UNDP Makes Presentation on the SDGs at International Hydrogen Conference

Nov 4, 2015

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Dr. Elsie Laurence Chounoune delivers a presentation on the Sustainable Development Goals at UTech's International Hydrogen Conference. Photo Credit: UNDP Jamaica.

The University of Technology (UTech) recently organized Jamaica’s first international Hydrogen Conference– held under the theme “The Hydrogen Economy-A Sustainable Energy Diversification Option for the Caribbean”. The conference, which was held on 4 November 2015 at UTech’s Alfred Sangster Auditorium in Kingston, focused on sharing the outcomes of a hydrogen project being implemented by that institution and on sustainable development and energy in Jamaica.

At this event, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, made a presentation on the Sustainable Development Goals (DGs), highlighting the links between the SDGs and sustainable energy.

“Essentially, access to affordable clean energy is paramount in lifting people out of poverty and hunger, enhancing food security and improving the quality of life for all.  This warrants continuous effort to diversify the energy mix, increase the development and penetration of clean energy such as renewables, and improve energy efficiency and conservation,” Dr. Laurence-Chounoune said.

She guided the audience through those SDGs most relevant to the issue of sustainable energy, and demonstrated how each of these goals require a focus on sustainable energy if they are to be successfully achieved.

In speaking specifically about the UTech sustainable hydrogen cooking gas project, Dr. Laurence-Chounoune noted that the initiative was consistent with the objectives of the SDGs as it seeks to “contribute to sustainable development of Caribbean and Pacific countries…through research in science and technologies.”

 She noted that the hydrogen project has the potential to help Jamaica diversify its energy mix and reduce petroleum imports. She said the project could also help the country reduce rates of deforestation as about 10% and 9% of Jamaicans still use charcoal and wood respectively as fuel for cooking.

“Finally, the project seeks to contribute to building resilience to the impacts of climate change, which is a global problem that requires global solutions and partnerships as it affects all sectors and all people. The use of fossil fuels for energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Solutions have to include increased access to clean energy, which are being offered by the Hydrogen project,” the Deputy Resident Representative stated.

In concluding the presentation, Dr. Laurence-Chounoune, commended the conference as being timely and relevant and highlighted the support for research and innovation that it reflected. She also called on all stakeholders, including academia, to work together to help Jamaica realize the SDGs.

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