Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development

Opening Remarks
Second Annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum
Global Energy Ministerial: Actions and Committments

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a real pleasure for me to address this Global Ministerial session of the Second Annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum, which will be dedicated to reviewing and discussing Actions and Commitments.

The international community has embarked on a major effort to define a comprehensive and aspirational post-2015 Development Agenda to accelerate progress towards the universal goals of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

There is conviction among all Member States that this effort has to be based on “Actions and Commitments” which will effectively help us secure the Future We Want.

Given the important role that energy plays and its strong links to other development factors, the set of Sustainable Development Goals being proposed for the post-2015 Development Agenda includes a dedicated goal on energy. The goal is on access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030. It includes specific targets that relate to energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Also, stressing the need for a coherent approach to energy issues and for the promotion of synergies across the global sustainable energy agenda, the General Assembly declared 2014-2024 the “United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.”

The Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative has already made remarkable progress. In the last several years it has been promoting and leading the international community into actions that are helping to achieve a major transformation of global energy systems.

Many stakeholders are actively engaged in moving the global objectives of Sustainable Energy for All forward quickly. Their efforts serve also to advance the proposed energy SDG and its corresponding targets and to support the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.

Nevertheless, much more is needed and can be achieved by “Actions and Commitments” from all stakeholders and through public and private partnerships. Financing, investing, and scaling up efforts on energy efficiency, renewable energy and universal energy access are critical. We know that annual investments to achieve by 2030 the three main objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative are estimated to be close to one trillion dollars. The actions and commitment that are needed are very challenging. But they are achievable.

In the last few years we have seen excellent examples of the kind of commitments and actions that are in need. For example, the African Development Bank, since its commitments at Rio+20 in 2012, has approved projects for about 2 billion dollars that address the priorities of energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency. These projects have mobilized co-financing totaling 4.5 billion dollars. Another excellent example is the commitment by the European Commission and some individual European countries. The new financing initiative “ELECTRIFI” by the European Commission launched yesterday to boost confidence for investment in sustainable energy demonstrate the strong commitment of the European Commission to this cause.

Lighting Africa, a joint initiative of the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank, has helped 13.5 million people in Africa gain access to clean lighting and better access to energy. The initiative’s long-term goal is to enable the private sector to reach 250 million people with modern lighting products by 2030.

Power Africa, an initiative announced by the US Government in 2013, has committed more than 7 billion dollars for the first five-year phase in financial support and loan guarantees towards the objective of doubling the number of people with access to power in sub-Saharan Africa.

Another excellent example is the commitment by the European Commission and some individual European countries to reduce energy poverty by more than 500 million people within two decades. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development committed itself at Rio+20 to a sustainable energy investment of 30 billion dollars for the 2012-2014 time period. This investment target was surpassed with total investment related to sustainable energy projects over the period reaching 44 billion dollars.

The Asian Development Bank has also been very active in the field of sustainable energy. The Bank has invested more than 2.3 billion dollars in clean energy and has pledged to maintain investment at a level of at least 2 billion dollars.

It is also important to note that, as of today, about 100 countries have joined the Sustainable Energy for All initiative as partners. These countries are actively involved in pursuing the objectives of the initiative, and already some of these countries are seeing concrete progress towards a more sustainable energy future.

I am sure this event will provide an opportunity for participants to showcase their new actions and commitments and to discuss new and additional activities for accelerating universal energy access and enhancing the use of efficient and renewable energy technologies.

I encourage all leaders and decision makers from public and private institutions and all stakeholders to pledge generously and announce your commitments during this Global Energy Ministerial session.

I wish you very fruitful discussions and I look forward to learning about the outcome of this important event.

Thank you.