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UN Secretary-General: Sustainable Energy Key for Minimizing Climate Change Risk

7 December 2011: In his speech at the High-Level Ministerial Dinner of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged governments to begin steps toward a binding comprehensive global agreement, while accelerating national actions on the ground.

Noting that climate change is just one of a complex set of sustainable development challenges, Ban highlighted that climate change, demographics, water, food, energy, global health, women's empowerment are all intertwined. He stressed that what is required is to weave these strands into a “fabric” that will equitably and sustainably support nine billion people.

Ban further emphasized the need to make sustainable development a priority, underlining that “it is central to everything we do.” Stressing that one of the best ways to minimize the risks of dangerous climate change is by ensuring that energy is sustainable, he called for practical and large-scale action around three objectives of the UN Secretary-General's Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, to be achieved by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. [UN Secretary-General's Speech]