The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared the decade 2014‑2024 as the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, underscoring the importance of energy issues for sustainable development and for the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.
Energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity, and an environment that allows the world to thrive. At a time when 1.2 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity, when 2.8 billion people do not have clean and safe cooking facilities, and when a shift to sustainable energy use is imperative to protect the Earth’s climate, no less than a worldwide effort is required to achieve sustainable energy for all.
Sustainable energy provides new opportunities for growth. It enables businesses to grow, generates jobs, and creates new markets. Children can study after dark. Clinics can store life-saving vaccines. Countries can grow more resilient, with competitive economies. With sustainable energy, countries can build the clean energy economies of the future. Transforming the world’s energy systems will also lead to new multi-trillion-dollar investment opportunities.
Sustainable energy for all is an investment in our collective future. Universal energy access, increasing the use of renewable energy, improved energy efficiency and addressing the nexus between energy and health, women, food, water and other development issues are at the heart of all countries’ core interest, which must be deeply integrated in the development agenda.