Monday, June 25, 2012

UN Initiative Promises Trillions of Dollars in Clean Energy Investments

Published June 25, 2012

By Jeff Cobb

Last Thursday at the Rio+20 U.N. development conference in Brazil, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said goals to double global renewable energy and rate of energy efficiency improvements are on their way due to new energy strategies in more than 50 countries and private investments of over $50 billion.

The commitments were presented as just the first of many more pledges expected toward the UN’s Sustainable Energy For All initiative which intends to transform energy systems globally, and make universal modern energy access possible by 2030.

"This initiative is already mobilizing significant action from all sectors of society. Working together, we can provide solutions that drive economic growth, expand equity and reduce the risks of climate change," Ban said.

Kandeh Yumkella, director-general of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization and co-chair of Ban's high-level working group on the project, said the big picture is ensuring that 1.3 billion people will gain access to clean energy and after the Rio talks, sustainable development continues toward stated goals.

"We were thinking beyond Rio. We were thinking what happens on July 1 when we leave here," he said.

Among commitments Yumkella mentioned were $4.3 billion by Brazil to secure energy acess for all by 2014. The U.S. offered grants of $2 billion plus public-private technology to augment the energy initiative.

As mentioned, over 50 nations in all are actually offering support, and private companies are on their way to offering trillions of dollars according to HSBC analysts quoted.

"The Sustainable Energy for All initiative is an example of a new way of working for the U.N.: using its convening power to identify critical bottlenecks to renewables, efficiency and universal access to energy, and then designing focused packages of policy incentives, public finance and private capital," said HSBC in a statement.

Chicago Tribune


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