en.lighten publications available in additional languages

Some en.lighten publications are now available to readers in additional languages . This includes the Developing a National or Regional Efficient Lighting Strategy in Spanish and four off-grid lighting publications in French. See the en.lighten website’s publications section to download the publications. District Energy gained momentum at COP 21

District energy gained momentum at COP 21

At COP 21, district energy gained momentum as representatives of cities, national governments, and a diverse range of other organisations emphasized its importance in mitigating CO2, reducing air pollution and paving the way for fossil-fuel free cities and countries. District energy had a strong presence in the Lima Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) of both Buildings day andEnergy Day - a reflection of its ability to integrate and decarbonize multiple sectors. The LPAA Initiatives helped raise the profile of district energy as a key climate solution for the first time at COP.

Click here to download the full COP 21 Summary.

New programme makes clean energy entrepreneurs out of women

The United Nations Environment Programme and UN Women have launched an initiative to help remove the social and economic obstacles preventing women from accessing clean energy and becoming renewable energy entrepreneurs.The United Nations agencies for environment and women on Tuesday launched a landmark initiative to help women in developing countries gain access to sustainable energy and opportunities to become renewable energy entrepreneurs. Unveiled at the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris, the Women’s Sustainable Energy Entrepreneurship and Access programme aims to remove “structural barriers and discrimination” preventing women from accessing renewable resources and earning a livelihood from it. These include social norms and stereotypes that confine women to unpaid domestic work, the notion that women are not capable entrepreneurs, and a shortage of women in energy policy formulation. In the programme’s initial phase, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Women will work with policymakers from six countries - Senegal, Morocco, Myanmar, India, Indonesia, and Bolivia - to develop plans to address these issues.

New street lighting assessments and guidance

UNEP en.lighten initiative, les Eco Maires, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), Philips Lighting France, Osram France, Sunna Design, World Bank, IEA 4E SSL Annex and the Climate Group released a guidance note and city lighting assessments on approximately 30 French cities, showing the potential financial, GHG, and energy savings of transitioning to LED street lighting. It is estimated that LED street lighting can result in energy savings 40 – 70 percent higher compared to traditional lighting technologies, and their maintenance costs are close to zero due their very long lifetimes.

Release of the U4E country assessments

The country assessments show the large financial, environmental, and energy benefits the transition to energy‐efficient lighting, refrigerators, air conditioners, electric motors, and distribution transformers can deliver. The assessments are available for approximately 100 countries in Latin America, West Africa, Southern Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. The assessments can be downloaded on the U4E website. An additional 50 countries will be added during 2016.

Approval of GEF programs and projects on energy‐efficient lighting, appliances, and equipment

The recent announcement includes global funding for U4E to support national/regional implementation of energy‐efficiency policies, actions, and projects. Further, national projects were announced for Costa Rica (lighting, refrigerators, and air conditioners), Kazakhstan (domestic appliances), and Sudan (lighting and air conditioners). The projects will be implemented with country partners, UNEP, UNDP and support from United for Efficiency (U4E) private and public sector partners.

Energy Efficiency & Access Focus Thematic Event

The Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) Focus Day on Energy was held on Monday, 7 December 2015 in Paris, France, during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21). Convened by Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Energy Focus Day highlighted the role of renewable energy and energy efficiency in fighting climate change. The LPAA is a joint undertaking of the Peruvian and French COP presidencies, the Office of the UN Secretary-General and the UNFCCC Secretariat. The LPAA was announced in December 2014, with the objective of strengthening climate action throughout 2015, at COP 21 and beyond. It seeks to demonstrate that the transition to low-emission and climate-resilient development is both urgent and feasible, with state and non-state actors creating and implementing initiatives and generating momentum for climate action in different action areas. The Energy Focus Day is one of the thematic focus events organized under the LPAA to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to present issues in their action area and showcase solution pathways to tackle.

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Bertrand Piccard appointed Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations

After having recognized his ecological commitment by naming him Champion of the Earth 2012, the United Nations have decided to appoint Bertrand Piccard Goodwill Ambassador for their Environmental Program (UNEP). « This nomination is an encouragement to continue showing how many incredible things can be done with renewable energies, but also to implement more energy efficient technologies in our world », said Bertrand Piccard, initiator and pilot of Solar Impulse.

Unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change

Ministers from Finland, France, Morocco, Senegal and Sweden, international organizations, multinational CEOs and civil society leaders launch the alliance to speed up and scale-up the potential of the sector for climate action. 20 countries (Armenia, Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vietnam), and over 60 organizations on Thursday launched an unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to speed up and scale up the sector’s huge potential to reduce its emissions and literally build greater climate resilience into future cities and infrastructure. Ibrahim Thiaw from UNEP and co-founder of the Alliance noted that the Building sector represents 30% of global CO2 emissions. “What will be done in this sector is crucial for the future of developing countries,” he said. Read more.

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Heating efficiency drive in Bosnian city

UNEP is working with the Climate Technology and Transfer Network (CTCN) and Bosnian city of Banja Luka to modernise its district heating system and save 80,000 tonnes of CO2 a year as well as energy and water.

One third of consumers in the city are currently at risk of being under-heated for the upcoming cold seasons due to the inefficient heating system. The modernisation is expected to prevent households and businesses from switching to other less environmentally-friendly energy sources including wood, which would also severely hamper business for the district heating utility. The transition to a modern system is a major priority for Bosnia and Herzegovina and for the city of Banja Luka in particular, since it hosts the country’s second largest such structure, responsible for significant water, heat and energy losses. District hearing is also one of the biggest sources of GHG emissions in the country.

The project has the aim of “generating conditions that will allow sustainable development, especially regarding the distribution and consumption of heating energy,” said Slobodan Gavranoviæ, Mayor of Banja Luka, which is a pilot city of UNEP’s Global District Energy in Cities Initiative. “A comprehensive solution for improvement of conditions in this sector was provided to Banja Luka thanks to UNEP and CTCN,” he noted. With UNEP’s support, Banja Luka requested technical assistance from the CTCN and a feasibility study for rehabilitating and modernising its district heating is now set to be carried out. The study will envisage a reduction in energy costs, heat losses, improved building efficiency and a switch to environmentally-friendly heating. Banja Luka and the city’s district heating company is also set to put in place a new tariff system, significantly step-up its energy efficiency and use renewable heat. Technical lessons learned from CTCN’s work and the study will furthermore be applied elsewhere in the country and the region.

UNEP's National Reporting System and UNEP Live are currently being presented to local stakeholders in the Bosnian and Kosovan capitals Sarajevo and Pristina by staff from UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment. The presentations take place in the framework of a project run by UNEP and the Global Environment Facility titled ‘Capacity Development for the Integration of Global Environmental Commitments into National Policies and Development Decision Making in Bosnia and Herzegovina’.

Launch of the Global Lighting Challenge

Lighting accounts for more than 15% of the world’s electricity consumption – more than the electricity generated by all the nuclear power stations in the world - and around 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. What’s more, there are 1.4 billion people around the world who lack access to modern energy services, including reliable lighting, and are instead using energy sources such as kerosene that pose serious environmental and health risks.

In response to this issue, the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is launching the Global Lighting Challenge (GLC). This is a race to reach cumulative global sales of 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality, and affordable lighting products (such as Light Emitting Diodes - LEDs) as quickly as possible. The GLC brings together and elevates efforts to promote efficient lighting policies including the CEM’s Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative and Global Lighting Energy and Access Energy Partnership (Global LEAP), United Nations Environment Programme and Global Environment Facility’s en.lighten initiative, International Finance Corporation’s Lighting Global, and International Energy Agency’s Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment Solid State Lighting Annex. Click here to learn more about the Global Lighting Challenge.

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Obama Administration Joins with Public and Private Sector to Increase Access to Off-Grid Clean Energy and the Deployment of Innovative Technologies Globally

President Obama is committed to reducing carbon pollution and ensuring that people everywhere can tap into clean sources of energy to power their homes and businesses. That is why, today, the Administration is announcing new actions to help bring off-grid clean energy systems and energy efficient appliances to the approximate 1.3 billion people without energy access. Along with other solutions, like grid extension and new energy generation supply investments, off-grid energy systems hold tremendous promise to speed the delivery of affordable modern energy services.

