‘World’s Greenest Celebrity’ Gisele Bundchen Supports Access to Energy in Kenya

Supermodel and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bundchen today expressed support on access to energy among Kenyan as she visited the African country to experience firsthand the reality of energy poverty in the region.

“Energy affects everything. Children can study at night when they have access to electricity. If we can bring electricity to everyone, we can help people to survive.” -Ms. Bundchen

Brazilianborn model Gisele Bundchen (centre) greets fans and the media, wearing a t-shirt hand painted by a Kenyan artist for the Seal the Deal campaign, following the announcement of her designation as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), at an event in Washington Square Park, New York City. UN Photo/UNEP

The Brazilian fashion icon and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environment Programmes (UNEP) said yesterday it’s unjust if people do not have access to electricity. She cited that energy for all is achievable. She said just two per cent of global investment is needed.

“Children can study at night when they have access to electricity. If we can bring electricity to everyone, we can help people to survive.” – Ms. Bundchen

She visited Kibera, East Africa’s largest slum, to see biogas centres where human waste is used to produce power and Kisumu in the west. Ms. Bundchen also took part in collecting firewood and learned about fuel-efficient stoves. She also travelled to the Mount Kenya region in central Kenya, where a micro hydro-electric power station is supplying electricity to over 2,000 households.

A new energy-efficient United Nations office complex was officially opened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi last year in April.

The new complex houses the new offices of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) has 6,000 square metres of solar panels and generates as much electricity as its 1,200 occupants consume.

One in five people on the Planet do not have access to electricity. In Sub-Saharan Africa some 70 per cent of the population have no electricity, while in Kenya only 18 per cent of households have power.

Many families across the world still depend on firewood for cooking, which produces toxic smoke that harms the health of women and children.

Kenya is increasingly developing its geothermal, wind, solar and hydro power resources at the local level.

Kenya’s Vision 2030 [economic development blueprint] also includes waste-into-energy projects, co-generation and feed-in tariffs, and ongoing work with UNEP [UN Environment Programme] and other partners to support the tea industry with small-scale hydro power.

Kenya is not rich in oil, natural gas or coal reserves, the country has a wealth of “clean fuels” – from geothermal energy, to wind, solar and biomass. The country could generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity by 2018 by developing its geothermal capacity.

UNEP is working to realize and to accelerate the use of renewable energy within the overall theme of a Green Economy, with a special emphasis on Africa, and Kenya in particular.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.