New York

27 November 2013

Secretary-General's remarks at press conference with Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group following Sustainable Energy for all High-Level Advisory Board Meeting

SG: Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to be joined by Dr. Jim Kim, President of the World Bank today. 

We have just concluded the second meeting of the Sustainable Energy For All Advisory Board.

I thank all the leaders from Government, business community and civil society for their strong commitment for sustainable energy.

I am impressed by the growing momentum in support of Sustainable Energy for All.

Brazil’s “Light for All” programme has reached 15 million people.

Nearly all Brazilians now have access to electricity.

Norway has committed to invest 2 billion Norwegian Kroner in 2014 for global renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

Bank of America announced that its Green Bond, the world’s first of its kind, has raised $500 million for three years, as part of its 10-year $50 billion environmental business commitment.

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) announced a $1 billion fund for energy access.

Now we need others to follow and build on these commitments.

Achieving the goals of Sustainable Energy For All needs massive new and additional investment.

And we need Sustainable Energy For All for sustainable development – for reducing poverty and raising opportunity, for combating climate change and laying the foundations for the future we want.

Our Advisory Board has agreed to take on this challenge and report back at the high-level partners meeting on Sustainable Energy for All that we will convene in June next year.

Together they will work to build momentum and scale up actions in four areas: finance, energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

At the same time, I will continue to engage Member States to make sustainable energy a central concern of the post-2015 development agenda.

Sustainable energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, a stable climate and a healthy environment. 

We need to make modern energy services available to all.  But we have to do so sustainably. 

Our current energy systems are not sustainable. 

The global thermostat is rising, threatening development goals and economies small and large. 

It is clear that we need a transformation in how we produce, use and share energy. 

That is why I launched Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011.

And that is why so many influential leaders are coming on board.

I thank you for your attention.

Dr. Jim Kim will now make his statement, then we will be glad to answer some questions. Thank you.

Q:  Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President, to both, in light of the Iran deal in Geneva, do you foresee, since you’re speaking of energy, an increase in the sale of Iranian oil because of the lifting of transportation and insurance sanctions? And Mr. Secretary-General, do you see a UN resolution necessary to do that?

SG:  As a result of the interim agreement between Iran and the P5 +1, I know that both sides will take necessary action. While we expect that the Iranian Government will halt all of these nuclear development programmes, as was agreed in the negotiations, at the same time I understand that key countries of the Security Council will also consider easing some sanctions. In such a case, Iranians will have better and greater access to the energy market. That is what we can easily expect, but for any detailed matters, I am still waiting to see how this will evolve. At this time, it is important that [the] provisional agreement will [lead] to a comprehensive nuclear resolution deal.

Q:  My question is about nuclear power and the definition of sustainable energy. Do you include nuclear power into your definition of sustainable energy, and I would be grateful if you could elaborate briefly.

SG:  About this issue, we discussed at length about the way how we can increase the use of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Our target is to double it by 2030. As the number of countries who have been using nuclear energy are either abolishing or cutting their use of nuclear energy, it is important that the international community should redouble our efforts to increase the use of renewable, clean energy. There must be more investment.

At this time, I’m encouraged that many more countries and companies, they are using solar energy and other sources of renewable energy, but I understand that the initial investment on solar energy and other renewable energy sources is a bit high. Therefore, it would be important, through transferring technology and developing further technology, it would be important to cut the cost of the initial investment. This is one area which the Advisory Board is now discussing. As a way of contributing to this, I’m now considering, I have, in fact, established a science advisory board which I am going to launch early next year, so I hope that scientists and technology and renewable energy and the Sustainable Energy [for All] Advisory Board will coordinate so that we can expand the use of renewable energy. Thank you.