Although the effectiveness is debatable, it is uplifting to see the United Nations set goals in reducing fossil fuel usage and raise renewable energy accessibility. At the January 17, 2011 4th Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon commented upon the expected increase of energy consumption of 40% over the next 20 years, mainly in developing countries which makes sense due to increasing populations. Ban Ki-Moon estimates that 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity.
Ban Ki-Moon suggests that increasing renewable energy and its access will lower poverty rates, increase global health, support economic infrastructure, encourage international peace and security, and meet the 8 Millennium Development Goals the UN created in 2000.
It was also discussed that in order to achieve the goals of reducing emissions, minimizing deforestation, and supporting Green technology, individual countries need to take responsibility for their actions and impact. Ban Ki-Moon was hopeful in reporting governments are stepping up.
Without noting specific measures, Ban Ki-Moon stated China is near the forefront in providing alternative energy sources, being the 2nd largest user of wind power. He also said “In countries as diverse as Rwanda, Costa Rica and Nepal, governments are working to protect their forests, embrace renewable energy sources and develop a green vision for the future.”
With groups such as the Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change setting goals such as universal access to modern energy sources and a 40 per cent increase in energy efficiency by 2030, it is exciting to think about what the success of these goals could mean. Perhaps energy efficiency will increase and more people will be able to access clean energy.