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World Economic Forum's Energy For Society Initiative Aims To Improve Energy And Living Standards

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A new international initiative aims to unite leaders of the world's energy companies to meet global needs while improving living standards. The World Economic Forum's Energy For Society Initiative, which launches September 11, brings together 20 founding signatories from some of the world's largest energy firms.

According to the WEF, the initiative's members are united under five guiding principles: "supplying secure and affordable access to energy; having efficient energy systems; upholding responsible citizenship in communities; contributing to economic development and promoting energy literacy."

The World Economic Forum's Roberto Bocca, Senior Director, Head of Energy Industries, said in a statement, "This is the first time that the global energy community is demonstrating such a commitment to society, not only by sharing their successes and challenges to improve their industry’s business practices with transparency, but also by demonstrating how those principles might be implemented concretely."

With all sectors of the energy represented in the initiative, the WEF hopes to "restore trust between the energy industry and society at large," according to a statement. The group contends that its global scope and holistic approach, going "beyond 'one issue' campaigns," sets it apart from existing efforts.

The WEF initiative comes as renewable energy investment grows globally. Earlier this year, the U.N. concluded in a report that world investment in renewable energy set a record in 2011 with $257 billion spent across the globe last year.

HuffPost blogger Peter Bosshard writes, "Renewable energy solutions are not only good for the environment. If done well, they can pay for themselves and reduce poverty around the world."

Learn more about the Energy For Society Initiative with the interactive map below, or visit the World Economic Forum's website.

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