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UN Secretary-General Underlines Need for Clean Energy

Ban Ki-moon, UN Sectretary-General25 August 2011: Addressing the participants of a Roundtable on Sustainable Energy for All at the University of Denver, as well as at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, US, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has underlined the need for countries to move down a clean energy pathway.

At the Roundtable on Sustainable Energy for All, Ban noted that financing universal energy access for the three billion energy poor can reduce poverty, create jobs, empower women, increase competitiveness, and achieve the target of stabilizing the climate below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. He highlighted that the UN system is advocating three energy targets as part of the 2012 International Year for Sustainable Energy for All, that can help transform the global economy and put us on a cleaner, safer, more equitable path. He outlined these targets, namely to: ensure universal access to modern energy services; double energy efficiency; and double the renewable energy share in the overall global energy mix. Ban further noted that although since 2004 financing of global clean energy has grown approximately six-fold, over 97% of global renewable energy potential has yet to be tapped, and strong sustained political leadership is needed to create a clean energy revolution.

Ban was also awarded the University of Denver's Global Advancement Award, recognizing his work on strengthening the UN system, women's empowerment and the promotion of sustainable development.

At the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Ban expressed his gratitude to the Laboratory for its contribution to the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on clean energy. He also addressed energy poverty issues, noting that 1.4 billion people have no access to electricity, and that an additional billion have only erratic power supplies. He closed by saying that institutions such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory can help alleviate these unacceptable situations. [Remarks at Roundtable on Sustainable Energy for All] [Remarks at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory] [UN Press Release]