2015 will be a critical year for the global community and the United Nations. It is the year we face several decisions – on disaster risk reduction, financing for development, sustainable development and climate – that will shape our collective futures for generations to come. The “2015 Time for Global Action” campaign is centred around monthly themes that coincide with the priorities for 2015 and opportunities in the calendar of events.
The month of May will highlight Sustainable Energy for All. In the words of the UN Secretary-General “Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity and an environment that allows the world to thrive.”
The world faces two urgent and interconnected challenges related to energy:
- Energy access and eradicating poverty. 1.2 billion people worldwide, nearly one in six, lack access to electricity. More than twice as many, 2.8 billion, rely on wood, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating, with serious health impacts from the effects of indoor smoke.
- Where modern energy services are plentiful, the problem is different: waste and pollution. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from fossil fuels are contributing to changes in the Earth’s climate that are causing widespread harm to lives, communities, infrastructure and institutions. Climate change threatens food and water security for hundreds of millions of people around the world.
The key to unlocking both challenges at the same time is to provide sustainable energy for all – energy that is accessible, clean, more efficient and affordable, especially for the poor.
To achieve this, the Sustainable Energy for All initiative has set three inter-linked global targets to be reached by 2030:
- To ensure universal access to modern energy services;
- To double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency;
- To double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
At the UN, governments have already identified sustainable energy as one of the new generation of sustainable development goals that are expected to be adopted in September 2015.
Key dates and events
The Second United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum will focus on financing sustainable energy for all, featuring the launch of a new commitment platform and the first ever Global Energy Ministerial Dialogue.
This year’s Forum will bring together leaders and practitioners from government, business and civil society to:
- Report and assess progress on Sustainable Energy for All
- Inspire action and solutions by sharing knowledge, innovation and success stories across the world
- Present ideas and mechanisms to catalyse finance at the scale required to achieve sustainable energy for all
- Grow the broader movement of global stakeholders to advance the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All
These issues – and others – will be addressed over a five-day period in May:
· 17 May: Growing the Movement (public engagement activities)
· 18-19 May: Multi-stakeholder Sessions (innovations and sharing progress)
· 20 May: Global Energy Ministerial
· 21 May: Actions and Commitments (launch of the SE4All Commitment Platform)
More information available at www.se4allforum.org
Also taking place at this time:
· 18-22 May: Intergovernmental negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda continue
Learn more about the 2015: Time for Global Action Campaign