Enabling Access to Energy is Crucial to the Post-2015 Development Agenda
New Delhi - ‘The world can’t miss the opportunity to make access to energy a global goal,” said Lise Grande, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. Grande was speaking at the Consultation on Sustainable Energy, organized as part of the 13th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2013, ‘The Global Challenge of Resource Efficient Growth and Development,’ supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Consultation on Energy was one of the many thematic consultations taking place across the world on the post-2015 development agenda.
As the deadline for achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 draws near, leaders around the world have started to work together to replace them with a post-2015 development agenda that includes the critical role of energy in sustainable development, an issue that was neglected during the formulation of MDGs. Minoru Takada, Senior Policy Advisor on Energy, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, United Nations, “now calls for the meaningful integration of energy issues in the post-2015 development agenda.”
Asserting that issues relating to energy have been neglected for far too long, Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Director-General, the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) called for a “dedicated research and development agenda to build innovative technology solutions relevant for the poorest of the poor.”
Realizing the role of energy in inducing a paradigm shift towards poverty eradication, green economies and ultimately sustainable development, His Excellency Mr. Arvinn Eikeland Gadgil, Deputy Minister for International Development, Norway also called for formulating an energy goal that addresses the specific needs of women. Highlighting further the role of local communities in framing long-term energy solutions, he said, “public-private partnerships need to be extended to include people as successful off-grid energy solutions are not possible without people’s participation.”
The role of a green economy in spurring growth, improving social equity, preserving the environment, and in turn, achieving sustainable development was further stressed by Ms Lise, “we think green economy is a good idea because it is the fastest and most effective way of delivering what we in the UN refer to as the triple crown of development: economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability.”
The last five years have seen an increasing level of political consensus as demonstrated by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative and from the declaration by the UN General Assembly of 2012 as the ‘International Year of Sustainable Energy for All,’ and more recently, the ‘Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’. Recognizing the importance and urgency of energy challenges ranging from energy as a means for economic growth and promoter of improved health, as well as energy as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that contributes to climate change, leaders in government, business and civil society have built global awareness of the importance of energy for sustainable development.
The Consultation besides providing a platform to world leaders to exchange ideas on all facets of sustainable development, including resource efficient growth, climate change and protection of natural resources, also sought to further the resolutions of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20 that discussed ways to make sustainable development a reality, as delineated in the document ‘The Future We Want'.
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