by Eskedar Gessesse, Social Media Intern, Embark Energy
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark shakes hands with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim while UN Secretary-General looks on. Image by Paulo Filgueras on Flickr Creative Commons.
The United Nations hosted the first annual Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum in New York City, on June 4-6, 2014 to provide a formal platform for new commitments and projects under the SE4ALL Initiative. The SE4ALL initiative is a multi-stakeholder partnership between the public sector, the private sector and civil societies. The main focus of the first SE4ALL Forum was to address the issues of energy poverty and climate change.
Nearly 1 out of 5 people in the world do not have access to electricity and about 3 billion people depend on traditional fuel sources for their daily activities. These challenges have motivated public and private organizations to focus on providing sustainable energy for all by participating in the SE4ALL initiative.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announce plans to mobilize financing for SE4All. Image by the Norwegian Mission to the UN on Flickr Creative Commons.
The inaugural forum was led by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who launched the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024 and the Global Campaign on Energy for Women, Children and Health. The event that brought together some 1,000 leaders from government, business and civil society, included the President of the World Bank, several Heads of State, Foreign Ministers, CEOs, and high profile activists.
Following the opening plenary on June 4, there were several panel discussions throughout the event, each focusing on a specific theme. Numerous topics were addressed in these panel discussions, including the need to engage civil society in decision-making, issues of renewable energy in developing countries and bottom-up solutions such as supporting small-scale business models to facilitate energy access and efficiency.One of Embark’s Founding Partners, Dr. Ellen Morris, who spoke on a panel at the Forum noted, “This event created a platform for organizations like ours to raise the profile of local energy entrepreneurs who are committed to the fight against energy poverty. SE4ALL convened a broad base of partners and inspired us to make stronger commitments to work together under a common vision to achieve universal energy access.”
The second day of the forum kicked off with the official launch of the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, which calls upon UN Member States to aggressively push for universal access to sustainable and modern energy services. Participants from several organizations such as the European Union, United Nations Development Program and Inter-American Development Bank,came out in strong support.
One of the common themes discussed across parallel sessions in the forum was the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships. Several of the panelists addressed the beneficial aspects of partnerships in confronting the lack of access to energy and to promote sustainable energy services. Heads of State from The Netherlands, Iceland and Peru highlighted the need to incentivize global partnerships between international organizations, governments and private businesses to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. The Maldives also pleaded for an increased engagement of the private sector and partnerships to enhance access to technology to alleviate the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States.
As a proud supporter of SE4ALL, Embark was pleased to announce our new partnership with Partners for Euro-African Green Energy (PANGEA) and Everest Energy Group, that will focus on project development and investment in Africa. We are looking forward to helping make SE4ALL objectives a reality by opening doors for renewable energy entrepreneurs. Through partnerships and a concerted effort, all entities invested in the common goal of a sustainable future, are marching forward together in transforming the current energy system. Embark is proud to be part of this great journey.
Please follow this link for a detailed summary of the SE4ALL Forum.