World Future Energy Summit: United Nations secretary general tells Abu Dhabi summit to address energy poverty as International Year of Sustainable Energy for All is launched.
Ban Ki-Moon tells summit to address energy poverty
ABU DHABI // United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon has called on world governments to address energy poverty and to support innovation that makes energy more sustainable.
Mr Ban's appearance at the opening of the World Future Energy Summit in the capital today was part of the global launch of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
“Widespread energy poverty still condemns millions to darkness, to ill health, to missed opportunities for education,” he said, explaining that one in five people in the world today still lack access to modern electricity.
“It is not acceptable that three billion people have to rely on wood, waste and charcoal for their energy needs,” he said.
At the same time, ending energy poverty is “only half of the energy solution”, he said. The second half has to do with reducing greenhouse emissions, produced as humanity burns coal, oil and natural gas to satisfy its energy needs.
“Our planet is heating. We need to turn down this global thermostat,” said the UN’s top diplomat, reminding the audience of the need to reduce greenhouse emissions by half by 2050 if the world is to avoid dangerous changes to the climate.
The opening of the four-day event was also attended by China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao, and the South Korean Prime Minister, Kim Hwang-sik. The event is held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.