Click here to read more.

Save the Date - Webinar on Combining Building Efficiency and District Energy for More Sustainable Cities

Date: Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Times: 10:00-11:30 CEST
Location: Video conference/webinar
Language: English

Two inter-related areas of energy efficiency opportunity, which are of particular importance to cities, are buildings and district energy systems. This webinar will provide an introduction to the connections between buildings and district energy in developing sustainable, low carbon, and resilient cities. It will also describe the activities of the Sustainable Energy for All Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform and its approach to working with local governments to improve the efficiency of buildings and district energy systems in their communities. The activities of SE4ALL partner cities will be featured. Local governments are invited to learn about this initiative, the actions of current partner cities, and explore the potential benefits of their own involvement in the Building Efficiency Accelerator and the District Energy in Cities Initiative.

Homegrown Experts to Tap into Africa's 20,000 MW Geothermal Energy Thanks to New Excellence Centre

Nairobi, 12 August 2015 - Around 80 delegates, including representatives of 13 African countries, gathered in Nairobi to explore the feasibility of establishing the Africa Geothermal Centre of Excellence (AGCE), which would enhance the continent's institutional and infrastructural capacities, and create a critical mass of geothermal scientists and engineers.Currently, around 600 million people in Africa lack access to grid electricity, with the figure expected to rise to 700 million by 2030. The continent is increasingly looking to alternative energy sources to bridge that gap. With an estimated potential of 20,000 MW, geothermal energy could provide an answer to the continent's energy shortage.

Click here to read more.

Pacific efficient light strategy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate energy and financial savings

Nadi, Fiji, 6 August 2015 - Representatives from nine Pacific Island countries are gathering today in Nadi, Fiji, to validate the first ever Pacific Efficient Lighting Strategy (PELS) for the region's transition to high efficiency, environmentally- sound lighting by 2020. "By identifying concrete policy measures to be implemented, this new efficient lighting strategy holds the potential to reduce the region's greenhouse gas emissions, while also decreasing dependence on petroleum imports and improving livelihoods," the Deputy Director, Energy, of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Solomone Fifita, said. By implementing the measures identified in the strategy, the region will reduce its electricity consumption for lighting by 36 per cent per year, save the region over US$ 1.7 billion by 2030, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.6 million tonnes over the same time period.

Click here to read more.

UNEP Executive Director Welcomes President Obama's Clean Power Plan

Nairobi, 4 August 2015 - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner today released the following statement: "President Obama's Clean Power Plan is a welcome commitment not only to reduce carbon emissions but to increase use of renewables like wind and energy."This is an important signal from the United States in the run-up to the Paris climate talks. President Obama's plan increases the momentum as we approach COP21, and I hope his leadership and that of other leaders and nations will help achieve a lasting and meaningful agreement between all states in December. "Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we have a responsibility to act decisively now for the sake of future generations. UNEP stands ready to assist member states in their efforts to tackle the challenge."

The Executive Director expressed UNEP's full support to Africa and the Egyptian Presidency in the further development of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

Cairo, 30 July 2015 - United Nations Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner met yesterday with H.E. Abdel Fattah El Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt. During their meeting, also attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry and Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy, Executive Director Steiner and President El Sisi discussed the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and Egypt's commitment to support the Paris climate negotiations process in its capacity as Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).

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SEAN-CC to organize a side event at the Regional Forum on Climate Change (RFCC)

SEAN- CC will organize a side event entitled: “Demand driven support for effective actions: Southeast Asia Network of Climate Change offices (SEAN-CC) ” at the Regional Forum on Climate Change (RFCC) - Low Carbon and Climate Resilien Societies: Bridging Science, Practice, and Policy. RFCC strives to enhance the channel of communication among the gamut of stakeholders, primarily among ASEAN countries. Organized by the Asian Institute of Technology in collaboration with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, ASEAN, and the European Union, the Forum seeks to propose interventions that would influence climate policy in the region, and inspire ASEAN position for climate change negotiations at the global scale. During RFCC, SEAN- CC will also participate to a workshop on Climate Change Negotiation for Policy Makers from ASEAN Member States (AWGCC) and EU-ASEAN Dialogue on Climate Change.

