Written By: Emma Websdale
This week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a clean energy transformation to create a sustainable future, stressing that engagement in innovation, investment and collaboration from all partners is necessary.
Speaking at the closing session of the annual third Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) -a conference that aims to explore new public-private initiatives in achieving long-term sustainable green growth, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed urgency about communities combining efforts to secure a clean energy transformation.
“Achieving a clean energy transformation will need the combined efforts of governments, multilateral investment banks, private finance, civil society, the knowledge community and the private sector”, said Ban. “We are partners on a path to sustainability… But we have no time to waste.”
Noting that the way energy is produced and used is the dominant cause of climate change, Ban expressed hope for achieving solutions in the sector.
“The impact on our global economy is increasingly clear. We count the cost in human lives and economic loss. But, we are forging solutions together all over the world.”
He added, “Clean energy, sustainable production and consumption, and environmentally sound transport and urban planning are good for people and good for the planet. They can support access to clean water and sanitation, improved public health, greater equality for women and marginalized communities.”
Reminding delegates of the launch of his Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011, an initiative which seeks to provide universal access to modern energy services and to double energy efficiency and the global share of renewable energy, Ban said, “Each of these objectives serves a common end: clean, low-carbon growth. This is critical for sustainable development.”
Ban also reminded delegates that the world is fast approaching the target date set for establishing a new sustainable development framework and reaching an agreement on climate change. By the end of 2015, the goal of achieving global anti-poverty targets, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is also drawing close.
“We have two overarching and complementary objectives – to eradicate extreme poverty and hold global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels”, said Ban. “Achieving them means giving equal balance to the three dimensions of sustainable development -economic, social and environmental.”
He added, “Climate change is having growing impact in all three areas.Addressing it is an imperative. It is also one of our greatest opportunities.”
Ban announced that in September 2014, he aims to bring global leaders together from government, business, finance and civil society sectors in an attempt to rally political will for climate action, asking leaders to bring solutions with them and urging scale- up of investment into a low-carbon economy.
“Climate finance lies at the heart of tackling climate change” ,he summarized.
Meanwhile this week at the Global Green Growth Forum, Bloomberg New Energy Finance announced the launch of its new Finance for Resilience (“FiRe”) initiative, a platform designed to identify the most effective ways of increasing investment into clean energy technologies.