A clear message for Rio: community energy is best

International energy experts made their message clear: communities are key to clean energy.

Energy practitioners and policy makers attended this year's Ashden Awards Conference to showcase their work and take part in discussions. 

Richenda van Leeuwen from the UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4All) asked them: "what messages they would like her to take to this summer’s Rio+20 conference?" 

Their responses were clear: 

Community involvement is key to providing clean energy...  

  • Projects showed community ownership of energy projects increases enthusiasm for renewables and climate change awareness.
  • Inspiring examples, such as this Indonesian project, demonstrated the power and success of community involvement in energy projects.

 ...but it also needs Government support

  • Clean community energy can be supported and increased with the right government policies.
  • Feed-in tariffs (FiTs) are a good example of this, and have been supported by Friends of the Earth both in the UK, and internationally.
  • Government support for community-focused FiTs can fight both poverty and climate change.

A clear message for governments and the UN in Rio

After an inspiring day, the conference concluded that SE4All and governments supporting it must put communities first.

We hope that this message will ring out loud and clear in Rio.

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