Madonna patron of Climate Change Challenge and Pledge4REG
Just as Madonna tops the bill at the Live Earth concert, the international superstar is backing two remarkable global, humanitarian schemes to beat climate change and fuel poverty.
With support from Madge at her finest, UK 8020 – a not for profit community interest group – is funding the Climate Change Challenge which launches in London at noon on Thursday 12 July, 2007, at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel.
The launch event will be packed by guest such as Trevor Baylis, Chris Huhne, Hilary Benn, Renu Mehta, founder of Fortune Forum, Mr Harun Rashid Khan, chair of the Muslim Council of Britain’s London Affairs Committee, and Fazlun Khalid.
There were no second thoughts for a decisive Madonna when it came to putting her name to these life-changing events – and with good reason. When it comes to fuel poverty, 30,000 pensioners die every year in the UK alone because they cannot afford to keep themselves warm in winter. That equates to eight pensioners dying every hour during the winter months: a tragic and unnecessary loss of human life.
Now, at last, it seems that someone is prepared to ‘throw down the gauntlet’ and challenge the population-at-large to help. A £100,000 prize and place in the history books, up there with the likes of Edison, are up for grabs for the first person to invent a renewable energy generator that will provide 90% of the UK’s domestic electricity needs for free. As part of the rules, the target retail price for the unit with installation has been set at £500 – currently the average cost of six months energy.
As well as being patron to the Climate Change Challenge, Madonna also supports UK 8020’s other humanitarian initiative, Pledge4REG. Linking directly to the Climate Change Challenge, Pledge4REG addresses the almost four million people in the fuel poverty bracket in the UK.
Pledge4REG will make a significant contribution to eradicating the problem of fuel affordability, that exists in a supposedly civilised country, working simply by inviting people to pledge £500 to buy a REG for anyone of their choice over the invention period. It could be for their parents, an elderly relative, a social acquaintance, or anyone who may benefit from a helping hand. As it is a pledge, no money needs to be paid until the Climate Change Challenge winning invention eventually goes on sale, thereby giving all pledgers time to save the necessary funds.
Robert Lee, founder of UK 8020, says: “Most of us know someone who hasn’t been able to afford their fuel. Our scheme is all about empowering people through incentives, not taxes. It gives the ordinary person the chance to make a difference by being responsible for their own energy needs and, simultaneously, helps rebuild caring communities. The challenge is open to everyone regardless of race, creed and political or financial standing, so it’s a classic case of ‘Power to the People’ in every sense.”
He adds: “We are positive that the humanitarian aspect of this idea and the link to the creation of free, green energy for everyone is what convinced Madonna to come on board within just a couple of days of being asked!”