Aces 2014 Delegation To The First UN SE4ALL Forum At The United Nations Headquarters In New York
Billions of dollars in financing, investments and action for sustainable energy, against commitments made in 2012, were reported by high-level participants in the first annual Sustainable Energy for All Forum that took place at the UN on 4-6 June.
Over 700 representatives of government, business, international organizations and civil society groups gathered, two years after the Rio+20 conference in June 2012, to assess progress on tens of billions of dollars in commitments made there and to review innovative solutions to eliminate energy poverty and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
ACES TEAM DELEGATION;
The following officers of ACES attended the Forum:
Dr. Victor Fodeke; Director General, ACES
Mr. Olawale Akinwumi; Coordinating Chair/Chief Operation Director, ACES
Mr. Gbolahan Adedotun; Chief Technical Officer, ACES
Mr. Juddie Passion; Head of Secretariat, ACES
The first Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum opened on Wednesday morning, 4 June 2014. Following a brief opening plenary, the more than 700 participants attended 46 panel discussions with over 200 speakers throughout the day.
During the day there were also parallel multi-stakeholder sessions and the launch of the Renewables 2014 Global Status Report (REN21).
The second day of the SE4ALL Forum convened on Thursday, 5 June 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York. The United Nations launched the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024, and announced the dedication of the first two years of the Decade to the “Energy-Women-Children-Health” nexus. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) also launched REmap 2030, a renewable energy road map to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix between 2010 and 2030.
The final day of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum convened on Friday, 6 June 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York. Following opening statements from Kandeh Yumkella, Chief Executive Officer, SE4ALL, Martin Sajdik, Austria’s Permanent Representative to the UN and President of ECOSOC, Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico, and Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, there was a high-level ministerial dialogue on energy in the post-2015 development agenda. Sixteen ministers, 33 government representatives, and 11 representatives of international organizations and NGOs addressed the Forum.
Many expressed strong support for the SE4ALL initiative, addressed the need for a Sustainable Development Goal on energy, and highlighted the role of sustainable energy in the post-2015 development agenda. Many looked forward to further action on renewable energy, energy efficiency and universal access to energy.
Dr Kandeh Yumkella brought the Forum to a close at 1:46 pm.
At the Forum, the Secretary-General called on all SE4All partners to intensify their actions, so that the targets can be met. “Our common goal is in sight,” he said. “We have seen that solutions exist and that people are implementing them.”
Looking forward to the 23 September Climate Summit in New York, the Secretary-General said, “The more you bring in terms of concrete deliverables, the more we can achieve towards our objectives, and the better we can support global efforts to combat climate change and strengthen resilience. I count on all actors here today to deliver new and expanded commitments and partnerships that will transform the global energy landscape. We have the responsibility, and we have the power.”
Results and further commitments announced;
Bank of America
Among the results announced, Bank of America said that, of the $50 billion in financing it had committed over ten years, it was on track with $5.5 billion delivered in the first year, as well as the introduction of green bonds as an investment solution for sustainable energy.
African Development Bank
The African Development Bank said that, since Rio+20, it had approved sustainable energy projects totaling some $2 billion and mobilized co-financing totaling some $4.5 billion.
European Union (EU)
Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, announced that the European Union (EU) had awarded 95 million euro for 16 rural electrification projects across 9 African countries, that would generate projects costing more than 155 million euro in total. Mr. Piebalgs also announced the EU was planning new grant commitments totaling 3 billion euro to support sustainable energy projects in about 30 countries, which would leverage investments between 15-30 billion euro.
The US Government, through the Power Africa initiative recently announced by President Barack Obama, represented at the Forum by Carlos Pascal, Special Envoy for Energy at the State Department, is committing more than $7 billion for financial support and loan guarantees over the first five years. Power Africa’s partners have committed to provide over $14 billion in finance through direct loans, guarantee facilities and equity investments.
Global Environment Facility
Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, announced funding to support global energy efficiency “accelerators” in partnership with the EBRD and UNEP, improving access to finance for industrial efficiency projects and promoting high efficiency products, such as air conditioners, lighting and motors. Ishii said, “These initiatives will reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and save money. By supporting these global efforts, the GEF will provide countries with policies, technology and access to finance to support energy efficiency investments.” She also noted that the GEF has just completed its sixth replenishment, resulting in a record commitment of $4.43 billion to be programmed during the next four years.
Ten years to transform the world’s energy
The UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024) was launched globally, by the UN Secretary-General, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (by video) and John Ashe, President of the UN General Assembly, which had designated the Decade as a vehicle to increase advocacy and action.
Dr Kandeh Yumkella, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and CEO of SE4ALL, announced that the initial two years of the Decade would be focused on a campaign for energy access for women and children’s health. He said, “Energy issues are global issues. But everywhere around the world, including in Africa, energy is a woman’s issue. It can mean the difference between safety and fear, freedom and servitude, and even life and death. The world must come together to end energy poverty and ensure that the poor can manage their lives and thrive economically.”
United Kingdom Parliament
Lynne Featherstone, the United Kingdom Parliamentary Under Secretary for Development, said in a video message that the UK would be supporting this campaign to promote awareness and action to address the conditions that negatively affect women and girls who lack electricity or modern fuels. They have recently announced support of 4.5 million pounds for gender and energy research and 7 million pounds for clean cooking facilities.
Government of Norway
The Government of Norway is also funding work by the UN Foundation to electrify health facilities in five African countries, to improve service delivery and reduce maternal and child mortality.