Norway Launches Energy+ Initiative at Energy for All Conference
12 October 2011: During the "Energy for All: Financing Access for the Poor" conference, the Government of Norway launched its Energy+ initiative aimed at mobilizing private capital and public resources for energy access.
The high-level conference was held on 10-11 October 2011, in Oslo, Norway, and was co-organized by the Government of Norway and the International Energy Agency (IEA). In the run-up to the 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, the event aimed to explore possible ways of financing access to energy for the 1.4 billion people without access to electricity and 2.5 billion people who still use traditional biomass for cooking.
Norway's Energy+ initiative builds on the success of Norway's REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, as well as conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks) funding scheme. Support for energy access through this fund is expected to be over US$1 billion. The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) are among the founding partners of Energy+.
Addressing the conference, UNIDO Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella underlined that the event constituted "a milestone on the road" to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), to be held in June 2012 in Brazil, as well as in achieving the goal of providing Sustainable Energy for All by 2030.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon focused on the importance of using clean energy sources to provide energy access and end energy poverty, stressing that “We cannot continue to burn our way to prosperity.”
Together with Prime Minister Raila Amollo Odinga of Kenya, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Ban also participated in a high-level debate on "Energy and the Road Towards Rio +20,” as well as a working lunch on the same topic. [Energy for All Conference Website] [UN Press Release] [Ban Ki-moon's Statement] [UNIDO Press Release on Norway's Energy+ Initiative] [UNIDO Press Release on the Conference]