Raj Kundra

And, Action! Blog Action Day and Climate Change

Today is Blog Action Day, an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. This year’s issue is climate change. This post first appeared on Acumen Fund’s blog.

Climate change – important topic. Glad to see that we are now all looking ahead and considering how our actions will permanently impact climate, how we will impact the lives of our children and grandchildren. And if we act now and cut back it is not too late to make a difference for them.

But what about the poor? The developing countries? Sure, they benefit if we save the planet, but is it fair that we are asking them to also cut back with us to help solve the climate problem? After all they don’t have a teenager with a Camaro to give up, or a roadtrip in a Winnebago to trade in. And they are now paying $4/gallon for gasoline because the rich countries used most if it up when nobody was looking!

If we want the billions of poor along, we have to help. We talk about carbon credits for developing countries to ease the transition. We have to make this real – and easy. We talk about using modern cleantech solutions that will create new and affordable energy for the world’s poor – but we have to make this accessible AND affordable. We have to help build businesses to deliver these solutions. This will be hard, it will take a long time, and we might not get rich doing it. But that is what it will take.

We’re seeing potential to bring real cleantech solutions to the developing world through our energy portfolio at Acumen Fund. High-efficiency LED lights powered by solar panels, small hydro to drive village electrification, bioenergy from agricultural waste residues are examples of initiatives that we have supported. These solutions can make a difference – both to address local poverty AND to save the global environment.

One of those solutions, Acumen Fund investee D.Light Design, is a nominee for the 2009 People’s Design Award for its newest product, a super cheap solar lantern that provides an affordable and clean replacement for kerosene lighting in rural India and Africa.

As part of National Design Week, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is sponsoring the competition in which good design is chosen by the public.

Want to help? Please vote for D.light here and spread the word to your networks and friends. You have until October 20 at 6:00 p.m. EST to vote. The winner will be announced live at the National Design Awards gala in New York City on October 22.