UN urges commitments on climate financing

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The world is at a "tipping point," and how it produces, distributes and uses energy will determine if sustainable development succeeds, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday, highlighting climate financing, in particular new public-private partnerships, increased investment and enhanced market development.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tours the roof of UN City in Copenhagen, Denmark, which has been outfitted with wind turbines and solar panels. [UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe]

"Promoting energy efficiency will realize massive new investment opportunities in developing and developed countries," Mr. Ban said at the launch of the Sustainable Energy for All – Efficiency Hub at UN City in the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

The Hub, placed in "the most energy efficient UN building in the world," according to the UN chief, will combine the efforts of Governments, development banks, the private sector and civil society to dramatically increase energy access, energy efficiency and the use of renewables by 2030.

Opening the Hub, Mr. Ban said that access by all to clean, efficient energy would be critical in promoting sustainable development while, at the same time, reducing humankind's emissions footprint.

"I expect this hub, supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), to stand at the centre of our efforts to double the global rate of energy efficiency over the next 17 years," said Mr. Ban.

The Hub is central to Mr. Ban's Sustainable Energy for All initiative, launched in September 2011, which aims to achieve 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.

"Energy efficiency is a win-win for the people and the planet," he noted on the second day of his two-day visit to Denmark.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Ban spoke to a meeting on climate finance convened by the Danish Government.

"Climate finance is an investment in the future and must not be taken hostage by short-term budget constraints or profit considerations," he told an audience that also included private sector actors.


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