ADDIS: new UN-backed report details ways to boost finance for sustainable energy

Geothermal energy is converted into electricity and used to heat the Gourmet Mokai glasshouse in New Zealand which grows tomatoes and peppers. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

13 July 2015 – A new United Nations-backed report launched today at a conference in Addis Ababa details concrete ways to boost crucial investment in sustainable energy by some $120 billion a year.

'Scaling Up Finance for Sustainable Energy Investments,' launched at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development that opened today in the Ethiopian capital, was produced by the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative.

According to the latest estimates, investment from both the public and private sectors will need to triple to more than $1 trillion per year to meet SE4All's ambitious goal of sustainable energy for all by 2030.

“A trillion-dollar investment need is also a trillion-dollar investment opportunity,” said Kandeh Yumkella, the Secretary General's Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and CEO of the SE4All initiative.

“This report shows in detail how we can start driving that investment in really practical ways, by mobilising new sources of finance and encouraging investors by helping them to manage their risks.”

The report identifies four broad 'investment themes' where action could help drive increased investment: developing the Green Bond market; using the de-risking instruments of the development finance institutions to mobilize private capital; exploring insurance products that focus on removing specific risks; and developing aggregation structures that focus on bundling and pooling approaches for small-scale projects.

Speaking at the high-level event at which the report was launched, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called sustainable energy “the golden thread that links economic growth, increased social equity and a healthy environment.”

He went on to note that transition of global energy systems is clearly a challenge, but also an unprecedented opportunity, citing a number of examples, including in Ethiopia, one of many African countries currently developing action agendas and investment prospectuses to ensure sustainable energy for all.

Strong leadership was also shown during the recent launch of the West African Energy Leaders Group in Côte d'Ivoire, he said.

Mr. Ban also recalled that the second UN Sustainable Energy for All Forum in May showed that commitments to date make halving of energy poverty realizable by 2030, through initiatives like the European Union's ElectriFI, the United States' Power Africa, and increased public investments.


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