UN launch campaign for energy for all

2012 is the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All - says United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

This move is part of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. It aims to tackle poverty and climate change by 2030 through:

  • Ensuring universal access to modern energy services.
    1 in 5 people go without electricity. Almost 3 million cook with firewood or animal dung.
  • Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  • Doubling the amount of renewable energy.
    Currently around 15% of the energy we use is renewable.

A good start, but not enough

These targets are very welcome, but they need to happen long before 2030 to tackle climate change and poverty.

Stopping climate change means moving away from fossil fuels, but this initiative makes it unlikely.

  • Universal access to modern energy includes fossil fuels - missing the chance for a clean energy revolution.
  • The chair of the initiative's advisory panel is the director of Bank of America - the world’s third largest coal financier.
  • Other big coal players like Eskom and Duke Energy are also on the panel.

We can do better

Our report, Reclaiming Power, shows that providing communities with renewable technology could lead to a global clean energy revolution. This would tackle climate change and improve livelihoods.

The Sustainable Energy for All initiative will set the agenda for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio later this year. It's vital that our leaders are far more ambitious to make real progress in Rio and beyond.

Get involved

Join the Global Action newsletter to hear how we are pushing world leaders to be more ambitious. Discuss this and other articles on our hub.