Damilola Ogunbiyi, Chief Executive CEO) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, (SEforALL) has received the Energy Institute President’s 2023 award for the role she played in improving energy access – on and off grid – in Nigeria and mentoring and empowering young people to be involved in clean energy.
Ogunbiyi who is also the Co-Chair of UN-Energy was honoured with the prestigious award after making her presentation as a guest of honour at the dinner concluding International Energy Week 2023, which started on February 28 and ended on Thursday, March 2, 2023, focused on ‘transitioning out of crisis’ in London.
EnergyDay gathered that the EI President’s Award is the most prestigious award made by the EI’s President in the name of its global membership, it succeeds the Cadman and Melchett Awards, dating back to 1946 and 1930 respectively.
The recipients are outstanding individuals who have contributed to addressing solutions relevant to global energy challenges, in particular combatting climate change and opening up access to energy.
The Energy Institute (EI) is the chartered professional membership body for people who work across the world of energy. It was established with the purpose of creating a better energy future for our members and society by accelerating a just global energy transition to net zero.
Juliet Davenport, Energy Institute President in her remark while presenting the award to Damilola, said, “The President’s Award builds on its precursors’ 90-year legacy of recognition for the very best leadership and achievement in our field.
She said, “As a leader who has contributed to combating climate change and improving access to energy, Damilola is a tireless campaigner for change in the industry.
“From her role leading SEforALL to work furthering the pace of SDG7 on behalf of the UN Secretary-General; her efforts improving energy access on and off grid in her native Nigeria to mentoring and empowering young people to be involved in clean energy, Damilola is truly worthy of this important award.”
Damilola Ogunbiyi, acknowledging the award, urged global leaders to accelerate sustainable solutions and through courageous leadership transition to a green future, that leaves no one behind.
She said, “I wanted to bring this energy access issue to the global arena. It’s not ok that 2.4 billion people don’t have access to clean fuel sources – that kills 1 million African women a year,”
“One of the reasons why I made the switch to the UN is because I hadn’t seen anyone who looked like me in the global arena.
“People just want power – they just want a dignified life, and you cannot live a dignified life without energy.”
According to her, as the world faces ongoing development challenges and the negative effects of climate change, energy remains key to the solution.
She further said, “We must go over and above to ensure that every man, woman, and child globally has access to reliable, affordable, and clean energy.
“We must also tackle climate change and help reach net-zero by or before 2050, through the decarbonization of energy systems.”