- The poorest countries would improve their quality of life with universal access to energy supply
- Large companies are beginning to demand an increase in renewable energy mix from their suppliers
In the days prior to Rio +20, the Brazilian city hosts a number of global events in which authorities, companies, NGOs and civil society discuss proposals contained in the expected Summit Outcome document.
Among them is the Rio +20 Corporate Sustainability Forum, organized by the UN Global Compact, which is an organization supported by more than eight thousand companies from around the world and has served as the backdrop in analyzing the role of renewable energies in the fight against climate change and social development. Experts from different countries attended the conference which was focused on the search for a global strategy to promote clean energy and achieve the goals set out by the United Nations by 2030.
Wang Yuan, General Director of the Department of Education and Training at the Development Agency in China, spoke at the forum. Yuan explained that 60% of energy investment by the Chinese government is aimed towards the renewable business. In addition, she stated that “80% of energy that China produces comes from fossil fuels, which is not sustainable. The Government has decided to dedicate less investment towards non-renewable energies and commit to clean energy”. China has an interesting potential in wind energy. Yuan Wang highlighted the possible opportunities for entrepreneurs and supply chains that are committed to technologies, environment and clean energy.
Robert Ddamulira, head of WWF Energy and Climate in Uganda, was another guest at the event. Uganda represents one of the poorest countries in the energy sector. “In my country only 10% of the population has access to electricity, and if we talk about rural areas, the percentage drops to 7%,” said Mr. Ddamulira. At present, only 17% of energy produced in Uganda is from renewable sources. Despite of this situation, Robert Ddamulira considers that a global strategy to promote renewables is the way to universal access to energy in Uganda, something which will occur in the long term.
Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of Global Wind Energy Council, talked about the emerging interest in energy efficiency and the need to implement policies that favour change in the energy model. Many companies are beginning to demand an increase in renewable energy sources from their suppliers, something which seems to have become a trend.
In addition, the current economic situation in Europe was also discussed at the conference. Public investment in renewables has slowed, but in Brazil it was stressed that clean energy is a boost for the economy becoming part of the solution to the global problem.