Least Developed Countries call for global goal on sustainable energy

Last updated: 10/11/2013 // Press release: High-level government representatives, United Nations officials and private sector leaders called on the international community to ensure that the sustainable energy needs of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are placed at the forefront of the international agenda. The call is for a global goal on sustainable energy for all to be included in the post-2015 development agenda - the new development framework to follow after the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015.

The call was expressed in a Communiqué released following a high-level meeting last month, initiated by Benin as the current Chair of the 49 LDCs, and supported by the UN Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. The meeting was co-chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway.

“Now that we have embarked on the task of formulating the Post-2015 Development Agenda, we must make sure that energy remains at the core of the new global development framework,” Prime Minister Desalegn told participants.

President Sirleaf echoed this call, lauded the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and expressed that it was particularly important for “those of us from Africa, where this need is the greatest, where this represents the most serious constraint on our ability to achieve our development agenda, that we must all now concentrate on that and invite our partners to work with us on this problem.”

The meeting stressed that in the setting up of targets and indicators supporting the sustainable energy goal on the post-2015 agenda, the special needs of the LDCs should be specifically prioritized. They should also encompass all three dimensions of sustainable development (economy, social issues, and the environment), to help demonstrate the concept of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The world needs energy. At the same time, we need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. There is no conflict between access to modern energy and development with low emissions,” said Prime Minister Stoltenberg of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, adding thanks to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4All).

The three objectives of the United Nations’ Sustainable  Energy for All initiative (universal energy access, increased efficiency and renewable energy), including its Global Tracking Framework, can provide a solid framework to build on further, while keeping them fully adaptable to different circumstances and priorities at regional, national and local levels, the Communiqué stated.

The forty-nine LDCs represent the poorest and most vulnerable group of the developing world. Of the 1.3 billion people who do not have access to electricity, more than half live in the LDCs

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