IUCN expertise in UN push for sustainable energy for all

22 January 2012 | News story

IUCN’s Director General joined United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi this week to outline his Sustainable Energy for All initiative to the media.

Energy enables social and economic development from basic needs to advanced industrial activity. At a time when 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity, when 2.7 billion do not have access to safe cooking facilities, and when a shift to productive, sustainable energy use is imperative to protect the Earth’s climate, the Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched last year, is closely linked to all of the key concerns facing humanity.

To help him drive this Initiative, the Secretary General established a High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All in September 2011. Members of the group are 32 individuals drawn from government, business, the intergovernmental system, and civil society. The Group is assisted by technical advisers and IUCN is represented on this group by its Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre. IUCN is the only body on the group comprising government and NGO members, and representing the importance of considering nature-based solutions to energy issues.

With 2012 being the International Year of Sustainable Energy (2012), the initiative aims to serve as an important input to the Rio+20 Summit that takes place in June and to achieve specific objectives by 2030. These include: 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.