Calling it “one of the most critical issues of our time,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the importance of strong partnerships to achieve universal access to sustainable energy.
“Clean, modern and affordable energy services are essential for sustainable development,” Mr. Ban told participants at the Dubai Energy Forum in the United Arab Emirates. “By making sustainable energy accessible to all people and communities, we can eliminate extreme poverty and improve public health, power economic growth and reduce the risks of runaway climate change. “
Worldwide, almost 3 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, and about 1.5 billion have no access to electricity, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Mr. Ban’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative aims to achieve three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; the doubling of energy efficiency; and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix.
At the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) last year, the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative received over $50 billion in commitments towards actions under the initiative.
“Sustainable Energy for All is a multi-stakeholder partnership that brings all key actors to the table – governments, the private sector and civil society,” Mr. Ban said. “The United Arab Emirates has been a strong supporter, with the renewable energy hub for the initiative based in Abu Dhabi at the International Renewable Energy Agency.”
Mr. Ban encouraged forum participants to join and promote the initiative and said he looked forward to innovative proposals that can help to provide sustainable energy for every woman, man and child.
“We need your support, ideas, know-how and resources,” he said. “Working together, we can build a brighter future for all.”