First Sustainable Energy for All Forum in New York

During the RIO+20 summit 2012 world leaders collectively committed to the targets of the “Sustainable Energy for All” Initiative. In the follow-up process, governments and private investors pledged more than USD 50 billion to support these targets . Now – almost two years later – the first Sustainable Energy for All Forum marks the beginning of the “United Nations decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024”.

During the RIO+20 summit 2012 world leaders collectively committed to the targets of the “Sustainable Energy for All” Initiative. In the follow-up process, governments and private investors pledged more than USD 50 billion to support these targets . Now – almost two years later – the first Sustainable Energy for All Forum marks the beginning of the “United Nations decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024”. The annual forum is intended to serve as a platform for stakeholders to assess the SE4All-progress, grow the movement, inspire further action by showcasing best-practice examples and set the direction of the global energy policy discourse.

The first day was marked by lively discussions. Diverse stakeholders – representing the full spectrum of civil society ranging from big energy companies to small development NGOs – explained their point of view and presented best-practice examples on how to reach the SE4All targets. Content-wise the focus was on (1) how to catalyse investment through innovative business models, (2) knowledge- and experience sharing and (3) how to accelerate country action.

In contrast to the bottom-up discussions on the first day, the second day was dominated by high-level talks and panel discussions. It culminated with the official start of the UN decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024 by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the president of the UN General Assembly, John Ashe. During the next two years the SE4All initiative will concentrate on the “Energy-Women-Children-Health” nexus. Later on the same day, the International Renewable Energy Agency officially started its program REmap 2030, a renewable energy roadmap to double the share of renewable energy between 2010 and 2030.

Kandeh Yumkella, former Director-General of UNIDO and new CEO of SE4All, stressed the importance of sustainable energy for the sustainable development goals (SDGs). He noted that reaching Sustainable Energy for All is “a long journey, and we have just taken the first step”.

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