4 July 2005

Energy Globe Award Helps to Achieve Millennium Development Goals

2005 Competition for Sustainability Extends Deadlines for Entries

VIENNA, 4 July (UN Information Service) -- Due to the large volume of project applications, the submission deadline for project entries for the 2005 Energy Globe Award competition has been extended until 15 July. The Energy Globe is among the world’s most important environment awards. “Every day we receive information on intelligent and incredibly innovative projects from around the world, which contribute to solving many pressing environmental problems, improving people’s lives and helping to balance our eco systems”, said Energy Globe initiator Wolfgang Neumann, who launched the award six years ago. The United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna has worked together with the award organizers since 2001 and identified qualified jury members, including retired staff of Vienna-based UN-organizations. On 11 November the best projects from Austria will receive an award, while the international Energy Globes will be presented in 2006 at a global television awards gala event. The Energy Globe is awarded in the categories: earth, fire (energy), water and air. A special Globe will be awarded in the youth category.

The fact that currently 20 per cent of the world’s population consumes 80 per cent of all resources and produces 80 per cent of environmental pollution underlines the relevance of sustainable ecological projects and innovative applications for renewable energy sources. Providing clean energy on a sustainable basis is not only vital for fighting environmental problems such as global warming but is also integral to poverty alleviation, which is the first United Nations Millennium Development Goal. Looking for alternative energy sources and for environmentally sound management of air, water and soil is also a valuable contribution to achieving another Millennium Development Goal, which is to ensure environmental sustainability by 2015.

In a message addressed to the Energy Globe Award organizers, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan pointed out that “clean, affordable and sustainable energy is essential for human development. The world’s best science has been warning us for many years about unsustainable patterns of energy consumption and use. The Energy Globe Awards demonstrate that clean and modern forms of energy to drive sustainable development and reduce environmental impacts are available now. Instead of climate change, let us create a climate for change, and for a safer, more sustainable path of development.”

To bring about the suggested climate for change and to make development sustainable, the UN Conference on Trade and Development recently launched the Biofuels Initiative to help developing countries benefit from their renewable energy potential. Biofuels derived from sustainable agricultural practices have many attributes that qualify them as environmentally-friendly goods and could therefore provide an opportunity for developing countries to build up their export markets. As petrol prices rise, biofuel production, domestic use and trade reduce oil import dependency and increase energy security. For both developed and developing countries, biofuels may provide a pragmatic alternative for meeting their commitments to combat climate change and to slash poverty, hunger and other socio-economic ills by 2015.

The Energy Globe Award has become a global multiplier for dealing with the most challenging issues of the future, and encourages projects that contribute to sustaining global resources and protecting the four basic elements of life, thereby providing valuable assistance in the preservation of our planet and strengthening environmental awareness. The Austrian initiators of this global environment movement are determined to provide a tangible contribution to the 2005 World Summit to be held at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.


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