As an on-air and online host, I’ve had some pretty incredible experiences, like drinking milk from a cloned cow in Wisconsin, liberating anime ‘otaku’ from their apartments in Tokyo and reporting from a space station dressed as a….oh, never mind. But last month I got to do something extra special: report on the future of renewable energy at the United Nations in New York.
With energy at the core of our global warming woes, the timing was impeccable for the inaugural IREO Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization conference. The caliber of speakers was exceptional. Experts from UN member states and leaders in business and academia came together with the aim of finding practical, sustainable energy solutions for the developing world.
Highlights included Dr Nocera from MIT’s cutting edge research into hydrogen production with the potential to transform solar into a mainstream energy source. HRH Prince Malik ado Ibrahim of Nigeria showcased a low-cost hybrid solar solution which could bring electricity to the 3 billion people on our planet currently without it, with huge implications for vaccines and literacy.
Sanitation guru, Dr Pathak, shared his pioneering and highly original work in transforming human waste into bio-gas for heating, cooking, and generating electricity. While filmmaker Josh Tickell encapsulated the renewable energy movement with a clip from his award winning documentary, Fuel.
Actor, IREO media committee member and renewable energy groupie, Billy Zane, was also present. Here he talks about whether the developing world could overtake the developed world when it comes to adopting renewable energy.
All in all, a mind expanding day in the life of a humble host.
Sarah Backhouse hosts Hype to Habit for Causecast / Creative Citizen, she is Current Affairs Editor of Coco Eco Magazine and is a member of the IREO media committee.