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Global Problems Can be Solved

Statement by Timothy Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation

On recommendations supported today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, setting two new goals for the world: achieving universal access to modern energy services and cutting global energy intensity 40% by 2030

April 28, 2010

"The Secretary-General once again has shown his remarkable leadership on energy and climate change by supporting these two goals for the world: assuring universal access to modern energy services by 2030 and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

“Energy is the oxygen of commerce and wealth creation; it is essential to economic development.  Modern energy powered the industrial revolution and raised the productivity, living standards and wealth of countless millions.  Developing countries need that same opportunity to improve their people’s lives.  A world where 1.5 billion people live without access to electricity is simply unacceptable.

“At the same time, this development path must not simply copy the one we followed for the past 200 years.  Investment in clean energy is needed for truly sustainable development, and energy efficiency is at the heart of that.  Highly efficient equipment reduces the need for power, cutting the cost of providing and using energy.

“Producing more with less makes economic sense and is fast approaching an environmental imperative.  Ensuring that everyone has access to energy for their economic advancement is a moral imperative.

“The development stimulated by increased energy access will not only benefit the people who live in developing countries.  This growing prosperity will also increase demand for modern products and services – creating new markets for which we can all compete."

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