Saturday, 10 June 2017

UN chief calls for access to affordable energy

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for urgent action to ensure that everyone has access to clean, affordable and efficient energy so that they could rise to their full potential.

Guterres, in his message to EXPO 2017, which opened on Saturday in Astana, Kazakhstan, underlined the importance of energy, in particular for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Energy is vital to our lives. Access to energy helps children to study at night, farmers to grow more crops and hospitals to provide better care,” the Secretary-General said.

The UN chief also noted that the theme of this year’s Astana EXPO, ‘Future Energy’, was all the more important given that energy in today’s world came from many sources that contributed to climate change.

“It reminds us that the world must take urgent action to ensure that everyone has access to clean, efficient and affordable sources of energy.

“I hope this EXPO will help us resolve to contribute to more sustainable world,” Guterres added.

Being held from June 10 to Sept. 10, the World’s Fair EXPO 2017 explores the possibility of scaling up the world’s sustainable energy production, promoting energy security and efficiency, as well as encouraging the use of renewable energy around the globe.

Cihan Sultanoðlu, the UN Commissioner-General for EXPO 2017, said “given the urgency of the situation, the focus is going to be squarely on practical solutions”.

Sultanoðlu said the UN exhibit, a particular highlight at the EXPO, showcased technology and ideas that helped the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs through sustainable energy.

He reminded participants of the simultaneous need to make sure every woman, every man, every girl, and every boy had access to affordable and clean energy by 2030, while keeping temperatures within 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Several UN entities, including the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are participants.

Sultanoðlu said the participating UN entities would host events, release findings and showcase their work on how to mobilize investments to achieve breakthroughs on universal access to energy, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.