United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim have announced a concerted effort by governments, international agencies, civil society and private sector to mobilize financing to deliver universal access to modern energy services such as lighting, clean cooking solutions, and power for productive uses in developing countries, as well as scaled-up energy efficiency, especially in the world’s highest-energy consuming countries.
After a meeting of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), which they co-chaired, they welcomed the growing momentum. “Energy powers growth and opportunity,” said the UN Secretary-General. “We count on all actors to lead by example in scaling up and accelerating action that will provide clean, efficient and sustainable energy for all. Today’s many announcements are a testament to the resolve of partners to chart a path forward.”
Among these announcements, Brazil’s “Light for All” programme reached the milestone of 15 million beneficiaries, resulting in over 99 per cent of the population having access to electricity. Norway has committed to support renewable energy and energy efficiency activities with about NOK 2 billion in 2014. Bank of America announced that its Green Bond, the world’s first of its kind, has raised $500 million for three years, as part of Bank of America’s 10-year $50 billion environmental business commitment. The OPEC Fund for International Development announced a $1 billion fund to support an initiative for energy access. The United Nations Development Programme announced the creation of a Hub for Bottom Up Energy Solutions to advance energy access at country level. The World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program has launched a City Energy Efficiency Transformation Initiative covering 50 cities worldwide.
The two leaders also announced that energy assessments have been launched in 42 countries, which account for 361 million people without access to electricity. At least 12 of these assessments will be completed by April 2014, and will serve as the basis for energy investment prospectuses developed for each country. A Finance Committee established today by the SE4ALL Advisory Board will lead efforts to seek investor financing for them.
“Financing is the key to achieving these objectives,” said World Bank Group President Kim. “To reach our goals for access to energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy, we need to mobilize an additional $600-$800 billion a year from now to 2030. We will now start moving in countries in which demand for action is most urgent. In some of them, only one in ten people has access to electricity. It is time for that to change.”
President Kim also said that the SE4ALL Advisory Board pressed for rapid action to scale up energy efficiency improvements, especially in OECD countries which include the world’s largest energy consumers. Denmark and the United Nations Environment Programme have launched an energy efficiency hub to support this process.
Kandeh Yumkella, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Chief Executive for Sustainable Energy for All, pointed to widespread support for not only Sustainable Energy for All from numerous partners, but for energy to be at the heart of any negotiated outcomes on a Post-2015 Development Agenda. “Eighty-one countries are now participating in this initiative,” he said. “Their action is complemented by that of private sector companies and associations, as well as civil society groups. We will continue to work with key stakeholders to achieve sustainable energy for all, to drive action that transforms lives.”