On World Environmental Day, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored that sustainable energy is the golden thread that links poverty eradication, equitable economic growth and a healthy environment.
Speaking today (5 June)at the first annual Sustainable Energy for All forum, Ban pointed out three goals for 2030: “universal access to modern energy services. Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. Twice as much renewable energy in the global energy mix. Our efforts so far show that these objectives are realistic. Our focus now must be to achieve them.”
He said this can bring us closer to our goals of universal energy and a life of dignity and opportunity for all.
Ban said “along with its campaign on energy and women’s and children’s health, the Decade can bring us closer to our goals of universal energy and a life of dignity and opportunity for all. Modern energy services are the key to changing people’s quality of life.”
He noted how modern energy services are key to changing people’s quality of life, including how clinics can store life-saving vaccines and how children can study after dark.
Ban also said that he saw this forum as an annual meeting place for the global energy community. “Here we can assess progress, inspire each other and mobilize new partners. Here we can shape a new energy future. That future starts now.”
The Secretary-General said that at his climate summit in September, he counts on all to deliver new and expanded commitments and partnerships that will transform the global energy landscape.
Also today, the head of this energy initiative said that the energy demand will increase 60 percent or more in the next decade and a half.
He added “in some locations around the world, energy demand will double and to meet that energy demand and at the same time deal with greenhouse gas emissions is going to be a major challenge.”
Yumkella pointed out the issue of deforestation.
He said it’s “partly why the theme for the first two years of the decade for sustainable for all is focusing on energy, women and children’s health and part of that dimension is we have 4.3 million people dying every year because of household air pollution from the use of firewood, charcoal and cow dung; and we believe if we can bring clean cooking solutions we don’t only save lives, we also help to reduce deforestation.”
This year’s theme for World Environmental Days is “Raise your voice, not the sea level.”
UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) says that climate change-induced sea-level rise in the world’s 52 small island nations continues to be the most pressing threat to their environment and socio-economic development; with annual losses at the trillions of dollars due to increased vulnerability.