Offbeat

Should Energy Access Be a Human Right?

The Millennium Summit in 2000 was a turning point for the United Nations, in terms of redefining its vision for the future. Touted as the largest gathering of world leaders at the time, the event gave birth to the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which delegates agreed to achieve by 2015. The MDGs were to serve a dual-purpose as basic human rights entitled to individuals across the planet. Energy access, however, was notably excluded.

With one year remaining until the MDGs expire, the global conversation is shifting to the post-2015 agenda, where energy is expected to feature prominently. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has already made headwind on the discussion through the launch of the 2014-2024 as the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Recent international efforts to thrust energy to the forefront of the post-2015 agenda are a reflection of the fact that governments and organizations alike have come to recognize the inseparable nature of sustainable development and energy. As stated by General Ban Ki-moon, "Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity, and an environment that allows the world to thrive."

Read more: Should Energy Access Be a Human Right?

A Pint of Renewable Brewed Beer, Please

Sustainability is not a term many would associate with Las Vegas, which has long been branded as the iconic city of excess. The city has fought to defy its image in recent years, passing a green building incentive package in 2005 and increasing water conservation measures to save its Colorado River water supply. Sin City's greening efforts are worthy of recognition, with casino-lined Las Vegas strip now home to the highest concentration of LEED certified buildings. MGM Resorts International, one of the major benefiters of the initiative, is going as far as to integrate sustainability in its alcoholic drinks.

At MGM's Vdara Resort & Spa, Bar Vdara is serving craft beers brewed using renewable energy. The bar carries three brews at present, including seasonal Punk'n Harvest Pumpkin Ale. All are sourced from Uinta Brewing Company, which is located in Salt Lake City. Bar Vdara specifically chose this brewery due to the fact that it aligns with MGM's goals as a healthy living-focused and sustainable property, according to a spokesperson for the global hospitality company. Uinta has been brewing 100% wind-powered beer since 2001, using wind energy from Utah Power's Blue Sky Program. In 2011, Uinta installed solar-electric panels on their rooftop and now generates 15% of their energy needs for beer production from solar power.

Read more: A Pint of Renewable Brewed Beer, Please

 

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