34 No. 1
Energy is central to nearly every major challenge, and opportunity, the world faces today. Be it jobs, security, climate change, food production, or increasing incomes, access to sustainable energy for all is essential for strengthening economies, protecting ecosystems, and achieving equity.
In fact, more than 1.4 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity, and 1 billion more only have intermittent access. Some 2.5 billion people—almost half of humanity—rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating.
|A family in Tarialan, Mongolia, uses a solar panel to generate power for their ger. (UN Photo).
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon made sustainable energy one of the five priorities that will guide his second five-year term. Specifically, he will direct the UN to extend energy’s reach in order to combat endemic poverty. Universal access to energy, improved efficiency, and enhanced deployment of renewable sources are ambitious goals, and the Secretary-General is leading a Sustainable Energy for All initiative to make them achievable.
This initiative will call for private-sector and national commitments and attract global attention to the importance of energy for development and poverty alleviation. The goal is to meet three objectives by 2030:
ensuring universal access to modern energy services doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
In recognition of the importance of energy access for sustainable economic development and supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN General Assembly has designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
last modified 5 January 2012.
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