UN-HABITAT launched its Global Energy Network for Urban Settlements (GENUS) in Latin America this week at a meeting convened to help find innovative solutions for waste management and ways of converting waste into a source of energy.
“Access to energy is a challenge for the urban poor in developing countries and consumption habits of modern lifestyles cause a substantial waste problem worldwide” said Christian Schlosser, Acting Chief of UN-HABITAT’s Urban Transport Section. Waste is increasingly becoming a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore it is crucial for cities to find solutions that combine waste management with urban energy production.
Participants agreed to promote energy access for the urban poor, and to work closely with with corresponding networks in Sub-Saharan Africa, which focuses on slum electrification, and in South Asia, where the emphasis is on access to urban transport. The idea is that GENUS will become a dynamic global network for sustainable urban energy solutions with special attention to the needs of the urban poor.
The UN-HABITAT “Energy from Waste” meeting 25-26 October 2010, drew a range of participants. They included high level delegates, development agencies active in the conversion of abattoir waste; representatives form the private sector enhancing the use of bio-digesters, non-governmental organizations sharing their experiences on biogas production as well as those representing grass-roots initiatives.