UN creates organisation to lead sustainable energy initiative

United Nations, Sep 17 (IANS) A new international non-profit organisation, the Sustainable Energy for All Partnership, is set to take a leading role in the UN’s initiative in the sector.

“The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative will now be spearheaded by an international not-for-profit organisation, the Sustainable Energy for All Partnership,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said on Wednesday.

Ban emphasised the importance of sustainable energy to the UN’s new Post-2015 development agenda. He welcomed the inclusion of sustainable energy as one of the Sustainable Development Goals — a set of 17 economic, environmental and social goals expected to be adopted by all 193 UN member states later this month.

“Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, and a healthy environment,” he said, adding “I strongly commend the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goal seven on energy.”

“With targets on access, renewables, energy efficiency and means of implementation, this goal is a game-changer — for everything from eradicating poverty to combating climate change,” Ban added.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said that the new organisation would help implement Sustainable Development Goal seven.

“The new Sustainable Energy for All Partnership in Austria will (bring) together governments, private sector, philanthropy and organisations to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal number seven,” he said.

Rachel Kyte who will serve in dual roles as the Secretary-General’s special representative on Sustainable Energy for All as well as CEO of the Sustainable Energy for All Partnership described the importance of energy to development.

“We talk about megawatts and kilowatts, we talk about transmission lines of a thousand kilometers, we talk about technologies, but this agenda is firmly rooted …in the ability of a woman to seek medical care in a hospital knowing that the lights won’t go out,” said Kyte.

Since Ban launched the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative in 2011, 106 countries have worked with the initiative to increase access to modern energy, increase energy efficiency and increase the share of renewable energy globally.

Over one billion people, still do not have access to electricity and according to the International Energy Agency, renewable power generation made up only 22 percent of the global mix in 2013, up from 18 percent in 2007.

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