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WFES: Ban Ki-moon launches Sustainable Energy for All Initiative

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on governments, the private sector and society to commit to his Sustainable Energy for All Initiative at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

By Kari Williamson

In his keynote at WFES, Ban Ki-moon said he has designated sustainable development as his top priority for his next five-year term, and he has set out three objectives to be achieved by 2030:

  1. Universal access to modern energy services;
  2. Double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency; and
  3. Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Work on an Action Agenda has already started.

Chinese Premier joins in renewable energy call

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabo has also joined Ban Ki-moon in calling for renewable energy and energy efficiency at WFES.

In his keynote, Wen Jiabo outlined a four-stage process to address the world's future energy challenges with priority on energy conservation and energy efficiency.

“To save energy does not mean simply to cut energy use, nor does it compromise people's quality of life. What is needed is to rely on science and technology to increase energy efficiency, build a circular national economy featuring low input, high output and low energy consumption and emissions, and drive sustainable economic and social development with minimum energy and resource consumption.”

He called on governments to “vigorously develop renewable energy and clean energy” and to promote a “revolution of science and technology in the energy sector.”

He further outlined steps taken by China such as shutting down coal fired generators, investing in wind, solar and hydropower, and increase energy efficiency.

Need for renewable energy cooperation

South Korea's Prime Minister, Kim Hwan-sik used his WFES keynote to call for cooperation between developed and developing countries in expanding renewable energy resources.

“To distribute renewable energy to the world, active financial support and technology transfers from developed countries to their developing counterparts are required,” he said.

South Korea aims to become a leader on renewable energy, and Kim Hwan-sik added: “We will maintain close cooperation with the UAE to expand the spread of renewable energy as well as measures for green growth in the future.”

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Comments

Anonymous said

19 January 2012
Ban Ki Moon’s launch of the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All provides scope for optimism; however, there is still a huge amount of work to be done. Previous UN “International Year” initiatives have not always fulfilled their potential, (the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010 a notable example). 2012, however, could represent the beginning of an exciting period of green growth and poverty mitigation across the developing world, if sufficient support is provided. At Renewable World, we have witnessed first-hand the enormously transformational impact of delivering small-scale affordable renewable energy services for off-grid communities in areas of market failure. The programmes are testament to the fact that clean tech solutions to poverty can contribute to market development in some of most challenging environments as well as support social and economic development.

Significant investment is needed to provide capital to kick-start these small-scale financially sustainable energy businesses, and thus stimulate market activity in areas populated by poor consumers. An estimated $48bn is necessary each year to secure universal access to modern energy by 2030. At just 3% of total energy investment estimated for 2030, this is not just necessary, but eminently feasible. Government and private sector support for the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All therefore has the potential to catalyse growth in a green economy in the developing world and open a window of opportunity to make progress in the fight against poverty. This should form a critical part of the discussion at the Rio+20 Summit this year.

Anonymous said

19 January 2012
Ban Ki Moon’s launch of the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All provides scope for optimism; however, there is still a huge amount of work to be done. Previous UN “International Year” initiatives have not always fulfilled their potential, (the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010 a notable example). 2012, however, could represent the beginning of an exciting period of green growth and poverty mitigation across the developing world, if sufficient support is provided. At Renewable World, we have witnessed first-hand the enormously transformational impact of delivering small-scale affordable renewable energy services for off-grid communities in areas of market failure. The programmes are testament to the fact that clean tech solutions to poverty can contribute to market development in some of most challenging environments as well as support social and economic development.

Significant investment is needed to provide capital to kick-start these small-scale financially sustainable energy businesses, and thus stimulate market activity in areas populated by poor consumers. An estimated $48bn is necessary each year to secure universal access to modern energy by 2030. At just 3% of total energy investment estimated for 2030, this is not just necessary, but eminently feasible. Government and private sector support for the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All therefore has the potential to catalyse growth in a green economy in the developing world and open a window of opportunity to make progress in the fight against poverty. This should form a critical part of the discussion at the Rio+20 Summit this year.

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