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Powering the Future We Want
Recognizing leadership and innovative practices in energy for sustainable development

One Million US dollar grant to promote sustainable energy

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), in collaboration with the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), a Hong Kong-based NGO in consultative status with ECOSOC, has launched the project �Powering the Future We Want � Recognizing Innovative Practices in Energy for Sustainable Development�, which offers a one million US dollar grant annually to institutions and/or individuals that have demonstrated leadership and innovation in promoting sustainable energy. The recipients of the grant are expected to apply the funds to furthering their best practices and to building capacity in developing countries.

Replicating and scaling up success stories

During the Rio+20 Conference, Member States realized that there had been success stories in advancing sustainable development, but that the international community is not doing enough to replicate and scale up best practices and lessons learned from successful experiences. Member States encouraged the UN system to do more to identify and publicize best practices and lessons learned, in collaboration with Governments, business, civil society and other stakeholders.

In response, UN-DESA, with funding support from CEFC, launched the �Powering the Future We Want� initiative. By identifying and recognizing the institutions and/or individuals who have demonstrated leadership and innovation in advancing energy for sustainable development, it is hoped that the grant will serve to catalyze additional initiatives and efforts to scale up innovative practices. UN-DESA and CEFC have committed to follow up the awarding of the grant by undertaking capacity building activities so as to create additional opportunities for disseminating and transferring successful experiences.

Selection process
The selection of the institutions/individuals for receiving the grant will be conducted through a rigorous review process, carried out under the guidance of an Advisory Council, whose membership includes internationally-renowned experts across the fields of energy and sustainable development. The criteria and modalities for the submission, review and selection process of the applications for the grant, as determined by the Advisory Council, will be published shortly. A High-level Steering Committee has been established to review the Advisory Council�s recommendations and selection for awarding the one million dollar grant.

Capacity-building
A distinguishing feature of the grant will be the significant capacity building opportunity for disseminating and transferring the knowledge and experience associated with the grant through workshops, seminars and practitioner-to-practitioner training opportunities.

The technical working papers of the project will feed into an online publication on innovative practices and lessons learned, to provide an easily accessible reference source for following on successful experiences and innovative practices.
Energy challenge
Of the sustainable development challenges facing the world today, none is more cross-cutting and deeply embedded in our daily lives and livelihoods than energy. Energy is the life blood of our civilization. The well-being of our people and economy and the health of our environment depend on safe, clean, secure, sustainable and affordable energy.

The energy challenge is characterized by its poverty and environment dimensions. Today some 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity and some 2.7 billion people rely on biomass for cooking and heating. At the same time, energy-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) contribute to climate change, accounting for almost 80% of GHG emissions in many economies.