Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at Press Conference on Sustainable Energy for All

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 01 November 2011

As you know, the UN system is gearing up for next year's Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

Nearly twenty years after Rio, we see more clearly than ever that economic growth, environmental protection, and social equity are one and the same agenda: the sustainable development agenda.

Energy is the golden thread that runs right through all.

It powers our economies, and makes prosperity possible.

But fossil-fuel based energy also contributes significantly to climate change, which hurts the poor and vulnerable first – and worst.

So we must do two things -- we must ensure that all people have access to modern energy services.

And we must move very rapidly toward a clean energy economy to prevent the dangerous warming of our planet.

We need to turn on the lights for every household, while turning down the global thermostat.

That is why I have launched the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative.

As we all know, the economic crisis is foremost on the minds of many.

Sustainable energy –clean, affordable and accessible to all -- is a win-win-win.

It helps us reduce poverty, drive economic dynamism, and reduce the risks of climate change all at the same time.

Today, I am pleased to announce the members of the High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All.

The Group is co-chaired by Kandeh Yumkella, the Chair of UN Energy and Executive Director of UNIDO, and Charles Holliday, Chairman of Bank of America.

The Sustainable Energy for All Group includes key players from around the world – business, finance, governments, civil society.

Its job is to catalyze partnerships, commitments and action – in corporate board rooms, in government ministries, and on the ground in thousands of local communities.

I have set three objectives to support the overall goal of “Sustainable Energy for All.”

They are described in my vision document, which I am releasing today.

I am calling for all three of my objectives to be achieved by 2030.

First: universal access to modern energy services.

Second: doubling the rate at which we improve energy efficiency.

Third: doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Together, these goals can help to end energy poverty and catalyze a clean energy revolution that benefits all humanity.

I now turn the floor over to Mr. Yumkella, who will describe some of the Initiative's next steps.

Thank you for your attention.