For more information on SEAN-CC, please visit:

Azerbaijan Installs LED Street Lights in its Capital's Historical District

Baku, Azerbaijan, 30 June 2015 - With UNEP's support, a demonstration project for replacing inefficient public street lights provides example of how historic reserve of Icherisheher could go on to take major step towards its climate target Some of the 600 LED lights that are replacing public street lights in Icherisheher were presented to the public in Azerbaijan's capital city today, launching a demonstration project coordinated by UNEP showing how the reserve could take a big step towards achieving its 2020 climate goal.

The move to replace inefficient street lights with LED ones comes under one of the ambitious climate action plans that UNEP is coordinating as part of the European Commission's 'Covenant of Mayors (COMO) Going East' programme. Icherisheher has been a signatory to COMO since 2012. Outdoor lighting accounts for 70% of total emissions in Icherisheher, the historic core of Azerbaijan's capital city Baku. If not only 600 but all of the reserve's approximately 2000 luminescent, metal halide and high pressure sodium bulbs were to be replaced with LED ones, 303,900 kWh of electricity would be saved each year - equivalent to 271 tons of CO2 - compared to a baseline year of 2011.

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UNEP District Energy in Cities Initiative to be highlighted at IDEA 2015 in Boston

UNEP will present one of its flagship report called District Energy in Cities: Unlocking the Potential of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at IDEA 2015, which will take place at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston on 29 June 2015. IDEA is an international forum shaping the next generation of energy for cities, bringing together experienced global industry leaders from across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East to discuss and debate the state and the future of energy.

UNEP will also be part of a panel on district energy where it will present the Global District Energy in Cities Initiative. The panel will bring urban sustainability leaders together with global industry leaders to discuss emerging drivers for deployment and expansion of district energy in cities, such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions, addressing climate adaptation and enhancing economic resiliency.

UNEP Executive Director Attends Vienna Energy Forum

Vienna, 19 June 2015 - United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner attended the Vienna Energy Forum, where he took part in a number of high-level meetings and chaired a panel of experts discussing the multiple benefits of energy efficiency.In chairing the panel, he facilitated discussion among representatives of Denmark, India, Japan, Viet Nam, the International Energy Agency, the UN Foundation and the Korea Energy Management Corporation. They experts were able to share lessons from national energy efficiency implementations and success stories from the corporate world.

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Cree, Nanongrid, Globe Electric and Xiamen Yankon LED Light Bulbs Win SEAD Global Efficiency Medals for Energy Efficiency

The Super- efficient Equipment and Appliances Deployment (SEAD) Initiative, an international collaboration of 17 member economies and an initiative under the Clean Energy Ministerial, today announced the winners of its Global Efficiency Medal competition for super- efficient household LED light bulbs. Manufacturers of winning products were honored at an awards ceremony at the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris, France.

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Empower at Vienna Energy Forum 2015 to support UNEP's global District Energy in Cities Initiative

Delegation headed By H.E Ahmad Bin Shafar to attend UNEP Annual Partner Meeting in Vienna on June 18 to showcase district cooling expertise to emerging citie. Dubai's district cooling development model has been adopted by developing cities around the world under UNEP platform. What Dubai endorsed as an efficient and pro-environment method of cooling more than a decade ago is now being considered for implementation as pilot project by many developing cities globally, according to HE Ahmad Bin Shafar, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (EMPOWER), the world's largest district cooling services provider. Bin Shafar led a delegation to Vienna, Austria, to participate in the Vienna Energy Forum 2015 and attend the Annual Partner Meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) global District Energy in Cities initiative, scheduled to be held today (18 June 2015).

