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Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the United Nations SecretaryGeneral (UN SRSG)

Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the United Nations SecretaryGeneral (UN SRSG)
27 . Feb . 2024

In an article written for The New African Woman, Damilola Ogunbiyi emphasized the importance of diversity in order for the energy sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within seven years. “Women”, writes the Nigerian special representative, “play a crucial role, but the energy sector often does not take their needs into sufficient consideration. In fact, there are tens of thousands of women around the world who continue to have no access to energy, a situation which, along with a lack of technology and clean cooking fuel, determines a high mortality rate for women and children”.

In the article, Ogunbiyi points to the fundamental role that women play in the transformation of the energy sector and the implementation of the SDGs. The contribution of women, which is underestimated at the decision-making level, needs not only to be recognized, but also valued by listening to their voices and opinions. “Concrete actions are necessary in order to actively involve women. Female students should be encouraged to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and training and mentorship programs should be made available. Moreover, in addition to custom-tailored funding, energy companies headed by women should be involved in energy planning and the collection of gender-disaggregated data.”

In a recent interview with the CNN, Ogunbiyi emphasized the responsibility of G20 members to address environmental pollution, especially through the implementation of a carbon tax, a declaration that calls on world leaders to reflect on their responsibilities and to urgently adopt concrete measures to mitigate climate change. Carbon finance could promote access to clean cooking fuels and incentivize female participation. “It’s important to challenge cultural and social norms to promote a greater participation of women in the energy transition, guaranteeing transparency and access to information. I would like to remind you that access to energy improves lives and provides economic opportunities, especially when provided by clean sources. Therefore, the production of renewable energy in the southern hemisphere will create many jobs.”

Moreover, in terms of female participation, in July, the World Bank announced the appointment of Damilola Ogunbiyi as one of the 15 board members of the Private Sector Investments Lab. The lab, which began its activities in June, drawing on the experience of CEOs, directors, financers, and asset managers of major financial corporations, aims to attract private capital for energy infrastructure and drive the transition towards renewables on emerging markets, thereby contributing to fighting climate change and promoting sustainable development.

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