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International Day of Clean Energy – 26 January

Clean energy: for all…

Energy lies at the core of a double challenge: leaving no one behind and protecting the Planet. And clean energy is crucial to its solution.

In a world grappling with climate change, clean energy plays a vital role in reducing emissions, and can also benefit communities lacking access to reliable power sources. Still today, 675 million people live in the dark – 4 in 5 are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The connection between clean energy, socio-economic development, and environmental sustainability is crucial in addressing issues faced by vulnerable communities worldwide.

For populations without clean energy access, the lack of reliable power hinders education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, and many of these developing regions still rely heavily on polluting fossil fuels for their daily life, perpetuating poverty. If current trends continue, by 2030 one in four people will still use unsafe, unhealthy and inefficient cooking systems, such as burning wood or dung.

Although this situation has been improving, the world is not on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. The General Assembly will hold a Global Stocktaking on SDG7 in April 2024 to assess progress and recommend solutions.

… and for our planet

But adopting clean energy is integral to the fight against climate change, as well. 

A large chunk of the greenhouse gases that blanket the Earth and trap the Sun’s heat are generated through energy production, by burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, and gas) to generate electricity and heat.

The science is clear: to limit climate change, we need to end our reliance on fossil fuels and invest in alternative sources of energy that are clean, accessible, affordable, sustainable, and reliable. Renewable energy sources – which are available in abundance all around us, provided by the sun, wind, water, waste, and heat from the Earth – are replenished by nature and emit little to no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the air.

At the same time, improving energy efficiency is key. Using less energy for the same output – through more efficient technologies in the transport, building, lighting, and appliances sectors for instance: saves money, cuts down on carbon pollution, and helps ensure universal access to sustainable energy for all.


Source: Text: Image: Raphael Pouget/UNICEF (Woman cleaning solar panel)


33rd Sunday of Year C – 2019

People sometimes say that poets and prophets have a way with words.
This expression means that poets and prophets have the gift of stirring up our imagination.
They offer us… visions!
Yes, they enable us to see things we had not perceived, or to see familiar things in a new way.

This is the case with Prophet Malachi that we meet in the 1st reading of today’s celebration (Mal.3:20 or, 4:2)
His message offers us the image, more still, the promise of God’s coming to us.
Coming to us like the welcome warmth of the sun – a sun that brings HEALING. 
“The sun of righteousness will rise
with healing in its wings.”

Healing… who among us does not need it?
Healing of some physical condition that causes suffering for too long…
Healing of some psychological trait of our personality that can be made less disturbing…
Healing of some memories of the past that are crippling our present…
Healing of some addiction that enslaves us and distorts our relationships with people…

It is offered to us, offered by the One who is always ready to heal in a way beyond expectation,
beyond even what the wildest imagination can suggest.

And, long ago, he has promised:
“Whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (Jn.6:37)
It is a promise, HIS promise.

Note: Another reflection is offered on a different theme in French at:


Source: Image:



World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought – 17 June

The United Nations’ World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is annually observed on June 17 to highlight the urgent need to curb the desertification process. It also aims to strengthen the visibility of the drylands issue on the international environmental agenda.

In December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. The assembly acknowledged that desertification and drought were global problems because they affected all regions of the world. The assembly also realized that joint action by the international community was needed to combat desertification and drought, particularly in Africa.

States were invited to devote the World Day to promoting awareness of the need for international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought, and on the implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification.  Since then, country parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), non-governmental organizations and other interested stakeholders celebrate this particular day with outreach activities worldwide on June 17 each year.

In March 2005 the UN agencies involved in celebrating the 2006 International Year of Deserts and Desertification organized a logo competition for that particular year. Krishen Maurymoothoo, a graphic designer from Mauritius, won the contest. The winning design featured three elements: a tree, which covers the logo as a protective roof; the Sun, which acts as a symbol of warmth and life; and the dunes, which were formed of several colors relating to the Earth’s land.

The current UNCCD logo, although different in some aspects, shares some similarities with Maurymoothoo’s logo: trees that protect the Earth; the Sunlit sky, which brings about warmth in the background; and the land. Both logos use earth-based colors, which include green and brown.

Source: Text:  Image: UNCCD


Feast of the Holy Trinity, C

There are things we try to describe and we just can’t express what we have in mind, or what we have seen. There are situations we do our best to explain to others and it seems we simply don’t have the words that would make people understand what we want to say.

Of course, this applies especially to… God! Scripture scholars and theologians do their best to tell us who God is, what his nature and his attributes are but even their most profound language falls short of what would need to be said.Huts, www.ceed-trust.orgimagesL0SUB5UL sun,

A true story from an African country conveys much wisdom in this respect. A group of Christians had gathered to share the gospel on the eve of Trinity Sunday. The person responsible to prepare the meeting soon confessed: « The Holy Trinity, who can explain that? I tried to prepare something to say but I just don’t know what I could say. So, instead, let us practice our hymns for tomorrow. » At this point, the catechist inspired, no doubt, by the Holy Spirit, said to those present:

“I can explain something about the Holy Trinity. » And he went on: « If at mid-day I am in my hut with the door closed (there are no windows in a hut) what do I see? I can see the rays of the sun passing under the door and going everywhere. Then, I know the sun exists and I feel the heat which warms me. This is the Trinity:

– the sun is the Father;
– the rays are the Son whom the Father sends;
– the heat which warms me is the Spirit.”

A prayerful silence followed…

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