What We Do:

Energy & Climate

Energy & Climate Global Health United Nations Women, Girls & Population

Working Toward a Sustainable Future


Energy & Climate

Sustainable energy is essential to sustainable development. Energy provides mobility, heat, and light; it is the fuel that drives the global economy. But the use of coal, oil, and gas causes air pollution and climate change, harming public health and the environment. Roughly two thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (which trap heat in the atmosphere) are related to these fossil fuels. The impacts of climate change threaten to undo decades of progress on economic development globally.

For that reason, the global goals approved by the UN in 2015 include two that underpin progress on all the others:

  • Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
  • Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Our Energy & Climate team works with the UN and other partners to help move the world toward a safer, cleaner, more equitable and climate-friendly energy future – by implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change, and by supporting Sustainable Energy for All, an initiative launched in 2011 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and co-led by World Bank President Jim Kim, that balances three global objectives for 2030:

  • Ensuring universal access to modern energy services.
  • Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  • Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Sustainable Energy for All provides a framework for addressing climate change through increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency within a framework of sustainable development. It is exactly the right approach for the 21st century – enabling economic prosperity for all without wrecking the environment on which we all depend.

The UN Foundation

supports the UN’s leadership on energy and climate change – through the office of the Secretary-General, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Sustainable Energy for All.