2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

Climate Change | Public attittudes to science

United Nations | 28/03/12

Recognizing the importance of energy for sustainable development, the United Nations General Assembly has designated, by its resolution 65/151, the year 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All presents a valuable opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of increasing sustainable access to energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy at the local, national, regional and international levels.

Energy services have a profound effect on productivity, health, education, climate change, food and water security, and communication services.

Lack of access to clean, affordable and reliable energy hinders human, social and economic development and is a major impediment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Today, 1.4 billion people still do not have access to modern energy, while 3 billion rely on “traditional biomass” and coal as their main fuel sources.

How does access to Sustainable Energy help?

Access to energy, particularly sustainable energy, is indistinguishable from a sustainable future for the developing world. Not only does access to energy transform the lives of the energy-poor by raising living standards, it also:

  • enables income generation – for example, through solar pumps for irrigation or electricity for a small business;

  • provides power to community health clinics, and refrigerators to store medicines, as well as cell phones, which have transformed commerce;

  • reduces the time and drudgery of collecting fuel wood, supporting cleaner, more efficient cooking and heating options;

  • provides lighting, so children can study after dark;

  • enables businesses to operate and creates new opportunities for entrepreneurs.

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