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Renewable Energy's Record Year Helps Uncouple Growth of Global Economy and CO2

Renewable energy targets and other support policies, now in place in 164 countries, powered the growth of solar, wind and other renewable technologies to a record-breaking energy generation capacity last year: about 135 GW of added renewable energy power increasing total installed capacity to 1,712 GW, up 8.5% from the year before. Despite the world’s average annual 1.5% increase in energy consumption in recent years and average 3% growth in Gross Domestic Product, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2014 were unchanged from 2013 levels. For the first time in four decades, the world economy grew without a parallel rise in CO2 emissions. The landmark “decoupling” of economic and CO2 growth is due in large measure to China's increased use of renewable resources, and efforts by countries in the OECD to promote more sustainable growth-including increased use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Click here to download the Renewables 2015 Global Status Report

UNEP side event at EUSEW on District Energy in Cities: From EU Vision to Local Action through an Integrated Approach

This High Level Policy Session will contribute to two elements that will be instrumental in delivering the Commission’s vision of the Energy Union, namely establishing energy efficiency as Europe’s ‘first fuel’ and developing a heating and cooling strategy as part of the broader European energy transition.

A range of experts from academia, industry and the public sector will present and discuss a combination of key principles and practical lessons as to how district heating networks can deliver more sustainable thermal comfort in cities and, in combination with a more efficient building stock, support the wider climate and energy ambitions of Europe as a whole. Drawing on the recent publication District Energy in Cities: Unlocking the Full Potential of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the United Nations Environment Programme will share a number of inspiring case studies from Europe and around the world.

Finally, through dialogue with each other and the audience, the panellists will endeavour to set out concrete heating and cooling policy recommendations for a range of governance levels as well as identify the associated challenges and opportunities.

Click here for more information.

UNEP Side Event at the Bonn Climate Change Conference: Accelerating the Implementation of Energy Efficiency Initiatives

This session was moderated by John Christensen, UNEP DTU (Technical University of Denmark). Noting that the event is part of the Bonn Climate Energy Action Fair, Laura Tierney, BCSE, drew attention to the 2015 Factbook on Sustainable Energy in America published by the BSCE in conjunction with Bloomberg.

Christensen described the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) targets, highlighting the doubling of the global rate of improvement of energy efficiency as a key area of work for his organization. He drew attention to the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, which builds upon existing initiatives to accelerate energy efficiency in high potential sectors, including lighting, appliances and equipment, vehicle fuel economy, buildings, and district energy systems, among others.

During discussions, participants considered: challenges to rolling out energy efficiency schemes and campaigns; the use of non-conventional sources of energy such as waste water; the cost of shifting to energy efficiency and productivity; and the operation of the energy efficiency schemes.

Click here to read the full coverage of the side event

UNEP side event at EU Development Days

What: Multi-stakeholder partnerships on energy efficiency
When: Wednesday 03 June 2015, 12:45 PM - 14:00 PM
Where: Brussels – Tours & taxis

Investment in energy productivity can create new jobs, foster economic growth and reduce energy bills for families and make business operations more profitable. In addition for developing countries, savings from energy efficiency could make modern energy services available to those who lack it. Targeted energy efficiency measures could deliver close to 50% of the emissions reductions requires to limit global warming to 2°C by 2020. However, Energy efficiency is a no- regret policy and the first worldwide economy, yet this requires working across sectors and multiple levels of government to deliver multiple benefits and full potential of energy efficiency in achieving sustainable development goals. This session will discuss how front-runners are achieving such an integrated policy approach through multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Download the programme

Joint Steering Committee of the en.lighten and United for Efficiency initiatives: the two SE4All Accelerators join forces to leapfrog to high efficiency products

The first joint Project Steering Committee meeting of the en.lighten and the new United for Efficiency, U4E, initiatives was held on 15 May 2015 at the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Headquarters in Washington D.C. Jointly convened by the GEF Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), participants from 20 public and private sector partner organisations attended the meeting, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Sustainable Energy for All, World Bank, International Copper Association (ICA), CLASP, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Southern African Power Pool, South Africa’s national utility Eskom, as well as leading manufacturers of lighting, appliances and equipment such as Philips, OSRAM, ABB, Arcelik, BSH Group, Electrolux, and MABE.

Both initiatives constitute the engines of the SE4All Accelerators on lighting (en.lighten) and appliances (U4E). UNEP estimates that electricity consumption for lighting, appliances and equipment will amount to over 50% of global electricity consumption by 2030. These initiatives are joining forces to assist countries in leapfrogging to high efficient lighting, appliances and equipment and reducing considerably its electricity consumption and climate impacts.

