Climate change, rising energy costs and the associated threat of energy poverty are fundamental challenges worldwide. Consequently, the need for integrating renewable energy is paramount when seeking holistic solutions. Since promoting sustainable practices requires a broad base amongst citizens and consumers, NGOs can be key driver for such action. INFORSE’s aim is to try and ensure that energy services, which are an essential part of human wellbeing and development, are provided in a sustainable way, moving away from fossil fuel dependence.
INFORSE was established in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 to secure a follow-up of the political decisions taken by the UNCED. Independent NGOs working towards sustainable energy solutions join forces in this global network and are actively engaged in international awareness-raising. Membership is free of charge and is limited to independent non-profit NGOs that share and support INFORSE’s goals. Member organisations and Regional Coordinators establish and coordinate regional focal-points for INFORSE activities and are responsible for the dissemination of information. Members have the right to vote at regional meetings. Its secretariat is based in Denmark.
Being a member of the INFORSE means being part of a powerful networking structure, promoting sustainable energy issues on a global scale, as well as in particular regions. Regional meetings are the foundation of the network's democratic structure and include discussions of targeted action plans and initiatives for each region. These face-to-face exchanges are supported by an online collection of sustainable energy success stories and a contact database. Members use this collaboration to achieve what would otherwise have been impossible for the individual organisation in terms of financing, political influence and capacity. Being an observer at ECOSOC, INFORSE has monitored and influenced aspects of international sustainable energy negotiations, such as the associated regulations and standards, since 1998. Other aspects addressed through European and worldwide lobbying activities are sustainable energy education and related gender issues.
Due to its current level of success in achieving its objectives, the INFORSE network qualifies for an estimated level 7 on the generic maturity scale GML. INFORSE monitors EU and global policy and facilitates practical and political experience exchange among NGOs by liaising with concerned multilateral agencies, creating awareness, and seeking support for NGO activities. The Coordinators of the member organisations incorporate the views and initiatives of each region as part of the planning stages of the Network's global activities. Publishing material on sustainable energy issues is the main activity in terms of knowledge sharing. Disseminating recent research and development topics also helps towards the overarching aim of reducing the unfavourable reliance on fossil fuels and the associated carbon footprint, while allowing for the provision of sustainable energy services on a socially balanced scale.