Confounding pessimistic expectations, UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon on the opening day of the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development announced encouraging news regarding the UN’s “Sustainable Energy for All” program.
More than 50 governments have launched new clean energy strategies, while private investors have pledged to invest more than $50 billion to reach the program’s goal of doubling renewable energy production and energy efficiency gains while providing all people access to modern electricity services by 2030, The Chicago Tribune reports.
The UN Secretary General continues to lead the call for nations around the world to aggressively pursue the goal of making the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner, renewable energy resources. “I have often said that sustainable energy is the golden thread that weaves together the economy, the environment and equity,” he stated in his Rio+20 opening address.
Green Growth’s the Right Kind of Growth
“The argument is simple: when we invest in green growth, we benefit the economy and the environment. When we innovate clean technologies, when we reduce, recycle and even recover energy from waste, when we invest in education for advances in sustainability. Countries around the world see the benefit of this approach.”
Governed by an interrelationships that do not recognize national borders, the UN must be the organization that “provides the overarching framework for our efforts,” he added by recalling Danish Prime Minister Helle Thoming-Schmidt’s call on international leaders to enact a green transition.
It’s anticipated that the “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative will ultimately benefit more than 1 billion people. The benefits will be substantial and multifaceted, impacting the lives of everyday people, as well as businesses, in numerous ways, according to Secretary General Moon.
Some 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity, while 2.7 billion rely on wood, dirty fuels or animal waste for cooking and heating, he noted.
“I would add that green growth means more than hope and confidence — it means jobs, innovation, cleaner air and more liveable cities. Green growth is central to why we are here in Rio: to lift people out of poverty and protect the global environment.”
I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.