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Thursday, 15 July 2010

UN advisory group looks at implementing energy access, energy efficiency goals at Mexico meeting

MEXICO CITY, 15 July 2010 – A high-level advisory group, which provides United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon advice on energy and climate change issues, is meeting in Mexico City today to design new public-private partnerships and support ambitious global goals on energy access and energy efficiency outlined in a recent report.  

The meeting is hosted by Mexican businessman and philanthropist, Carlos Slim, who is a member of the UN Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), and the Minister of Energy of Mexico, Georgina Kessel Martínez.

The AGECC report, launched on 28 April, urged the international community to provide universal access to modern energy services to the world’s nearly two billion poor by 2030. It also called for a 40 per cent reduction in global energy intensity by 2030, which, if implemented, would reduce global energy intensity by an average of 2.5 per cent per year – approximately double the historical rate.

“Governments alone will not be able to deal with the challenges. We need a commitment from all sectors of society, including the private sector, academia, and civil society, as well as from international organizations and NGOs,” said Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), who chairs the advisory group.

“Some 1.6 billion people in the world still lack access to electricity. This is why we are looking at launching a world-wide campaign to ensure that access to modern energy services no longer represents a barrier to development. A reliable, affordable energy supply is the key to economic growth and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.”

“Private companies already have the technology needed to transform global energy systems and make them less dependent on fossil fuels. Many governments are offering financial incentives and support. What we need today is to forge a strong public-private partnership to tackle these goals,” said Yumkella. 

The meeting was attended by top UN and business executives, including from Edison International (United States), Statoil (Norway), Suntech Holdings (China), and Vattenfall (Sweden). Representatives of Sharp Corporation and other business and industry leaders also took part in the meeting, presenting some of the latest renewable energy technologies.

In June, a paper published by the Earth Institute at Columbia University provided an important building block for the design and application of tools to monitor and evaluate progress towards universal energy access. The paper, Measuring Energy Access: Supporting a Global Target, co-authored by international experts, including from UNIDO, outlined a set of options and calls for establishing systematic measurement and reporting with regard to energy poverty.

Both the new Earth Institute paper and the AGECC report are available here

For more information, please contact:

Marina Ploutakhina
UNIDO Energy Policy and Partnerships Coordinator
E-mail M.Ploutakhina@unido.org  
Tel. +43-699-1459-7773

or

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Press Officer
Tel. +43-699-1459-7329
E-mail M.Evstafyev@unido.org