27 April 2012

UN Photo


World energy ministers commit to back sustainable energy


Coalition of energy ministers from 23 countries and UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All initiative outlined on Thursday at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) specific commitments to improve energy efficiency, promote renewable energy technologies, increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, and ensure access to energy around the world.

The commitments build on two years of work by the CEM and support the goal UN Secretary-General’s sustainable energy for all by 2030, the primary objective of the initiative.

The participating countries account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 90 percent of global clean energy investment.  

Improving energy efficiency

Sixteen governments participating in the Super-Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) recommitted to working together and with the private sector to accelerate global progress on improving the energy efficiency of equipment and appliances.

This effort could save consumers more than USD1 trillion over the next two decades.

The Efficient Product Promotion Collaborative is a new public-private partnership that will help better utilize the billions of dollars spent globally on appliance efficiency programs each year, including a new program targeting super-efficient fans in India.

A SEAD-facilitated technical exchange also led to India becoming the first country in the world to adopt comprehensive standards for performance, safety, and quality of light-emitting diodes in February 2012. These standards will help keep poorly performing products from spoiling this critical global market for highly efficient lighting.

Earlier this year, SEAD launched the first Global Efficiency Medal competition to recognize and promote the most efficient products, starting with a voluntary flat-panel televisions competition.

Televisions account for six to eight percent of global residential electricity consumption. Manufacturers representing a significant portion of the global market have expressed interest in competing, with winners announced this fall.

Today, SEAD participating governments also announced the expansion of the competition with the next two award categories, which include motors and computer monitors.

SEAD partners, led by India, in collaboration with the USD20 million UN Environment Program’s en.lighten initiative, launched a new effort providing technical cooperation to accelerate adoption of efficient lighting.

Shifting to more efficient lighting technologies, such as compact fluorescent lamps and solid state lighting, has the potential to reduce global electricity consumption by approximately 2.5 percent.

Increasing share of renewables

The United Kingdom announced the establishment of up to GBD60 million (USD97 million) in new funding to support the demonstration of carbon capture and storage technologies in developing countries.

Denmark, Germany, and Spain released a global renewable resource atlas that maps the potential for solar and wind energy across the world.

This includes plans to assess the cost-effectiveness of those resources in different countries based on energy prices, project finance costs, and available incentives.

Ensuring universal energy access

Italy and the United States announced the launch of Lighting India, which will bring modern lighting services to two million people by the end of 2015.

This builds on the success of the Lighting Africa program, which has already accelerated market-driven delivery of quality off-grid lighting devices to 2.5 million people in Africa.

Both of these programs are affiliated with the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) announced today to promote market-based delivery of low-cost, quality-assured solutions to consumers who currently lack modern energy options.

Other Global LEAP partners include the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the UN Foundation, the Energy and Resources Institute, the African Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the UN Development Program, and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry.

More than 100 private sector and civil society organizations have expressed support for its principles.

Bolstering clean energy solution center

Several CEM participants are also involved in cross-cutting initiatives, including 11 countries that agreed to bolster the Clean Energy Solutions Center.

Launched a year ago at the second CEM, the Solutions Center is a USD15 million Internet-based technical assistance project jointly led by Australia and the United States in partnership with UN-Energy.

The Solutions Center’s 10,000 users from 150 countries have access to a 1,300 clean energy policy resources, including policy and deployment data, online trainings and webinars, and policy assistance consultations.

The ClimateWorks Foundation and its network commit to in-kind support for no-cost technical advice for up to USD1 million over three years through the Clean Energy Solutions Center. Senior government officials from more than 20 countries have already requested specific policy consultations.

The Solutions Center, in partnership with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, is also launching a quarterly policy and market briefing as part of its web portal.

The Government of India also announced its intention to create a detailed database of national and sub-national clean energy policies and incentives, with support from the United States during the design phase.

Women in clean energy program

The United States also announced a national Women in Clean Energy program in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as part of its commitment to the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative.

The program’s three components include more than 20 senior professional women in clean energy serving as "C3E Ambassadors," an awards program to recognize individuals who have advanced women’s leadership and their accomplishments in clean energy, and a symposium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this September.

Roadmap for sustainable energy for all

In addition to the CEM announcements, the SE4All initiative released its Action Agenda. The agenda provides a practical roadmap for how the multi-stakeholder initiative can encourage collaborative action by governments, the private sector, and civil society to achieve sustainable energy for all by 2030.

The agenda was developed by SE4All’s High-Level Group, which includes distinguished leaders from government, the private sector and civil society, as well as three CEM ministers including: Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy; Edison Lobão, Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy; and Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy of India.

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