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UNHCR Andrew McConnoll - Photo:Photo credit: UNHCR Andrew McConnoll
Photo credit: UNHCR Andrew McConnoll

Moving forward the Clean Energy Challenge

“This is about saving lives and protecting people, and ensuring that longer-term development goals are achieved,” said Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith in her remarks at the briefing Energy in Crisis: A briefing for Member States from the UNHCR Clean Energy Challenge.

Participants from more than 70 Permanent Missions and capitals took part in the discussion that looked at progress of the Clean Energy Challenge by the High Commissioner for Refugees since the launch in 2019.

Speakers included Deputy Minister of Norway, Marianne Hagen, and UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, Raouf Mazou, in addition to Thomas Fohgrub from the Global Plan of Action and Jaime de Bourbon de Parme and Andrew Harper from UNHCR. Statements were also made from the floor, from both donor States and States hosting refugees and displaced populations.

“There is a clear case in Ethiopia between access to energy and reforestation,” said Ethiopian representative Samuel Alemayehu. “This also affects the peaceful co-existence between refugees and host communities. It is impossible to address refugee needs without addressing renewable energy.”

“Clean energy should be included in humanitarian programme budgets,” emphasized Brian Mwanika from Uganda, the largest refugee hosting country in Africa. “Our government is committed to the issue, but international support is critical to reach the objectives in the local response plans.”

Norway recognized the progress made since the Challenge was launched, and highlighted the need for continued action, including building partnerships between host states and donors states, humanitarian and development organisations, as well as the private sector. Further, the ambition of the Clean Energy Challenge and a green humanitarian response must become an integrated part of humanitarian work. Moreover, the clean energy solutions that have proven to work should be scaled up in line with the energy agendas of the hosting states.

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Interested to view the event and hear the panellists? The full recording can be found here:https://unitar.zoom.us/rec/share/y3YE9kzp5AYG8ReoyQBGMsojAnEoOtumNWTT62QgWsLNB5nPhZNUi9GGzcG0Kpc.XxrXewagc5fE1tNe

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