SE4ALL Global Energy Ministerial Opens, Highlights “Trillion-Dollar Opportunity”
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20 May 2015: The first-ever Global Energy Ministerial Dialogue, taking place as part of the Second Annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum, opened with UN leaders emphasizing the interlinkages between sustainable energy and sustainable development, crisis management, poverty eradication and economic growth.

The Ministerial Dialogue is being convened with the objective of reaffirming the Rio+20 determination “to act to make sustainable energy for all a reality.”

iisd_rs_se4all20 May 2015: The first-ever Global Energy Ministerial Dialogue, taking place as part of the Second Annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum, opened with UN leaders emphasizing the interlinkages between sustainable energy and sustainable development, crisis management, poverty eradication and economic growth. The Ministerial Dialogue is being convened with the objective of reaffirming the Rio+20 determination “to act to make sustainable energy for all a reality.”

During the opening plenary, speakers also acknowledged that, despite the clear benefits, ensuring universal sustainable energy access will require over a trillion dollars in investment annually. Delegates thus convened a ‘High-Level Panel on Catalyzing a Trillion Dollar Investment,’ which covered issues related to economics, finance and regulatory frameworks, as well as technology and infrastructure challenges. According to Kandeh Yumkella, CEO of the SE4ALL initiative, this issue is not a question of charity: “This is about markets and investments. We see this as a trillion-dollar opportunity, not a trillion-dollar challenge.”

Three high-level panels then addressed the SE4ALL objectives in greater depth, focusing on: ensuring universal energy access; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Panelists during these sessions focused on, inter alia, technological solutions that can be adapted for local contexts, experiences implementing effective policies, and gaps in knowledge and skills in the labor force.

A High-Level Panel on Energy, Women and Children’s Health launched the ‘Clean Energy is Life’ campaign video, which underscores the need to make clean fuel and cookstoves readily accessible and available to women, allowing them to spend less time collecting fuelwood and to provide a healthier home environment for themselves and their families.

The final panels of the day focused on strengthening global cooperation on energy. Panelists focused on the connections between energy access, climate change and sustainable development, suggesting ways to maintain momentum and increase complementarity as the international community engages in separate but related processes on these issues in 2015. Panelists also elaborated ideas for creating a more effective global dialogue on energy issues, such as through regional integration, using the UN as a neutral platform or establishing a UN Energy Agency.

The Ministerial Dialogue is convening from 20-21 May 2015 in New York City, US. Approximately 40 ministers and high-level figures from business, international organizations and development banks are in attendance, along with more than 1,000 participants from the developed and developing world. [SE4ALL Press Release] [SE4ALL Forum and Ministerial Overview Schedule] [Clean Energy is Life Website] [ENB+ SE4ALL Bulletin Volume 181 Number 10 – SE4ALL Highlights for Wednesday, 20 May 2015] [IISD RS Coverage of SE4ALL Forum]


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