NEW DELHI, 1 February 2012 – Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Chair of UN-Energy, today urged countries across Asia to commit to achieving sustainable energy for all by the year 2030 by increasing access to energy, improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewables.
Yumkella, who also co-chairs the UN Secretary-General’s High-level group on Sustainable Energy for All, told participants at a conference here that new commitments and investments in sustainable energy were critical for Asia’s development.
“Reaching the goal of sustainable energy for all will require action by all countries and all sectors to shape the policy and investment decisions needed for a brighter energy future. Industrialized countries must accelerate the transition to low-emission technologies. Developing countries, many of them growing rapidly and at large scale, have the opportunity to leapfrog conventional energy options and move directly to cleaner energy alternatives that will enhance economic and social development,” said Yumkella at the 12th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
Globally, one person in five lacks access to modern electricity and twice that number, three billion people, rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. In developed countries, the problem is a substantial waste of energy.
In order to spur economic growth, address global inequities and preserve the environment, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has established the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. The Secretary-General has set three complementary targets to be achieved by 2030: to ensure universal access to modern energy services; to double energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Secretary-General is calling on all stakeholders to make global commitments to action which will drive real change on the ground.
To help guide this Initiative the Secretary-General has appointed a High-level Group of eminent global leaders from business, finance, government and civil society to mobilize and facilitate commitments to action which will help drive change on the ground, in corporate board rooms, and in policy discussions around the world. The High-level group’s other co-chair is Charles Holliday, the Chairman of Bank of America Corporation.
”I strongly believe that now more than ever, the world needs to ensure that the benefits of modern energy are available to all and that energy is provided as cleanly and efficiently as possible. This is a matter of equity, first and foremost, but it is also an issue of urgent practical importance,” said Yumkella.
Other participants in the Asian regional rollout of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in New Delhi today included Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, and member of the high-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All; Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council on Sustainable Development; Patrice Couer-Bizot, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, India; Bindu N. Lohani, Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank; Rajendra K. Pachauri, TERI Director-General; David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy; and Erik Solheim, Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development.
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