Initiative brings citizens into energy dialog
Updated: 2012-09-12 08:00
By Du Juan in Tianjin (China Daily)
The World Economic Forum launched the Energy for Society Initiative in Tianjin on Tuesday with the goal of creating more opportunities for global citizens to join in debates concerning energy and to realize their collective responsibility to society. Photos by Wang Jing / China Daily
In Tianjin on Tuesday, the World Economic Forum launched the Energy for Society Initiative, which seeks to engage an increasing number of citizens in the discussion about the future of the energy industry.
The initiative is supported by a new online platform with 24 case studies that demonstrate corporate best practices for meeting the world's growing energy needs while improving living standards for those with limited access to energy.
Twenty global energy companies signed on to the initiative. Leaders of the companies agreed on five principles - supplying secure and affordable access to energy, having efficient energy systems, upholding responsible citizenship in communities, contributing to economic development and promoting energy literacy.
The 20 founding companies have 1.5 million employees in total and record a combined $1.4 trillion in revenue per year.
Their businesses cover all sectors in the energy industry, including oil and gas, utilities, technology and renewable energy.
"This is the first time that the global energy community has demonstrated such a commitment to society, not only by sharing their successes and challenges to improve business practices with transparency but also by demonstrating how those principles might be implemented concretely," said Roberto Bocca, head of Energy Industries under the World Economic Forum.
There are already many good cases of energy companies getting closer and giving back to society.
Trina Solar Ltd, one of the largest solar companies in China, is one of the 20 founding members.
It has built 40 off-grid solar power stations to provide electricity for basic necessities to residents who have been living without a grid in Tibet.
According to the company, the program is a milestone for the solar industry in the region.
Germany's Siemens AG cooperated with the government of Mexico to bring renewable energy solutions to a remote Mexican village where people have been living without running water or access to power.
In Angola, BP Plc set up an energy literacy program at a university, the first of its kind in Africa.
Through the initiative, leaders of the world's top energy companies are committed to steering other companies toward a healthier energy industry ecosystem. Meanwhile, those companies have accelerated progress toward engaging with society.
"In the new century, the biggest challenge of human beings is to find a mode to balance the economic development and ecosystem, providing a sustainable planet for future generations," said Che Wei, vice-president of Danfoss Inc China.
The Danish company has made progress in energy saving sectors in the Chinese market in recent years.
"The initiative marks an important step toward rebuilding trust among the energy industry, government and society," said Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell. "I hope it will help foster closer collaboration to address some of the world's energy-related challenges."
The initiative aims to create more opportunities for global citizens to join in debates concerning energy and to realize their collective responsibility to society.
(China Daily 09/12/2012 page16)