RIO DE JANEIRO, 21 June 2012 – Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and head of UN-Energy, said today that more than a billion people in the developing world will benefit from the Sustainable Energy for All initiative which is gaining momentum, with pledges of billions of dollars coming from governments, multilateral development banks, international and civil society organizations.
“Hundreds of millions of beneficiaries in developing countries will gain improved access to energy through grid extension and off-grid solutions, as well as scaled-up renewable energy sources, increased investment, and improved energy policies,” said Yumkella.
Yumkella added that to-date, “more than one hundred commitments and actions have been already mobilized in support of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative. This demonstrates a powerful early momentum from governments, private sector companies and civil society organizations to achieve Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative by 2030.”
The Sustainable Energy for All initiative brings together governments, businesses and civil society groups in an unprecedented effort to transform the world’s energy systems by 2030. It has set three complementary goals to be achieved by 2030: ensure universal access to modern energy services; double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
A high-level group for the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, appointed by Secretary-General Ban, includes distinguished global leaders in business, finance, Governments, and civil society, and is co-chaired by UNIDO Director-General Yumkella and the Chairman of Bank of America, Charles O. Holliday.
Yumkella said that since its inception in September 2011, more than 50 Governments from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Small Islands Developing States have engaged with the initiative and are developing energy plans and programmes. The majority are from developing countries that have initiated or completed energy sector assessments and gap analyses, laying the groundwork to scale up action in priority areas, undertake strategic reforms where needed, and attract new investments and financial support.
Businesses and investors have committed over USD 50 billion to achieve the initiative’s three objectives. Tens of billions of dollars have been committed by other key stakeholders – governments, multilateral development banks, international and civil society organizations – to catalyze action in support of the initiative.
In addition, said Yumkella, “the Government of Brazil, a very strong supporter of UNIDO and the Sustainable Energy for All initiative has demonstrated outstanding leadership by committing to invest USD 4.3 billion to achieve universal energy access in Brazil by 2014.”
As a global leader in sustainable energy, Brazil will invest an additional USD 235 billion over ten years in renewable energy and produce a total energy savings of 9 per cent by 2030. The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) will continue to support the production of sustainable energy in others countries, including by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the African Development Bank. ELETROBRAS will cooperate internationally with other power companies to develop competitive renewable sources of electricity and associated transmission systems.
Yumkella also said that UNIDO’s concrete contribution to the Sustainable Energy for All initiative was a recent report on industrial energy efficiency which is “key to sustainable industrial development, especially in developing countries”.
UNIDO’s Industrial Development Report urges investment in energy-efficient technologies in order to provide the economic, environmental and social dividends that will help achieve sustainable growth.
The publication, entitled “Industrial energy efficiency for sustainable wealth creation: capturing environmental, economic and social dividends”, stresses that sustainable energy production is essential to overcome the major challenges the world faces today.
“A world of seven billion must take into account industrial energy efficiency if it wants to address such challenges as green growth, employment generation, security, climate change, food production and poverty reduction. Industrial energy efficiency is essential for strengthening economies, protecting ecosystems and achieving social benefits,” said Yumkella.
The UNIDO report states that energy consumption could grow even faster as developing countries reduce the income gap and grapple with growing populations demanding more manufactured products. This makes it imperative to remove barriers that currently impede energy efficiency investments.
At Rio+20, UNIDO also launched the Green Industry Platform, a global high-level multi-stakeholder partnership intended to act as a forum for catalyzing, mobilizing and mainstreaming action on green industry around the world.
“The Green Industry Platform will bring together governmental, business and civil society leaders. Already, it is supported by some 70 organizations, including national governments, businesses and international organizations. An Advisory Board is being established that will comprise of 10-12 senior representatives from governmental, private and civil society sectors. The Platform is set to secure concrete commitments and mobilize action in support of the Green Industry Agenda, encouraging the more efficient use of energy and raw materials in manufacturing process services,” said Yumkella.
He added that the Platform was exemplary for the public private partnerships that are needed to scale up and mainstream the greening of industrial development and the creation of green industry. “It will give impetus to the many inspiring initiatives at national and sector level, that will be united to direct a global transition to low carbon and cleaner industry,” Yumkella said.
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UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator