In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, recognizing that “… access to modern affordable energy services in developing countries is essential for the achievement of … the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development.”
The General Assembly’s Resolution 65/151 called on the Secretary-General, in consultation with the inter-agency group UN-Energy to organize and coordinate activities to be undertaken during the Year in order to “increase awareness of the importance of addressing energy issues, including modern energy services for all, access to affordable energy, energy efficiency and the sustainability of energy sources and use” at local, national, regional and international levels.
In response, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, with support from UN-Energy and the United Nations Foundation, is leading a new global initiative – Sustainable Energy for All. This initiative will engage governments, the private sector, and civil society partners globally with the goal of achieving sustainable energy for all, and to reach three major objectives by 2030:
- ensuring universal access to modern energy services
- doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency
- doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
Over the course of 2012, the designation of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All will provide a vital platform for raising awareness of the challenge and for securing national commitments toward achieving the three objectives.
Key Elements of the Initiative and the International Year
High-Level Group – The Secretary-General has convened high-level representatives from the private sector, government, UN/intergovernmental organizations and civil society to develop a global strategy and concrete agenda for action to reach the three objectives . The roadmap, which will build on the work of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, will be offered for consideration at the Rio+20 conference in June 2012.
National Actions – The United Nations Development Programme will provide support to national activities on advocacy, commitments and accountability to drive action on universal energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy goals. National activities may include designation of national coordinating mechanisms to facilitate wide stakeholder involvement by government, private-sector, civil society and development partners; advocacy and dialogue towards the formulation of national commitments; and accountability mechanisms to measure success.
Communications and Events – The UN Foundation will support the design and execution of a global multimedia advocacy and awareness campaign to raise the visibility of the energy access issue and the 30/30/307! goals. This will include engagement of prominent figures, including existing UN “Goodwill Ambassadors” as spokespeople.
Practitioner Network – The UN Foundation has formed a public-private partnership of practitioners in the energy access community to address barriers to the effective delivery of energy services, identify and disseminate best policies and practices, and promote the development of new technologies as well as innovative financial and business models. The network will also serve as an advocacy platform for the sector.
Key 2012 dates
January 16-18: Launch of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE
February 1: Asian Regional Rollout of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, New Delhi, India
February 19 (tent.): African Regional Rollout of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, Nairobi, Kenya
March (tent.): Americas Regional Rollout of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, Barbados
June 4-6: UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sept. 18-21: Report to the General Assembly on International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
December: Closing ceremony for the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All