Trondheim, Norway

13 June 2013

Secretary-General's message to Third International Student Energy Summit

I am pleased to greet this important forum for sharing ideas, knowledge and innovation, and I commend the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim for hosting it.

The leadership of youth is essential for meeting the demands of sustainable development.  Eradicating extreme poverty is our central goal, but we must do so without overburdening the planet’s ecological systems.  That will mean changing how we produce, distribute and consume energy.

One in five people lack access to electricity -- and the computers, refrigerators and lighting that most of us take for granted.  Twice this number depend on wood, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating.  This is harmful to the health of people and the environment.  The energy gap is inequitable and it is unsustainable.

On the other side of the coin are those of us who have plentiful access to energy.  We often use it wastefully.  Our energy use is directly related to climate change. 
The planet is warming, and the impacts are transforming our world. 

There is something we can do to address both these challenges.  We can provide sustainable energy for all.  We can turn on the power for every family, school, hospital and business, and at the same time, we can turn down the global thermostat.

But to do so, we need your help, your fresh way of looking at the world – your world.  We need you to ask the provocative, necessary questions, and identify the solutions, that will stimulate the green economy of the future.

I invite all of you to join my Sustainable Energy for All initiative.  We have three objectives to reach by 2030.  First, to provide universal access to modern energy; second, to double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and third, to double renewable energy in the global energy mix.  With your support and commitment, your ideas and skills, we can provide sustainable energy for all – for the benefit of all.

I wish you a productive meeting.