European Commission Speech by EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, appointed as member of the UN High Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All
Today, EU Commissioner Piebalgs was appointed as a member of the High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for all, together with leaders from business, government, international organisation and civil society. He attended the launch of the UN High Level Group in New York, in presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The High-level Group will work to develop a global agenda to achieve the objective of Sustainable Energy for All by 2030 and to provide clear actions to take at the global and regional level.
EU Commissioner for development, Andris Piebalgs said: “With around €1bn allocated in the energy sector in developing countries, the EU is a leader in empowering the world. Our Energy partnership with Africa has already provided access to energy to 13 million people. We must join forces with the industry, academics and partner countries to foster access to sustainable energy to all by 2030. The EU will remain at the forefront of the actions to reduce poverty and tackle climate change.”
2012 will be a crucial year in putting Sustainable Energy at the top of the development agenda with the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All and the RIO+ 20 summit in June next year.
The Objective of the Group
The initiative will seek to achieve the goal of Sustainable Energy for All by meeting three interlinked global targets by 2030:
- Achieving universal access to modern energy services;
- Improving energy efficiency by 40 per cent;
- Producing 30 per cent of the world’s energy from renewable resources.
The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative will call for all partners to take bold action – through strengthened enabling policy, expanded capacity building, new and enhanced financing, and improved service delivery. New national commitments and the establishment of public-private partnerships will be encouraged to foster private investment flows.
Worldwide, about 1.4 billion have no access to electricity. Up to a billion more have access only to unreliable electricity networks. Almost 3 billion people rely on solid fuels (i.e. traditional biomass and coal) for cooking and heating. A well-performing energy system that improves efficient access to modern forms of energy would strengthen the opportunities for the poorest people on the planet to escape the worst impacts of poverty. Access to energy provides people with the means to generate income – and that in turn creates wealth and new markets.
EU actions to foster Sustainable Energy in Africa – the EU-Africa Energy Partnership
In 2008, the EU has launched an Energy Partnership with Africa to promote the electrification of Africa and to increase energy access, energy security and the development of renewable energy to strengthen energy efficiency. This Partnership has bore fruits, through the launch of the Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) together with the African Union in 2010. This programme of cooperation is due to contribute to the African renewable energy targets for 2020. It aims at bringing relevant renewable energy technologies to the market in Africa.
It will provide a valuable input to the work of the newly created UN High Level group on Sustainable Energy for all.
Access to sustainable energy in developing countries is also a key element of the recent Commission Communication on security of energy supply and international cooperation (COM2011(539) of 7 September 2011)
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