UN makes new sustainable energy commitments

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has marked Energy Day at Rio+20 by issuing three new commitments to action in support of his Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

The commitments, all to be achieved by 2030, call for action to 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. 

The Sustainable Energy for All initiative, launched by the Secretary-General in September 2011, is designed to bring governments, businesses and civil society groups together to transform the world’s energy systems by 2030 

“Sustainable energy fuels sustainable development,” commented Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of the UN Industrial and Development Organisation and Co-Chair of the High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. “It drives economic growth, expands social equity and helps create a healthier environment for us all. The new commitments to action are evidence of the significant support this initiative has generated from all corners of the globe. They are a much-needed down payment on a more prosperous, healthier future for both people and the planet.” 

Charles Holliday, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bank of America, added: “These commitments demonstrate that we can make tremendous progress when all key stakeholders; developed and developing countries, private companies and civil society groups, work together in common cause for the common good.” 

The UN statement also highlighted several other recently announced ‘commitments to action’ including one from the European Commission called ‘Energising Development’. This is designed to provide access to sustainable energy services for 500 million people by 2030 while also creating a Technical Assistance facility supported by approximately USD $63 million over the next two years. 

The Energy Day programme at Rio+20 was scheduled to run for 12.5 hours today, featuring 12 different interactive sessions and including contributions from internationally renowned academics, policy makers, business leaders and civil society representatives.

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