Energy and sustainable development
One person in five on the planet still lacks access to modern electricity. Twice that number – three billion people – rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. In a global economy, this is inequitable and unsustainable.
In developed countries the problem is one of waste, not shortage, due to inefficient energy use. Throughout the world, excessive dependence on fossil-fuel based energy also contributes significantly to the dangerous warming of our planet. The key to the dual challenge of waste and shortage of energy is to provide sustainable energy for all – energy that is accessible, cleaner and more efficient.
Sustainable energy provides new opportunities for growth during the economic downturn. Sustainable energy enables businesses to grow, generate jobs, and create new markets. Countries can grow more resilient, competitive economies.
Women must be able to participate fully and equally in the economy and in decision-making processes if the goals for economic growth and sustainable development are to be achieved. The way families obtain energy can be decisive in enabling women to participate actively in working life and education, and to establish their own enterprises, participate in networks and have control over their own lives.
Sustainable Energy for All
Norway supports the aim of ensuring sustainable energy for all as one of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative launched by the United Nations Secretary-General may provide positive and important input to the process. Norway supports the SE4ALL goals which aim to ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.
Investing in energy – Energy+
Various instruments need to be in place if we are to achieve the goal of ensuring sustainable energy for all. The IEA estimates that in 2009, USD 9.1 billion was invested globally to extend access to energy services. To provide universal modern energy access by 2030, annual investment needs to average more than five times this level (USD 48 billion). ODA is insufficient to meet this need. The public sector, including multilateral and bilateral institutions, needs to use its funds and tools to encourage greater commercial investments. Effective public–private community partnerships need to be developed.
The International Energy and Climate Initiative – Energy+ is an international partnership that coordinates and promotes efforts and financing in accordance with the Energy+ Guiding Principles. The partnership is open to all organisations and countries that contribute towards the goals of the Energy+ partnership. Thus, Energy+ partners are self-selecting. Wherever possible, Energy+ partners will work through existing programmes and institutions, thereby limiting transaction costs and speeding up progress. The partnership aims to increase access to energy and reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions by increasing access to energy services from renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency.