International Year of Sustainable Energy for All: 2012
On 16 February 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution (A/RES/65/151) declaring Year 2012 to be the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.
In that Resolution the General Assembly:
Decides to declare 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for
Notes the efforts of the United Nations system to work towards ensuring
energy access for all and to protect the environment through the sustainable use of
traditional energy resources, cleaner technologies and newer energy sources;
Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with relevant agencies
within the United Nations system and UN-Energy, and mindful of the provisions of
the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67, to organize and
coordinate activities to be undertaken during the Year;
Encourages all Member States, the United Nations system and all other
actors to take advantage of the Year to increase awareness of the importance of
addressing energy issues, including modern energy services for all, access to
affordable energy, energy efficiency and the sustainability of energy sources and
use, for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including
the Millennium Development Goals, sustainable development and the protection of
the global climate, and to promote action at the local, national, regional and
Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its
sixty-seventh session a report on the implementation of the present resolution,
taking into account, inter alia, the initiatives taken by Member States and
international organizations to create at all levels an enabling environment for the
promotion of access to energy and energy services and the use of new and
renewable energy technologies, including measures to improve access to such
More than three billion people in developing countries rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating. One and a half billion people are without electricity and even when energy services are available, millions of poor people are unable to pay for them.
Thus, there is an inextricable link between energy and sustainable development and modern, cleaner and more efficient energy is relevant in the eradication of poverty.
Access to modern affordable energy services in developing countries is essential for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals, and for achieving sustainable development, which would help to reduce poverty and to improve the conditions and standard of living for the majority of the world’s population.
Therefore, the General Assembly of the UN emphasized the importance of investing in access to cleaner energy technology options to achieve a climate-resilient future for all and also pointed out the need to improve access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services and resources for sustainable development.
It also stressed that the wider use and exploration of available and additional cleaner, new and renewable sources of energy require technology transfer and dispersal on a global scale, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. It also emphasized the need to take further action to mobilize the provision of adequate financial resources, of sufficient quality and arriving in a timely manner, as well as the transfer of advanced technology to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for providing efficient and wider use of energy sources, in particular new and renewable sources of energy.
Further, it reaffirmed the importance of national policies and strategies to combine, as appropriate, the increased use of new and renewable energy sources and low carbon emission technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and the sustainable use of traditional energy services, and enhancing national capacities to meet the growing energy demand, as appropriate, supported by international cooperation in this field and by the promotion of the development and dissemination of appropriate, affordable and sustainable energy technologies, as well as the transfer of such technologies on mutually agreed terms.
With leadership from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN-Energy – a coordinating group of 20 UN agencies – is undertaking a new global initiative, Sustainable Energy for All.
This initiative will engage governments, the private sector, and civil society partners globally to achieve three major goals by 2030:
- Ensure universal access to modern energy services.
- Reduce global energy intensity by 40 per cent.
- Increase renewable energy use globally to 30 per cent.