Commitments to provide Sustainable Energy for All could save millions of lives

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Energy is central to sustainable development

Businesses, governments, development banks and civil society have so far pledged more than $50 billion to support the UN Secretary-General's goal to achieve universal energy access by 2030.

The Sustainable Energy for All initiative also seeks to double both energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy by that deadline.

Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella is a co-chair of Sustainable Energy for All.

Speaking at the Rio+20 conference on Thursday, he said the investments could improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.

“If we achieve that universal access, it means that 1.3 billion people will have access to energy. It means that we are going to have possibly zero instead of two million deaths a year, most of them women and children, because they inhale smoke and indoor air pollution. It means we're going to liberate women who spend 20 hours a week collecting firewood or water; come back home, cook, and poison themselves."

 So far, more than 100 commitments have been made since the Sustainable Energy for All launch in November 2011.

For example, more than 50 governments in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Small Island Developing States are developing energy plans and programmes.

Filed under Today's News.
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