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UN clean energy grant to go to clean transport winner

HONG KONG, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- The second UN renewable energy grant, worth 1 million U.S. dollars, will go to a winner from the sustainable transport sector, according to energy scholars.

"The most important part of the grant this year is that it promotes the thinking about sustainable solutions for transport," Maria van der Hoeven, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency said Friday at the Energy and Sustainable Transportation Forum sponsored by China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC).

This is "not an award, but a grant. Not an award for what you have been doing, but a grant to make the thing you have been doing even better and see to it you scale up your efforts .... That's the idea behind it," she highlighted.

Wu Hongbo, UN under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, said the grant, jointly initiated by the UN and CEFC, encourages the use of renewable energy, as the world now relies heavily on fossil energy which is harmful to the environment.

John Hofmeister, former President Shell Oil Company, said the grant this year will look for a new, different application that relates to sustainable transportation, on how generations in the future can benefit from cleaner air, more efficient transportation systems, and better use of technology and innovation.

To decide who will be the best example of sustainable transportation this year to receive a million dollars, equal to a Nobel Prize, will encourage others in the future years to make applications for such an award, he believed.

He said this is an act of philanthropy of CEFC, it is "private money," not "tax payers' money" and the UN accept it as a gift and the whole purpose is to represent the best interests of citizens, the best interests of applicants and the best interests of what creative mind can do in different parts of the world.

Patrick Ho, Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of CEFC, said the grant came into birth because the Nobel Prize does not cover energy and though the Shaw Prize, established under the auspices of Run Run Shaw in 2002, set up prizes in astronomy, life science and medicine, and mathematical sciences, there is still no place for energy.

Last year, the first ever grant went to We Care Solar, a non-profit U.S. company, for their innovative work providing midwives and medical doctors with suitcases containing portable solarpanels and essential equipment such as headlamps and cell phone rechargers.

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