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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Al Gore and Gisele Bundchen give Sustainable Energy for All initiative a major boost

VIENNA, 26 February 2013 – In a message being aired on CNN, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Gisele Bundchen, fashion icon and UN advocate, are voicing their support for the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, launched by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.                                                                                                                                                    

The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative aims to achieve three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services; the doubling of energy efficiency; and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix.  

In a public service announcement that airs on CNN International, starting this week and continuing through to 24 March, Gore and Bundchen are joined by Kandeh K. Yumkella, the Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Yumkella was recently appointed Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and chief executive of the initiative.
World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim and Secretary-General Ban co-chair the initiative’s newly formed Advisory Board.

In the video, Gore, Bundchen and Yumkella point out that New York State alone uses more energy than all of sub-Saharan Africa, that nearly a billion and a half people lack access to electricity, and that nearly three billion people inhale deadly fumes when cooking.

They also make the point that energy can transform economies, lives, continents and the planet, and emphasize that by supporting the new initiative the worlds has a historic chance to eliminate energy poverty. Energy, say Gore, Bundchen and Yumkella, can power development, women, progress and growth.

To view the public service announcement on YouTube, please go here:

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen of Brazil is a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

At the Rio+20 Conference last year, the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative received over USD50 billion in commitments towards actions under the initiative. “Now it is down to making sure commitments are transformed into kilowatt hours for the people, and to support governments to do for the energy sector what they did for mobile phones - deregulate or unbundle the sector and incentivize private sector participation,” said Yumkella.

The UN General Assembly has declared a ‘Decade for Sustainable Energy for All’ (2014-2024).

UNIDO’s main contribution to the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative is industrial energy efficiency, which is the key to sustainable industrial development, especially in developing countries.

In its recently published Industrial Development Report, entitled “Industrial energy efficiency for sustainable wealth creation: capturing environmental, economic and social dividends”, UNIDO urges investment in energy-efficient technologies and stresses that sustainable energy production is essential to overcome the major challenges the world faces today.

“A world that has just reached a population 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.

“Improving industrial energy efficiency is key to sustainable industrial development worldwide but especially in the rapidly developing countries of the Global South. It will help realize the global green economy and green industries. Investing in energy-efficient technologies, systems, processes, training and upgrading of skills must underpin low-carbon green growth.”

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.

For further information, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Mobile +43-699-1459-7329
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For more information on Sustainable Energy for All, please visit: www.sustainableenergyforall.org 

To read the UNIDO Industrial Development Report, please go here