The meeting took stock of the progress achieved by both initiatives in the past 12 months. en.lighten has directly supported over 50 countries and is working with several regions, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Middle East and North Africa to develop and/or implement regional efficient lighting strategies. One billion people in close to 50 countries are using more efficient products, thanks to support en.lighten provided. U4E has mobilised the commitment of countries, in particular in Latin America and the Caribbean and Southern Africa, as well as the support of private sector partners for a global transition to energy efficient products.

Participants discussed how to best build synergies between en.lighten and U4E that will ultimately catalyse action by governments to transform their markets to high efficiency products. This is of particular importance in the run-up to the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December in Paris, where a new international climate agreement is expected to be adopted, and where governments will announce their ambitions and actions to mitigate climate. Since its creation in 2010, 66 countries around the world have joined the UNEP-GEF en.lighten initiative to put in place integrated policies phasing-out inefficient incandescent lamps. en.lighten counts with the support of partners, including from two leading efficient lighting manufacturers OSRAM and Philips Lighting.

The joint meeting also provided strategic guidance on the way forward of both initiatives, highlighting the importance of coordinated regional approaches as a means to achieve a fast transition to efficient lighting, appliances and equipment. The en.lighten model is now taken on a new level through U4E, extending the scope to other appliances and equipment offering a high potential for significant electricity and greenhouse gas emissions savings. These products include residential refrigerators, room air conditioners, electric motors, distribution transformers and information and communication technologies. en.lighten will broaden its scope to accelerate the deployment of LEDs, and to efficient commercial, industrial, and outdoor applications.

Registration for the World Engineers Summit on Climate Change (WES) 2015 is now open

To harness the collective thinking and expertise of engineers to build climate resilience, The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) will hold WES 2015 from 21 to 24 July 2015 at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. Convening engineers from multiple disciplines, urban planning specialists, energy specialists, environmental and water specialists, academia, financiers, policy makers, and business leaders of corporations from across industries around the world, WES 2015 will see the discussion of innovative solutions and sharing of best engineering practices to help realise milestones in the journey to a sustainable and resilient future.

Click here to secure your place at WES 2015.

For more information on WES 2015, please visit:

Click here to view the eDM.

Launch of the “Developing Effective Off-Grid Lighting Policy – Guidance note for governments in Africa”

Creating favourable conditions for modern solar lighting markets can provide a low-cost solution to reducing carbon emissions, indoor air pollution and health risks, while bringing electricity to an estimated 600 million people in Africa who lack access to the power grid, .

Developing Effective Off-Grid Lighting Policy - Guidance Note for Governments in Africa , recommends best practices and smart policies enabling the market uptake of off-grid lighting solutions. It was unveiled today at the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) annual forum, which convenes private sector, governments, energy access practitioners, off-grid lighting experts, civil society and international donors to achieve the target of universal energy access by 2030.

The publication was jointly launched by UNEP, the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), and the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

Click here to download the publication.

Regional Workshop on Transforming Building and Transport Sectors through Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA), 5-7 May, Manila

Hosted by the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines, UNEP is organizing a three-day regional workshop on Transforming Building and Transport Sectors through Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA). This workshop will bring together more than 70 participants consisting of high-level policy makers from the energy-building and transport sectors, private sector, and selected international NAMA experts in Manila on 5-7 May 2015. This workshop aims to: (a) discuss and share potential opportunities for the transformation of the building and transport sectors in the ASEAN region, (b) share project information and respective country experiences; and (c) better understand the needs for successful development and implementation of NAMAs in the region.

This workshop is coordinated by UNEP in partnership with GIZ through the following key projects: NAMAs development for the building sector in Asia. the Southeast Asia Network of Climate Change offices, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Mitigation in the Land Transport Sector in the ASEAN Region and Towards Climate-friendly Transport Technologies and Measures.

