Time has come to make changes in energy that are ‘Profound and Durable’, says UN Secretary-General

Following are parts of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as delivered on his behalf by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, at the United Nations Private Sector Forum on Sustainable Energy for All, today, 20 September, in New York:

The private sector is becoming an essential — even a core — United Nations partner across the breadth of the organization. Together we are making changes that are profound and durable. We have seen it in the field of public health. We have seen it in the work of the Global Compact. I am convinced we must see it in the field of energy as well.

To this end, I am launching a Sustainable Energy for All initiative. The aim is to catalyse action at all levels. It will bring together leaders from government, finance, business and civil society and establish partnerships that will make sustainable energy for all a reality.

We need to provide access to energy for all. But, we also need to minimize the risks of dangerous climate change by ensuring that universal energy is clean and sustainable. In short, we need a clean energy revolution — now.

That is why I am establishing my High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. The Group will comprise truly stellar individuals — business, government and civil society leaders from around the world. They will work with me to develop and put into play a global action agenda for my initiative. The aim is to drive a clear vision to be achieved by 2030 — first, ensuring universal access to modern energy services; second, doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; third, doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

These objectives are ambitious. But they are achievable. Together, they can revitalize the global economy, help combat climate change, and go a long way towards ensuring equal opportunity for all. I have asked Kandeh Yumkella and Charles Holliday to lead the Group as it works to deliver the Global Action Agenda in the lead-up to the Rio+20 United Nations conference on Sustainable Development. I thank them for their leadership. The bottom line for the Group — indeed for all of us — is to put sustainability into practice — in our policies, business operations, financial decisions, and, not least, in our daily lives.

Today we are introducing a framework for business action to help inspire and guide business support for achieving sustainable energy for all. The Framework, which is being developed in conjunction with leading businesses in the Global Compact, outlines three ways of engaging with the United Nations: through a company’s core business and internal operations, through social investments, and through advocacy and Government engagement. I commend it to all.

Original article published at www.uncsd2012.org

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