16 January 2012, Abu Dhabi -- In his keynote address today to the World Future Energy Summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on governments, the private sector, and civil society to make significant commitments to action in support of his Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. His call to action underscores the importance of energy to sustainable development, and contributes to the global launch of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
“This is the right time for this Initiative,” said the Secretary-General. “Across the world we see momentum building for concrete action that reduces energy poverty, catalyzes sustainable economic growth, and mitigates the risks of climate change. Achieving sustainable energy for all is both feasible and necessary. My Initiative will help us meet these objectives simultaneously. It can be a triple win for all.”
The Secretary-General’s participation in the World Future Energy Summit marks his first visit abroad during his second term of office and highlights his commitment to sustainable energy as the key to powering sustainable development. The Secretary-General has designated sustainable development as his top priority for his next five year term.
Globally, one person in five lacks access to modern electricity and twice that number, three billion people, rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. In developed countries the problem is a substantial waste of energy.
The Secretary-General articulated three complimentary objectives, all to be achieved by 2030.
First: to ensure universal access to modern energy services.
Second: to double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency.
Third: to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
The World Future Energy Summit serves as the global launch of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, which was mandated by the UN General Assembly. The Secretary-General’s Initiative contributes to the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All by mobilising action from a range of key actors.
The Secretary-General has appointed a High-level Group of eminent global leaders from business, finance, government and civil society to mobilize action commitments that will help drive change on the ground, in corporate board rooms, and in policy portfolios around the world.
In Abu Dhabi, the Group met and produced a Framework for an Action Agenda, which proposes several high-value actions at the national and international level, including action to expand energy access, promote efficiency standards and policies, and strengthen investment in renewables.
Towards the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June, the Secretary-General will officially launch the Action Agenda, publicizing the commitments made by all stakeholders to the Initiative.
For more information, please visit www.sustainableenergyforall.org