Modern Energy Services Key to Changing Quality of People’s Lives, Secretary-General Says as Forum Continues

5 June 2014
SG/SM/15908-DEV/3098-EN/289

Modern Energy Services Key to Changing Quality of People’s Lives, Secretary-General Says as Forum Continues

5 June 2014
Secretary-General
SG/SM/15908 DEV/3098 EN/289
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Modern Energy Services Key to Changing Quality of People’s Lives,

 

Secretary-General Says as Forum Continues

 

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s welcoming remarks at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum, in New York today:

Welcome to this first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum.  We are here because we understand that sustainable energy is central to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.  It is the golden thread that links poverty eradication, equitable economic growth and a healthy environment.

Today we will hear how our Sustainable Energy for All initiative is maturing and bearing fruit — thanks to you.  Commitments worth many billions of dollars have been pledged and delivered.  More than 80 developing countries have joined the initiative.  From India to Brazil a growing number of people have light and power where there was none before.  From NGOs [non-governmental organizations] to multilateral development banks, we are working together for a common goal.

We have three targets for 2030.  You are already aware of this, but I will just repeat briefly.  First, universal access of energy to modern energy services to all people in the world.  Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.  And third, twice as much renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Our efforts so far show that these objectives are realistic.  Our focus now must be to achieve them.

We have identified 30 countries to roll out Sustainable Energy for All action agendas and investment prospectuses, beginning this year.  Several regional and thematic hubs stand ready to assist.  Others will be up and running shortly.  And now we have an extra boost — the United Nations Decade on Sustainable Energy for All, launched this morning.  Along with its campaign on energy and women’s and children’s health, the Decade can bring us closer to our goals of universal energy and a life of dignity and opportunity for all.

Modern energy services are the key to changing people’s quality of life.  Clinics can store life-saving vaccines.  Children can study after dark.  Food can be produced and conserved better.  Cleaner cook stoves can save the lives of millions of women and children every year.  Electricity can power street lights that will make women safer.  Businesses can flourish and create new jobs.

The opportunities are profound, from the poorest communities to the richest investors.  The benefits will be felt throughout society in all countries.  That is why we must continue to build our initiative and bring more partners and stakeholders aboard.  That is why we are here at this Forum.

I see this Forum as an annual meeting place for the global energy community.  Here we can assess progress, inspire each other and mobilize new partners.  Here we can shape a new energy future.  That future starts now — today.

Later this year, on 23 September, I am convening a Climate Summit.  I count on all actors today to deliver new and expanded commitments and partnerships that will transform the global energy landscape.  We have the responsibility.  And we have the power.

Thank you for your commitment.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.