UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
Development Commissioner hosts European launch of UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
8 February 2012, Brussels
Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, and Director General of UNIDO Kandeh Yumkella, in partnership with NGO Practical Action, will today officially launch the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All in Brussels.
Jointly hosted with international development NGO Practical Action and research organisation the Stockholm Environment Institute, the event will bring together representatives from the United Nations, European Commission, European Parliament, private sector and civil society to look at opportunities for providing access to energy for communities in developing countries and scaling up sustainable energy.
These stakeholders have intentionally been brought together for the event from a variety of sectors to look at tackling an issue on which they wouldn’t ordinarily collaborate.
Grace Mukasa, East African Director of Practical Action said: “The world today is faced with multiple challenges. Population has exceeded 7 billion for the first time, economic growth remains sluggish, the threat of climate change continues to grow unchecked, and 1.3 billion people worldwide – one in five – have no access to electricity, while nearly 3 billion still use wood, charcoal and dung biomass for cooking and heating.
“This means people can’t switch on a kettle, turn on a lamp, or power a fridge. They must rely on these traditional methods of lighting, heating and cooking – methods that are often unreliable and hazardous.”
All these intertwined challenges have one thing in common: energy.
In recognition of the central role energy plays in so many of these global challenges, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched a new initiative, Sustainable Energy for All, to engage national governments, the private sector, and civil society partners to reach three global objectives by 2030:
- Ensure universal access to modern energy services.
- Double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
- Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
In addition, the UN General Assembly has designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
Mukasa added: “Energy needs to be seen as a development enabler – perhaps more than any other intervention, access to energy gives people the opportunity to challenge their poverty. Globally, access to energy could help to meet 7 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals (including poverty, education and child mortality targets).
“As energy moves up the political agenda, it's crucial that the needs of communities living without access to energy are not forgotten. High-level declarations must be translated into delivery, in ways that make a meaningful and positive difference across the developing world.”
For more information please visit www.practicalaction.org/energy.
Notes for editors
- Kandeh Yumkella, Director General of UNIDO (keynote)
- Andris Piebalgs, Development Commissioner, European Commission (keynote)
- Norbert Neuser (sponsoring MEP)
- Stephen Leonard, CEO, IBM UK and Ireland
- Grace Mukasa, East African Director, Practical Action
- Mans Nilsson, Research Director, Stockholm Environment Institute
Practical Action uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries.
Our strength is our approach. We find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions. Thus transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them.
By doing this each year we help around a million people break out of the cycle of poverty ….for good.
For further information, please contact Abbie Upton, Practical Action Media Officer, on +44 (0)1926 634510 or +44 (0)7714 205342 or email email@example.com.