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UN Secretary-General Addresses Young Future Energy Leaders

17 January 2011: Addressing the Young Future Energy Leaders in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), during a side event for the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored the role of Young Energy Leaders in ensuring a sustainable future.

He stressed the need for "People who understand the central role of clean energy in mitigating climate change and powering green economic growth, in defeating poverty and empowering women, in improving global health and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)." Referring to the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, he explained that it aims to "connect the dots among the key global challenges of poverty, climate change, water, food, and energy security." Noting the urgency to close the global energy access gap, he underlined that the obstacles are not technical. He called for "focused and sustained political commitment at the highest level" and "increased international collaboration and the engagement of all levels of society."

Ban then indicated that his Sustainability Panel will report back at the end of this year, with their findings feeding into preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), as well as the ongoing climate change negotiations. In closing, he referred to the efforts of the UN to become climate neutral and environmentally friendly, highlighting: the renovation of the UN Headquarters in New York, US, to make it a model of green efficiency; the Cool UN initiative; and the greening of peacekeeping operations. [Ban's Statement] [IISD RS coverage of World Future Energy Summit]