Warning that the way the world produces, shares and uses energy is unsustainable, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday called on governments and the private sector to collaborate in providing a cleaner, low-carbon model that benefits both people and the planet.
"Energy demand is growing and the global thermostat continues to rise," he told the fourth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting in New Delhi in a video message. "More than 1.2 billion people need access to electricity -- for dignity and health, for opportunity and prosperity. But we cannot ask future generations to pay the price."
CEM, a high-level global forum that seeks to share best practices and promote policies and programmes that encourage and facilitate the transition to a global clean energy economy, is a natural ally for the UN in its efforts to advance sustainable energy, Ban said.
He cited the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative that he launched in 2011 with the aim of achieving three inter-linked global targets by 2030: universal access to modern energy services, the doubling of energy efficiency, and the doubling of the share of renewable energy in the world's energy mix.
"Sustainable Energy for All and the Clean Energy Ministerial have important synergies," he said. "Both promote public-private collaboration. Both focus on energy efficiency and clean energy. Both call for urgent action. Let us work together to bypass outmoded systems and build the clean energy economies of the future.
"Together we can overcome obstacles, generate investments and develop and spread clean technologies. Together we can support developing countries as they define their own paths toward sustainable energy," he added, stressing that when everybody has access to sustainable energy, everybody wins.
"It can power economic growth, lift people from poverty, strengthen social equity, protect the environment and help in the fight against climate change. Together we can realize this dream."