WHO WE ARE
Set up in 1976, Geres is a development NGO working in Europe, Africa and Asia to improve living conditions and fighting against climate change and its impacts.
An international NGO
In the interests of ambitious societal change, we encourage the development and rollout of innovative, locally-based solutions, we support territorial climate and energy policies and mobilize all stakeholders around Climate Solidarity, urging them to take action and stand up for the most vulnerable.
Our operations include work on developing value chains as these create jobs and are often key to the sustainability of the solutions deployed. We also attach great importance to ensuring that all stakeholders have a sense of ownership. We focus on capacity-building in order to drive the dynamics of change, develop resilience strategies and open up the field of opportunity so that everyone can play a part in sustainable development.
2018 Key figures
Permanent representative offices
Projects conducted in 19 countries
We are convinced that we shall not be able to limit climate change without an ambitious energy transition. That transition cannot neglect social justice.
If we are to meet this challenge, striving for equity means that all of us must show solidarity: Climate Solidarity, a cause we have long defended and a message which must now be taken to every corner of the world. Every member of society should be able to make it their own.
The energy transition serves as a major lever for putting that solidarity into practice. It aims to enable everyone to access sustainable energy services and to promote responsible energy consumption.
Combating climate change and poverty lies at the heart of our mission. To that end, Geres encourages the development and rollout of innovative, locally based solutions, supports territorial climate and energy policies and mobilizes all stakeholders around Climate Solidarity, urging them to take action and stand up for the most vulnerable.
Discover the major milestones in the long history of our association, since its creation in Marseille in 1976 through to the launch of its new manifesto in 2019.
Geres was set up on 14 September 1976 at Marseille University under the name Groupement pour l’Exploitation Rationnelle de l’Energie Solaire [Group for the rational exploitation of solar energy] under the aegis of three researchers in Marseille: Georges Peri, Paulin Gallet and Daniel Mandineau. They were looking to develop alternatives to oil.
In 1982, Morocco became one of the first countries after Barbados where Geres set up projects. In co-operation with the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region of France, Geres worked on solar ovens and access to electricity for villages in rural areas.
Geres adventure in Central Asia began in 1983 when a student contacted the association following a study trip to the Himalayas. Having noticed that it was freezing inside houses in winter, he urged our energy specialists to find an appropriate solution for these high-altitude regions. Geres then began to look into the potential of bioclimatism.
In response to growing interest in new renewable energy sources such as wind power, biogas and solar, the association changed its name in 1986 and became Groupe Energies Renouvelables [Group for Renewable Energy].
In the 90’s, Geres led an ambitious project in West Africa: the dissemination of solar domestic dryers in Burkina Faso, with the strong involvement of the local private sector. Following up on this experience, it led to other actions in Benin and Mali in 2001 and 2003.
A few years later, in 1994, Geres made its way into South-East Asia in response to a request from Cambodia to find a way of combating deforestation through a reduction in consumption of firewood used for cooking. The association then took the name Groupe Energies Renouvelables et Environnement [Group for Renewable Energy and Environment].
Work in Afghanistan began in 2002 after the fall of the Taliban regime. The country was in ruins, everything needed rebuilding . Geres began to tackle energy-saving issues by disseminating its bioclimatic technologies. This solution was subsequently to be developed in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia with passive solar greenhouses.
In 2008, Geres took the name Groupe Energies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarités [Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity]. This was also the year when the “Geres France” branch was set up and began to roll out many innovative projects in the region where the association had its roots: micro-composting, small-scale hydropower, methanation, solar water heaters and combating fuel poverty.
At the end of 2015, when a historic agreement on climate was expected at COP21, our association was present on all fronts at this international meeting, armed with the legitimacy it had won during 10 years of combating climate change. On that occasion, Geres delivered the Appeal for Climate Solidarity to Nicolas Hulot, special envoy of the President of the Republic for the planet.
Geres is keen to engage still further in the dynamics of mobilization for the climate. It has adopted a new strategic framework to make this possible. The acronym has been dropped, leaving only “Geres”, while the cause defended by the association now stands at the heart of its new logo: “Climate Solidarity in action”.