21 January 2012
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.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made sustainable energy one of his five priorities that will guide his second 5-year term. Specifically, he will direct the United Nations 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 United Nations General Assembly has designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All