26 November 2013
NEW YORK, 25 November 2013 — Access to clean, reliable energy powers economies, lights up homes, hospitals and schools, and improves lives and livelihoods. Yet, around the world one billion people lack access to electricity, and three billion rely on firewood animal dung and crop waste for energy to cook their meals, boil their water and heat their homes, exposing them to health hazards and contributing to dangerous climate change.
Recognizing this, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on governments, business and civil society to help achieve Sustainable Energy for All by 2030.
“Sustainable energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, social equity, a stable climate and a healthy environment,” he said. “Energy powers growth and opportunity. It makes all other development goals possible, from reducing poverty to powering essential health services and providing light for children to learn.”
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is responding to this call by providing technical advice and other assistance to developing countries embracing clean energy.
Today, to showcase some of the solutions already being implemented, UNEP, in collaboration with the Magnum Photo Agency, is launching a photo exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York. We Have The Power: Efficient, Renewable, Affordable—A UNEP Contribution to Sustainable Energy for All—will be opened today by the Secretary-General. Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, will join the Secretary-General at the opening.
This initial exhibit takes the form of three photo essays by renowned Magnum photographers:
- Market Transformation for Energy Efficient Lighting, Chile (reflecting the work of UNEP’s en.lighten initiative) by Moises Saman
- "Nafa Naana” (guaranteed savings) Burkina Faso (reflecting the work of UNEP’s Africa Carbon Asset Development Facility) by Domini Nahr
- Bus Rapid Transit Improvements in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (reflecting the work of UNEP’s Transport Unit) by Jerome Sessini
The exhibit illustrates the work already being done by UNEP and its partners to support the three objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The exhibit clearly shows solutions being enacted, but which need to be scaled up and replicated around the world to help close the gap in climate action and keep global warming to just 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.