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Innovative business approach helps provide clean energy to world's neediest

Report Finds NGOs and Community Based Organizations Can Work Together to Jumpstart and Sustain New Energy Enterprises

Report Finds NGOs and Community Based Organizations Can Work Together
to Jumpstart and Sustain New Energy Enterprises

30 August 2002 Johannesburg, South Africa - A report jointly released today by the United Nations Foundation and the UN Environment Program (UNEP), at the World Summit on Sustainable Development details how an innovative approach is bringing affordable, clean, and efficient energy technology to the rural communities in Africa, Brazil and China.

Many of the world's poorest communities still rely on traditional forms of energy, mostly woodfuels, dung and crop wastes. These energy resources are often expensive, inefficient, and damaging to the health of humans and the environment. The resulting pollution is estimated to cost $150 - $750 billion per year globally. "The economic burden of this pollution is staggering," according to United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer, "we believe that it is the cause of 4-5 percent of the global burden of disease and is one of the leading causes of childhood and infant mortality."

"The UN Foundation and UNEP have invested considerable resources in this effort because we believe that new and innovative approaches such as REED are needed to simultaneously address the multitude of development and environment challenges facing many of the world's poorest countries," said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation.

The report, "Open for Business: Entrepreneurs, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development," details the findings of the $8.6 million partnership between the UN Foundation and the UNEP. Their partnership, the Rural Energy Enterprise Development initiative, or REED with U.S. non-profit clean energy investor E+Co is currently being applied in Brazil, China and five African countries to provide clean energy as a basis for long-term, sustainable development.

These organizations work with E+Co locally to deliver the business development services new entrepreneurs need to start their new enterprises and succeed. In Africa, these include businesses offering energy efficient cook stoves, windpump repair services, the supply and service of solar home systems and energy efficiency services.


Friday 30 Aug 2002
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