In the spirit of the Rio+20 Conference, it seemed a good time to share the goals of the United Nations “Sustainable Energy For All” initiative.
- Ensure universal access to modern services
1.3 billion people – that is 1 in every 5 people around the globe – do not have electricity to light their homes or conduct business. Twice that number—nearly 40% of the world’s population—rely on wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste to cook their food—breathing in toxic smoke that causes lung disease and kills nearly two million people a year, most of them women and children.
Access to modern energy is essential to reducing poverty, improving women’s and children’s health, and broadening the reach of education.
2. Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
is such an obvious winner that it is sometimes hard to believe that there are people who argue against it, but then politics is politics. Energy efficiency saves money, improves business results, and generally delivers more for less.
Commercial and residential refrigerators cost the same but use less energy; planes, trains and automobiles travel further on less fuel; and buildings need less energy to heat and cool.
3. Double the share ofin the global energy mix
Increasing the share of energy from renewable sources can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut local pollution, protect economies from volatility in fuel prices, and avoid over-reliance on risky supply chains.
In 2011, investment in electricity from wind, sun, waves and biomass grew to $187 billion as compared to $157 billion for natural gas, oil and coal.