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Sustainable Energy for All

Introducing the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, recently launched by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to make sustainable energy for all a reality over the next two decades.

One in five people on the planet lack access to modern electricity. Almost three billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. And in industrialized countries, energy is wasted due to inefficient energy use.

To help solve these urgent problems, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative with three interrelated objectives to be accomplished by 2030:

  • Ensure universal access to modern energy services;
  • Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and
  • Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Action to make sustainable energy for all a reality

The Secretary-General has made sustainable development his top priority for the next five years, and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative is at the center of his focus. This initiative is not just about more talk and meetings.  It’s about generating action by all the key players – governments, businesses, and civil society – to make sustainable energy for all a reality over the next two decades.

Drawing on expertise in energy and development

As a move towards engaging these key players, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chose two leading figures from the worlds of business and public service to co-chair the Secretary-General’s High-Level Group, a global advisory board of leaders who bring expertise in the energy and development sectors.  The leaders include Charles Holliday, Chairman of Bank of America, and Kandeh Yumkella, Chair of UN-Energy and Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization.

Commitments to sustainable energy

Together with the other members of the High-Level Group, Holliday and Yumkella are working to encourage commitments that can take many forms and be accomplished alone or in partnership.  Commitments include:

  • Launching new projects or partnerships;
  • Scaling up or accelerating existing activities;
  • Adding additional partners to existing projects; or
  • Renewing commitments made recently, if activities to realize these commitment are still ongoing.

In June, at Rio +20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the Secretary-General will come together with representatives from the public and private sectors to announce a number of key commitments from global stakeholders.

Video reflections

To accompany this article, members of the High-Level Group and Technical Group offer video reflections the initiative’s aims and approach.


User comments

  1. Nicolae Pacurar says:

    If storage of electric energy can be solved (the potential is 10 times the actual situation) the problem will be solved. 4 sq m of solar panel would ensure all the energy necessary for a house and for the car.
    But the first 4 companies in the world are dealing with oil and will do everything to keep their business.

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