3. Provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy to all.
The last item–to provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy to all–is the 7th of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
This week, for the second time, the UN has brought together stakeholders in a series of meetings to explore progress toward the goals, needed developments to accelerate progress, and for the expression of commitments to action. People are here from countries and organizations around the world.
Yesterday, the Pew Charitable Trust released a report that showed that the greatest growth in recent years in renewable energy is in the developing world. This reminds me of what happened when these parts of the world, unencumbered by hard-wired telephone systems, leap-frogged industrialized countries in the explosion of mobile systems. In a similar way, Pew projects that the major growth in energy systems in the next 15 years will be in the developing world, and that more than half of this development will be in the form of renewable sources.
Indeed, the panelist who spoke earlier today was from India. India has doubled the amount of renewable energy five times over the past seven years – a truly remarkable accomplishment. And he noted that, if India can do it, why can’t other countries? And, he reminded people that carbon dioxide stays in the environment for about 100 years after its creation. So, what we are struggling with now is the result of the industrialization of the US and other similar countries. But, even so, the gentleman from India noted that most of us in attendance have jobs and homes, and people in his country do not. He reminded the developed world that we have much more to lose from the conditions created by climate change than a country like India where much of its people are already poor. He made the point that India and countries like India are doing all they can; more, in some ways, than the industrialized world. But, they cant do it alone; they need help.
I am really proud of what Mazzetti, and its sister non-profit Foundation, Sextant, are doing to advance these goals. We are not just designing systems for buildings, we are working hard with clients around the US in countless ways to help them reduce their costs by implementing energy efficiency solutions. We are working with partners like Grid Alternatives in the US, and with other partners like Project Hope around the world, to develop on-site renewable energy systems, and, truly, to provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy to people who won’t otherwise have it. And, in all of these instances, we are not just doing the design, we are bringing to bear the latest in policy and technology, we are developing the solutions and the financing and economic models to ensure financially feasible projects, and we are doing the building, the measurement, and the verification to make it real.
As I look around at the 2000 people gathered in this room today, I know that Mazzetti and Sextant are only a very small part of the solution to the need; but we are also a very real part of the solution to the need.