Download UNEP's brochure on Driving Green and Energy Efficiency Buildings through NAMA Development

Ahead of Paris Climate Talks, European Cities Embrace UNEP's District Energy Initiative

Tallinn, 30 April 2015 - Eight months after governments and civil society united to catalyse global climate action at the Climate Summit 2014 in New York, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announces the regional launch of the Global District Energy in Cities Initiative to a positive reception by local and national governments, and the private sector. The capital cities of Serbia and Poland: Belgrade and Warsaw, as well as the city of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed up to the Initiative. These cities were joined by countries including Croatia.The launch of the Initiative saw the kick-off of collaboration between the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, and UNEP in the area of district energy.

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Click here to download UNEP's presentation at the 37th Euroheat & Power Congress in Tallinn, Estonia.

EU Conference on Heating and Cooling

Ligia Noronha, Director of the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, gave a an address on 26 February 2015 at the high level opening of the EU Conference on Heating and Cooling in the EU Transition, alongside Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. She highlighted the fact that we cannot address environmental issues if we do not address economic and financial issues. Energy efficiency, an important area of work of UNEP, should be addressed through three main entry points, namely the energy sector, the issue of competitiveness and the reduction of carbon emissions. She pleaded for policies whereby, as is the case in the EU, the supranational policy framework is linked to the national but also the local policies (triangular relationship) - something UNEP is pursuing for instance through the district energy report. UNEP and the UN looks to Europe to enhance the political will to increase and accelerate energy efficiency, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as resulting in multiple benefits. This will concretely contribute to both the post-2015 agendas, the climate and the development ones.

Southern African Utilities Adopt an Ambitious Roadmap to Switch the Region to Efficient Lighting, Appliances and Equipment

Southern Africa could reduce electricity consumption by more than 35 TWh by transforming its markets to efficient lighting, appliances and equipment, equivalent to saving 5,000 MW in power capacity.

Under the leadership of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), the Department of Energy of South Africa (DoE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Southern African utilities, government representatives and private sector (ABB, DEFY, ICA, Osram and Philips Lighting), met on 19 and 20 February 2015 in Johannesburg at the premises of the South African utility Eskom to develop a roadmap to achieve a permanent and sustainable transition to efficient lighting, appliances and equipment in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A number of priority actions have been identified, which, once implemented, will generate significant climate, environmental and economic benefits for the region.

On Wednesday 25 February at the SAPP Meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe, the SAPP Management Committee adopted this roadmap, which builds on the integrated policy approach developed under the UNEP-GEF (Global Environment Facility) en.lighten initiative and that is being successfully implemented in over 30 countries. It expands the activities from lighting to appliances and equipment to quickly and effectively reduce power demand, to address the extremely constrained and vulnerable power systems causing frequent black-outs and slowing down economic and social development.

To implement the roadmap in the SADC countries, participants requested UNEP and UNDP to support the region in catalyzing technical and financial resources. Participants also encouraged all SADC countries to engage and share leadership in this initiative through their Ministries of Energy and Environment, and to identify sources of finance.

This initiative is part of the Global Partnership on Appliances and Equipment, an effort led by UNEP with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to leapfrog global markets to high efficiency and affordable products. Along with its international partners, including UNDP, ICA, CLASP, NRDC and various key players from private sector, this public-private partnership is a contribution to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

India's Leadership Role in Upcoming Climate Change Negotiations Highlighted during UNEP Energy Meeting with India's Minister of Environment

The Government of India and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) agreed to strengthen energy efficiency, and emphasized India's leadership role in global efforts for an ambitious, comprehensive and equitable agreement in Paris in 2015, during meetings between India's Minister of Environment, Prakash Javadekar, and United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner on Friday 06 February 2015.

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UNEP-Coordinated Coalition Aims to Support Climate Change Fight through Measuring Emission Reductions from Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Projects

A coalition launched today at the climate talks in Lima aims to boost efforts to save billions of dollars and billions of tonnes of CO2 emissions each year by measuring and reporting reductions of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from projects and programmes that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.The 1 Gigaton Coalition, coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with the support of the Government of Norway, has been formed in light of the understanding that many countries have a wide range of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and initiatives in place.

