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UNDP Calls on Gulf States to Help Developing Countries Harness Clean Energy to Reduce Poverty and GHGs

8 March 2010:During the Gulf Environment Forum 2010, which is being held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from 7-9 March 2010, under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz and with the support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Veerle Vandeweerd, UNDP Environment and Energy Group Director, called on Gulf States to exercise leadership in addressing both poverty and climate change challenges.

Addressing government and private sector representatives, Vandeweerd underlined that access to energy is crucial to achieve growth and reduce poverty, noting that 1.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity. Stressing that investments in clean energy technologies and renewables have the potential to help reduce poverty and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, she outlined a possible partnership that would support innovation and the scaling up of clean technologies, as well as the capacity of developing countries to take advantage of clean energy technologies.

The Gulf Environment Forum 2010 is the first major conference to focus on environmental enterprise in the region of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), also known as the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. UNDP's current clean energy portfolio amounts to over US$2.5 billion, with a focus on promoting the expansion of clean energy services to poor people who are not on the grid and who do not have access to clean fuels and technologies. [UNDP Press Release] [IISD RS Sources]