Gisele Bundchen Energy Popularized

Women, Social Responsibility Movies, Global Warming

Gisele Bundchen Energy Popularized

Gisele Bundchen does her super best to address "energy poverty" and "sustainable energy" while quarterback husband Tom Brady makes push with New England Patriot football teammates for Super Bowl.

On her first official visit to Africa, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador and iconic face of fashion, Gisele Bündchen, went to the grassroots level in Kenya to experience the reality of energy poverty and to see how Kenyans are transforming their lives by accessing sustainable energy.

Gisele, who has recently been named the ‘world’s greenest celebrity’, told a press conference at the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi that access to adequate fuels for cooking is also a major challenge, with many families still dependent on wood which produces toxic smoke, impacting the health of women and children.

SOUNDBITE (English) Gisele Bündchen, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador:
“More than 1.4 million lives are lost each year because of inhalation of smoke from cooking and it is quite shocking and most of them are women and children. This is basically 50 percent more than malaria.”

Around half the world’s population cook on open indoor fires and each year over 2.5 million people die prematurely as a result of breathing in emissions from these cook stoves, primarily from a substance called black carbon, also known as soot. Many more are blighted by ill health, such as chronic bronchitis.

Gisele spoke about the advantages of slow burning cooking stoves.

SOUNDBITE (English) Gisele Bündchen, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador:
“The slow burning cooking stove is quite an effective solution for rural areas because it kind of reduces up to 70 percent of the smoke in the houses and also uses 50 percent less firewood for it to work.”

While gains have been made in accessing electricity in the past two decades, huge gaps still remain. One in every five people on the planet do not have access to electricity. In Sub-Saharan Africa some 70 percent of the population have no electricity, while in Kenya only 18 percent of households have power.

Gisele said that this amounted to injustice.

SOUNDBITE (English) Gisele Bündchen, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador:
“Just as many women and men and children will be living in energy poverty in twenty years time. That is not development; that is injustice. But there is hope, you know, there is always hope and energy for all is achievable.”

Under Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner who gave Gisele a tour of the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in Nairobi, expressed hope about a photo voltaic and solar revolution.

SOUNDBITE (English) Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Secretary and UN Under-Secretary-General:
“I still have a dream that in Kenya twenty years from now with the photo voltaic and solar revolution what we will actually see is the rural areas of the country generating the electricity and selling it to the cities.”

UNEP has worked to realize and to accelerate the use of renewable energies within the overall theme of a Green Economy, with a special emphasis on Africa, and Kenya in particular. The UN’s new office facility in Nairobi, which houses UNEP and UN-HABITAT, has 6,000 square meters of solar panels and generates as much electricity as its 1,200 occupants consume.

Up on the roof, Steiner showed Gisele the solar panels installed to provide energy for the headquarters complex.

SOUNDUP (English) Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Secretary and UN Under-Secretary-General:
“People said, you know, you can’t do this in Africa. You know, these technologies are too complicated, they are too expensive. It’s wrong. We are on the equator here. If you cannot produce enough electricity for a building on the equator, where on earth would you do it?”

Kenya is increasingly developing its geothermal, wind, solar and hydro power resources at the local level.

Gisele visit to Kenya also took her to Kibera, East Africa’s largest slum, to look at biogas centres (turning human waste into power), to Kisumu, in western Kenya, where she took part in collecting firewood and learned about fuel-efficient cook stoves and to the Mount Kenya area where micro-hydro power is bringing electricity to over 2,000 households.


Language: English

Year of Production: 2012

Length: 2 mins

Country: Kenya


  • Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV-UNEP)


  • Susan Sacirbey (UNTV-UNEP)