Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed members of the award-winning alternative rock band Linkin Park to United Nations Headquarters in New York, where they announced their commitment to support his initiative aimed at ensuring universal energy access by 2030.
“I don’t know much about rock music. I stopped listening after Elvis!” Mr. Ban quipped during a press briefing. “But this much I do know: bands such as Linkin Park reach tens of millions of people.”
The Secretary-General spoke about the band’s continuous support in the past for humanitarian causes, including other UN initiatives such as their contribution to the “Not Alone” video, which sought to raise awareness and funds for Haiti after it was hit by a devastating earthquake last year.
“More than nine million people have seen the ‘Not Alone’ video, which helped our work in Haiti after the earthquake. So it was natural that I should ask them to support my Sustainable Energy for All initiative – another UN effort to build the future we want.”
The initiative was launched in September, and at its core is the vision of achieving universal access to modern energy services, doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, all by 2030.
Currently, some 1.4 billion people worldwide are estimated to lack access to electricity, with another billion having to deal with unreliable electricity networks. In total, nearly three billion people rely on solid fuels such as coal or traditional biomass for their basic cooking and heating.
“Sustainable Energy for All will help us to reduce poverty, drive economic dynamism, reduce the risks of climate change and protect the planet – all at the same time,” Mr. Ban said.
“We can turn on the lights in every household and turn down the global thermostat,” he added. “Linkin Park can help us spread this message.”
“We want to raise visibility of the issue and we want to help spread the word,” said Michael Shinoda, the band’s vocalist. “We also want to make a difference on the ground. We are enlisting the help of our fans to achieve both.”