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Blog posts tagged with 'harish hande'

Friday, 13 November 2009

The real agenda for Copenhagen is tackling poverty

Harish Hande, CEO, Selco Solar Light, Bangalore, India.

Poverty is the greatest threat to our environment. The poor use some of the most inefficient technologies and polluting fuels - not because they are cheap but because they don’t have a choice.

Today’s debate on the climate change treaty is seen as between the developed world and the developing world. It has led the rich in developing countries to hide behind the poor and the poor in developing countries to be short changed. The reality is we all have a vested interested in getting this treaty right – rich and poor.

We have before us a wonderful and unique opportunity – to implement climate change solutions that will also reduce poverty, like affordable solar energy systems. My social enterprise, Selco India has provided 112,000 solar home systems to low income households and institutions. We ensure that the systems are affordable by partnering with microfinance organisations that provide small loans. We have also set up a pilot fund to guarantee the deposits on solar systems for very poor families. Nothing can compare with the thrill of someone switching on a light for the first time and knowing how this can change their life!

Much, much more of this can be done and we are showing just what's possible. If we partner with the poor to create options for them to produce their energy sustainably – be it through renewable energies or clean stoves or biogas – we will get a double whammy: a curb on climate change but also a route for them out of the relentless poverty trap.

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

India's activists push their government to put a price on carbon

Harish Hande, of Ashden Award winner SELCO, is one of a coalition of Indian entrepreneurs, activists and academics campaigning for their government to take action on climate change, as reported by the New York Times:
In two days of talks with U.S. lawmakers and policy experts in Washington, D.C., the group said Indian society is starting a serious internal discussion about its role in addressing global warming.

"This is about recasting the debate," said Malini Mehra, founder of the Centre for Social Markets, a nonprofit based in India and the United Kingdom that promotes entrepreneurship and sustainable growth.

"The Indian government's agenda will not change until Indians want it to change," she told a U.N. Foundation forum. "I will not rest until we have a radically different position on the Indian government's side."
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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Powering our way out of poverty

2007 Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Harish Hande of SELCO, has written an article on the BBC News website
As the world's leaders consider how to finance our battle against climate change, the financing of practical, affordable solutions for poor people in countries like my own, India, appears to be of little interest.

It is nearly 130 years since Thomas Edison gave us the electric bulb, yet more than two billion people on this planet still do not have the luxury of electricity.

Up to 50% of households in India still have no access to modern lighting. Millions of street vendors, whether in the hi-tech city of Bangalore, India, or Kampala, Uganda, still resort to kerosene or candles to sell their meagre wares.
Read the full story here