lunes, 18 de julio de 2011

The missing MDG

The Millenium Development Goals are a set of objectives that the international community agreed on in the year 2000 that needed to be accomplished in the world by 2015. They relate to halving hunger, women empowerment, health, education, environmental and economical sustainability.

My first event at Columbia was about the status of the commitments in 2010. I remember one of the speakers arguments was that all the MDG's could not be fully accomplished without access to modern energy. For good health services you need refrigeration services, children cannot study only with candlelight. I remember I disagreed with his point. If the whole population uses energy in the way that developed nations do we would need three more planets.

I have been living without electricity at night for the past three weeks. Something about a strike by some of the power generating companies in Uganda. And I have come to realize that without access to cheap energy, development is truly impossible. I have changed my mind about the fact that we do need to provide energy to the world population.

Now the question is how to do it without trashing the planet. Yes, renewables and energy efficiency are part of the solution. Lowering consumption in some countries should also be an important strategy. So in the end energy is indeed the critical aspect that needs to be addressed both for development and for environmental sustainability.

My blog is suffering from this lack of energy and I am not enjoying it...

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