Rivas, Nicaragua

29 July 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at Camilo Ortega Wind Park

Buenos tardes. Mucho gusto. Muchas gracias por su hospitalidad.

I am very impressed by what I have seen today. This is a very impressive wind park and I learned a lot about what you are doing to promote sustainable energy.

This project represents almost one quarter of Nicaragua’s capacity to generate wind power. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions - at least100,000 tons of CO2 each year.

Your country has vast potential of renewable energy resources - solar, wind, you have very strong, constant wind, and geothermal and hydro. You are quite lucky to have such unlimited resources.

This can provide the modern energy that your people need and the Government needs to promote the Millennium Development Goal [MDG] to eradicate extreme poverty and promote global health and many other development issues.

Nicaragua understands well that energy is central to implementing the MDGs as well as shape the post-2015 development agenda.

As you know, three years ago, I launched the Sustainable Energy For All initiative.

It has three goals. The first: to provide universal access to electricity to all the people around the world by 2030.

Second, double the energy efficiency rate.

Thirdly, double the renewable energy use in global energy mix.

You have already met the number three target: double the renewable energy. [You are] already at 58 per cent.

By 2028, you will have achieved 97 per cent of renewable energy [in your mix]. That is an extremely excellent goal.

I hope His Excellency President [Daniel] Ortega will participate in the climate change summit meeting on 23 September and state that ambition to the world.

The Sustainable Energy for All initiative is supported by more than 80 countries in the developing world.

We have already received many billions of dollars in commitments and support.

From NGOs to multilateral development banks, we are working together for a common goal.

Modern energy really is the key to changing people's lives.

It can enhance the quality of life and it can effectively be used to promote human dignity. And it can also contribute to stemming violence.

First of all, clinics and hospitals can be much more effective in saving lives.

When the streets are lit, fully lit during the night, it can reduce violence against women.

Children can study at night.

I heard that when President Ortega became President [in 2007] [...] there was electricity rationing for some18 hours a day.

When I was a young boy in Korea, there was no electricity. I had to study with the dim light of a kerosene lamp.

There was a very serious rationing of electricity at that time. After 10 p.m., even for rich people, there was no light. Nobody was able to think about having a refrigerator or televisions.

This electricity, energy, is the golden thread of our lives.

This can really help in addressing climate change.

When we have clean energy, we will use less fossil fuels, which create much, much more greenhouse gas emissions.

So please continue to invest wisely in renewable energy and this wind power so that everybody can live - with the help of energy - a life of dignity.

Muchas gracias.