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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General’s remarks at press event at UNIDO International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technology

Istanbul, Turkey, 31 May 2012

It is a great honour for me to visit this UNIDO International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technology, together with the distinguished Mayor of Istanbul, the Honourable Kadir Topbas.  And I thank Dr. James Wetherilt and the researchers and his staff here in this centre.  I am very much impressed by what I have seen, the scientific achievement, they have achieved in the in the area of hydrogen energy technology.

As you know, sustainable energy is one of the top priorities of the United Nations as we are promoting sustainable development at this time.  Sustainable energy will be one of the top issues which world leaders will discuss in Rio de Janeiro in just three weeks’ time.  We have made it a top priority of this United Nations.

Hydrogen energy can play a very important role even though this scientific development progress has not been well progressed, I am sure that with such great investment and scientific creativity we will make a great contribution to achieving sustainable energy.

Hydrogen energy can help in delivering clean transportation as I have just tested and also power generation, and also it can help reduce excessive reliance on hydrocarbon energy, which is absolutely necessary at this time.

Q: Mr. Ban, how did you find the hydrogen car?

SG: This is very effective. I’m very impressed.  I hope that there will be more technological and scientific development in this, so that it can be commercialized by other people. I’m told that you can drive at the speed of 90 kilometres per hour.  It’s quite impressive.  At this time we need to reduce the reliance on hydrocarbon energy sources. That is why the United Nations has taken a very important initiative - “sustainable energy for all”.  Our target is to provide all electricity and energy access to seven billion people, maybe by [the year] 2030 eight billion people, and double the energy efficiency, and double the renewable source of energy in the global energy mix.  Those are three important targets and ambitious targets, but this can be achieved. Hydrogen energy can be one of the very important areas, where you can make progress for sustainable development.  Thank you very much.