It is Earth Hour again! It is an hour every year where we acknowledge how we use energy, and turn our lights off. A magnificent gesture!
This year some of us are taking a step further. We are turning our lights off, and at the same time, we turn them on somewhere else. The “else” this year is Kenya.
The story of energy is a global story. It belongs to all of us. It is easily overseen, and often taken for granted. It is closely tied with development in developing countries, and it is closely tied with the climate and the future of the economy in developed countries.
Today, an estimated 1.5 billion people live without access to electricity. The household spending on energy (time and money) is staggering, and it is one of the main obstacles holding them back. Or in the words of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: “To turn of the light is a symbol of our commitment to sustainable energy to all. We need to fuel the future with clean, energy and affordable sources. By acting together today, we can power a brighter tomorrow.”
This year we can start changing that! Taking away dependency on fossil fuels, increase disposable income, reduce dependency on hand-outs, together we can make one of us get a brighter life. This year, the ones of us who will receive lamps are school children and their families in rural Kenya. The ones of us that will give come from anywhere.
I want to thank all the individuals and companies that have already donated towards our Earth Hour campaign, and especially I want to take my hat off for the team at Svensk Energi (Swedish Energy), the industry association for Swedish Energy companies, for challenging its members to give towards lamps, and to keep doing so until next Earth Hour. It is a model that could be replicated I believe…
Tonight, GIVEWATTS is invited with WWF and a host of very exciting companies and partners, to the Earth Hour manifestation in Nairobi. After sun down, the old lights will be switched off, and we will turn on solar lamps.
The story of energy belongs to all of us. It is a story of ambition. The ambition of a school child. And the ambition of our planet.
Thank you for joining us!