High-level Event on SE4ALL Addresses Need for Implementation, Highlights SIDS Commitments

24 September 2012: At a high-level meeting on sustainable energy for all (SE4ALL), speakers welcomed developments in the governance of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's SE4ALL initiative, highlighted new kinds of partnerships being forged around sustainable energy, and called for a move from commitments to tangible impact. Ban also announced changes to the governance of the initiative for its implementation phase.

Helen Clark, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, noted that small island developing States (SIDS) have pledged their commitment to providing renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and highlighted commitments from Maldives and the Marshall Islands on carbon neutrality and electrification, respectively.

Barbados said increased world oil prices lead directly to decreases in Pacific SIDS' gross domestic product (GDP), and her country spends more on fossil fuels than on education and healthcare. Sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy, the Minister said, and Barbados and other SIDS fully support the SE4ALL initiative. Recalling the High-level Conference on Achieving SE4ALL in SIDS, hosted by Barbados in May 2012, she underscored that the resulting Barbados Declaration provides an agenda for achieving SE4ALL in SIDS, noting that the outcome also includes SIDS' voluntary commitments on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon neutrality. No other group of States has collectively shown such a high level of ambition, she added. She also highlighted Barbados' commitments and plans for further progress, including an Energy Smart Fund, and the SIDS DOCK initiative, and called for more financial support for SIDS.

Maldives announced that as one of six pilot countries under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), it has endorsed a five-year investment plan to scale up renewable energy, and planned to be carbon neutral by 2020. She called for international support for energy security in the country.

The event took place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 24 September 2012. [IISD RS Sources] [UN Webcast of High-level Event] [Statement of UNDP Administrator] [Statement of UN Secretary-General] [SE4ALL Press Release] [World Bank Press Release] [Twitter Feed on SE4ALL]