Today, the Zayed Future Energy Prize awarded its Lifetime Achievement Award to UN Foundation Board Vice Chair Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland for her global leadership on sustainability.
Dr. Brundtland, the first female recipient of this award, is widely regarded as “the mother of sustainable development” and chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development on behalf of the United Nations in the 1980s – a groundbreaking process that established the vision and definition of sustainable development through the landmark report, “Our Common Future.” This report set in motion a shift in thinking around the globe which has led to significant progress over the past three decades. It also has direct ties to a new vision for a sustainable future, as laid out in the recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goals and the climate agreement reached in Paris this past December.
On behalf of the UN Foundation, President and CEO Kathy Calvin congratulated Dr. Brundtland and highlighted the legacy of her work:
“We congratulate Dr. [Gro] Brundtland for receiving the prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize in recognition of her lifetime commitment to promote sustainable development for the people and the planet. As she defined sustainable development: ‘to meet the needs of the present without comprising the needs of future generations,’ we must make sustainable energy a top priority for the global community. Few people have had as much of an impact on global society as Dr. Brundtland, [and this award could not be presented to a more fitting individual whose constant leadership of the climate movement continues to inspire us all. Dr. Brundtland] who has consistently inspired us as the woman at the forefront of global issues, from being the first female Prime Minister of Norway, to her appointment as first female Director-General of the World Health Organization.
As the world rallies with the UN to begin implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and the new climate agreement, Dr. Brundtland serves as a reminder that we can rise to the challenges of our time and build a better world.”