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Click here to download the 1 Gigaton Coalition flyer

Energy Efficiency - key to closing the emissions gap

This article published in Climate Action and authored by Mark Radka Chief, Energy Branch, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, and John Christensen, Director, DTU Partnership, United Nations Environment Progamme (UNEP); describes why energy efficiency is key to closing the emissions gap.

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From international Climate Change negotiations to national implementation: the value of regional networks of Climate Change Offices

Moderated by Jason Spensley, CTCN, this event showcased the value of climate change knowledge networks, specifically the SEAN-CC, and the Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA).

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Click here to download he side event concept note

Global Efficient Lighting Forum Convened to Address Accelerated Transition to Advanced Lighting Technologies

Governments, lighting experts and international donors meeting in Beijing this week have agreed to accelerate the phase-in of advanced lighting technologies to order to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions, and improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of people who currently lack access to clean, reliable lighting.

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ARGeo - C5 Promotes Geothermal in East Africa, Launches Regional Database

East African countries assembled for the Fifth African Rift Valley Geothermal Conference (ARGeo - C5), sharing their experiences in geothermal development, from reservoir engineering, drilling and geographical information systems to business development and financing. During the conference, the African Rift Geothermal Inventory Database (AGID) was launched to serve as an information repository for ongoing geothermal projects in the region.

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H.E. President Kenyatta of Kenya and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Witness Adoption of New Plan to Set in Motion Africa Sustainable Transport Transition

President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon witnessed Thursday the adoption of a new historic framework that will set in motion Africa's sustainable transport transition, benefiting health, the environment and overall sustainable development across the continent. Over 42 African countries, represented by ministers of transport, environment and other senior officials, participated in the Africa Sustainable Transport Forum (ASTF), organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Bank and UN-Habitat, in partnership with the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program . The meeting, which is hosted by the Government of Kenya, aims to implement concrete actions to integrate sustainable transport into the region's development and planning processes.

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District Energy Hits the Headlines at UN Climate Summit

At the UN Climate Summit in September 2014, UNEP announced a major milestone in the company’s ongoing work with Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), a global initiative to promote access to modern energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy. As co-chair of the District Energy Accelerator launched under the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform of SE4ALL, UNEP will co-lead efforts together with Danfoss, ICLEI and UN-Habitat to support cities in developing, retrofitting or scaling up district energy systems.

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New Global Alliance for Energy-Efficient Appliances and Equipment Launched

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced a new initiative to accelerate the transition to more efficient appliances and equipment to reduce global energy demand, mitigate climate change and improve access to energy.A worldwide shift to energy-efficient appliances and equipment - including lighting, air conditioners, refrigerators, electric motors, ceiling fans and distribution transformers - would reduce global electricity consumption by more than 10 per cent, saving US$350 billion annually in electricity bills and reducing global CO2 emissions by 1.25 billion tonnes per year.

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We Have the Power Exhibition Supports Climate Summit

Bus rapid transit systems in Addis Ababa, efficient brick kilns in Cuzco, these are just few of the images of clean energy that were captured through the lens of Magnum Photographers. These images are on display during the Climate Summit on the fences of UN Headquarter.

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Climate Finance and Investment Forum in Eastern & Southern Africa

The Climate Finance and Investment Forum in Eastern & Southern Africa will be held on Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 September, 2014 at the Protea Hotel in Kampala. Its objective is to inform representatives of the financial sector in Eastern and Southern Africa of the latest developments and achievements in climate finance to facilitate and enhance the finance of climate change mitigation projects in the region by both public and private financial institutions. 60 representatives of banking institutions in the region are expected to participate.

The Forum is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under the implementation of the ACAD programme part of the International Climate Initiative supported by the German federal Ministry for the Environment. The Forum has received the joint sponsorship of the East African Development Bank (EADB), the Regional Collaboration Centre of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Kampala, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

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ABB and UNEP join hands to accelerate the shift towards energy efficient products

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:

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UNEP and EDP join forces to improve access to clean energy in Mozambique

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

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

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:

Climate Finance & Investment Forum highlighting the potential of West Africa as destination of climate investment

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

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.

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UNEP Energy organising a side event at the World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia

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


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

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

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

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.

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

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).