UN report highlights role for energy in promoting development, task for UN-Energy

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC) has released a report, "Energy for a sustainble future", calling for concerted action on two ambitious but achievable goals: to ensure universal access to modern energy services by 2030 and to reduce global energy intensity by 40 percent by 2030.

This means connecting billions of people to clean, reliable and affordable energy services while also producing more goods with less energy – a crucial combination for growing economies, encouraging development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals' anti-poverty targets.

The AGECC report highlights the important role that energy plays in promoting development and dealing with climate change. But it also puts attention on the critical role bioenergy will play within these challenges, considering half of humanity has to rely on traditional biomass for meeting their basic needs. To illustrate the challenges related to providing access to modern fuels and technologies, the report focuses on the potential for cooking with LPG and biogas and improving cooking stoves.

AGECC was established in June 2009 by the UN Secretary General to advise him on the energy-related dimensions of the climate change negotiations. Its report calls for a global campaign to help raise awareness and galvanize countries and the international community into action and points at the UN system as a possible catalyst to inspiring this action by establishing a mechanism to track progress towards these goals and by providing the requisite support to strengthen national capacities to achieve them. In particular, AGECC report points at UN Energy, an interagency co-ordinating mechanism for energy issues set up in 2004, as a well positioned framework to be the hub for such collective engagement.  In fact, a recent review aimed at contributing to the discussion on its future evolution found that UN-Energy, is well placed to take advantage of the need to evolve into a respected advisory group with a visible and credible role in orienting the global energy discourse.

The AGECC report itself notes that UN-Energy has allowed for a more focused system-wide approach.

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