IBM announced today at the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) that Egypt’s Environment Without Borders Foundation (EWBF) is among the new members of its global pro bono social impact programme, the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, after reviewing over 100 global applications and projects.
The programme applies IBM technologies, such as hybrid cloud and AI, and an ecosystem of experts to enhance and scale projects focused on populations vulnerable to environmental threats, including climate change.
IBM previously announced its plans to select five organisations for this programme every year and intends to provide $30m worth of services by the end of 2023.
The selection process considered the applicant’s commitment to support communities who are especially vulnerable to environmental threats, its ability to increase access to affordable clean energy services, and its strategic focus and transparency on measurement and reporting.
According to the International Energy Agency, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions to global supply chains, and diversion of fiscal resources to keep food and fuel prices affordable have affected the pace of progress toward the UN’s seventh sustainable development goal (SDG) of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030.
Environment Without Borders Foundation — an Egyptian environmental NGO established in 2015 — submitted a proposal to develop a platform to forecast, track, and communicate clean energy usage options in Egypt.
The goal is to enable resilient and sustainable infrastructure and operations for clean energy in Egypt, helping residents of remote villages for whom energy is currently both expensive and unreliable. The clean energy management platform will leverage the IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite and IBM Cloud.
“The UNDP is delighted to partner with IBM to forecast electricity access that informs better policy and investment decisions with an initial concentration on African countries. This partnership advances the UNDP’s integration mandate and directly contributes to our corporate moon-shot to provide 500 million people with access to safe, reliable energy by 2025 focused on reaching the furthest behind first,” said Ahunna Eziakonwa — Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) at the UNDP.
For her part, Marwa Abbas — General Manager of IBM Egypt — commented: “The Sustainability Accelerator programme represents one of IBM’s environmental, social, and governance pillars. We are proud to announce the winners in conjunction with our presence at the COP27. IBM will be developing and scaling the winning projects with the help of its innovative solutions and technical expertise to support underprivileged communities and drive sustainability.”
“We are very pleased with this new cohort with Environment Without Borders that will proudly enable us to provide alternative advanced solutions that support the country’s growing interest in achieving sustainable development and a green energy transition.”
“I believe that innovative technological applications can be strongly used for linking green energy users together and this is what we seek in our project,” said Adel Abdallah Soliman — CEO of Environment Without Borders Foundation.
“Our goal is to harness the power of technology to tackle environmental challenges and support vulnerable communities’ livelihood to have a better life,” he added.
Environment Without Borders was also selected along with four global institutions — the UNDP to increase access to sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy in African countries; Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), building an intelligent model to project energy needs based on current and future human activity; Net Zero Atlantic to create an interactive digital tool that will geospatially display environmental and socioeconomic impacts of possible energy system futures for Nova Scotia; and the Miyakojima City Government Foundation to support the development of a renewable energy strategy, including a microgrid on Miyakojima island to model electricity demand and advise energy infrastructure development.