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Enel Foundation at UN Climate Summit 2019


New York, September 2019

The United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 took place recently and gathered corporate as well as policy leaders to address the climate challenge, also by pushing for the transformation of economies in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Around the UN’s most important global event on climate change, a number of relevant initiatives took place and Enel Foundation joined some of them, adding to the Enel Group’s presence.

On September 22nd, the MIT Solve organized the final event of its global challenge to crowdsource ideas capable of tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues. The MIT Solve Finals took place in New York involving 61 finalists who pitched their solutions to 400+ leaders. Enel Foundation is a member of Solve sharing its mission to close the innovation GAP to achieve the UN SDGs. In particular, Enel Foundation helped define the 2019 challenges and was part of the leadership team of the Community Driven innovation challenge focused on solutions to involve citizens and communities in creating and improving social inclusion and shared prosperity.

The 17 SGDs were also the core of another event organized by Rockefeller Foundation, where Enel Foundation joined an action oriented event delivering concrete outputs for each of the Goals defined by the UN. Enel Foundation joined the room #7, where the discussion focused on the related SGD on Affordable and Clean Energy. The event involved 200 leaders across philanthropy, government, civil society, academia and business to develop new ideas and collaborations to advance the SDGs and measure progress. Later in the week, on September 25th, Rockefeller Foundation hosted another important meeting of the Global Commission to end Energy Poverty (GCEEP), recently launched. The aim of the initiative is to find solutions to provide electricity to almost one billion people who still don’t have access to it. Enel Foundation joined the proceedings of the commission where Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager of Enel is one of the commissioners and Ignacio Perez-Arriaga, member of Enel Foundation Scientific Board, serves as academic lead on behalf of the MIT Energy Initiative.

Many social events and public presentations also took place during the week. Enel Foundation was proud to attend the high-level dinner organized by Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture (CEA) and UN Environment and UN Habitat on Driving Transformational Change: Architecture and Ecosystems for healthy resilient cities. The event signaled a commitment to the Built Environment as core element to several SDGs and featured a lively debate on how we can see past today’s boundaries to create new futures for the built environment that integrate advances across architecture, science and technology, towards significant changes in building policies and practices. The participation took place in the framework of a research project Enel Foundation is carrying out with Yale CEA regarding new building and urban system designs for resilient, renewable powered and smart grid connected housing solutions.

Enel Foundation also joined RES4Africa Foundation side event to the UN Climate Action Summit at Columbia University, dedicated to present its 2019 Flagship Publication “Africa’s Future Counts: Renewables and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus”. Developed in collaboration with Enel Foundation, “Africa’s Future Counts” is the second of a series of annual features that focus on strategic perspectives and themes for Africa’s sustainable energy future. This edition looks at how the WEF Nexus reveals opportunities to overcome Africa’s energy access gaps offering an innovative perspective on bridging the energy access gap by emphasizing the interdependencies between water, energy and food supply systems and considering energy as an enabler for development. The event was opened by Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General of RES4Africa Foundation, and Carlo Papa, Director of Enel Foundation, and featured a keynote address by Vijay Modi, Professor at Columbia University.