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UNSG Urges Governments to Take Long-term View on Renewable Energy

6 December 2011: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged governments to take a long-term view on renewable energy during his address at the Business for Environment (B4E) COP 17 Dialogue, convened in Durban, South Africa. The Dialogue, titled "Powering ahead for a clean industrial revolution," aimed to facilitate collaboration and forge partnerships between business, government and NGOs, in order to develop products and services that will revolutionize industries and deliver transformative change.

In his address, Ban said partnerships are the key to solving broad challenges. He said energy is central to everything we do, cuts across all sectors of government, and lies at the heart of a country's core interests. He stressed that energy also lies at the heart of efforts to avoid dangerous climate change, is central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and is key to sustainable development.

Noting that 40 percent of the world population lacks access to modern forms of energy, Ban said we need to tackle energy poverty. Yet climate change prevents "burning our way to prosperity," and a clean industrial revolution is needed. He highlighted the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (2012), his Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative, and the High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All that he recently appointed. Ban called for action around three objectives to be achieved by 2030: to ensure universal access to modern energy services; to double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency; and to double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

He said the World Future Energy Summit, to be held in January 2012, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), will include a preview of the Global Action Agenda, and that six months later, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), commitments will be announced from the private sector, governments and civil society to drive the agenda forward. [Statement of UN Secretary-General] [B4E Website]