Accra, Feb. 23, GNA - Mr Achim Steiner, Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programmme (UNEP), and Adnan Amin, Director General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), have called on stakeholders across Africa to make commitments to achieve Sustainable Energy for All by 2030.
A statement issued by the African Press Organisation on behalf of UNEP in Accra copied to the Ghana News Agency said they made the call at the Africa rollout of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
They emphasised the importance of energy for economic and social development across the continent, to improve lives of the poorest in a more sustainable manner.
"Investments in clean energy allow countries in the Region to harness substantial renewable energy resource endowments and leap frog to modern and efficient infrastructure development."
The two leaders referred to many examples that were implemented throughout the Region already which should be replicated and scaled up.
They called the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SEA) launched by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, a unique partnership between business, government and civil society designed to achieve SEA by 2030.
Mr Ban had three interlinked objectives for the initiative; to ensure universal access to energy, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and double the share of renewables in the global energy mix, all by 2030.
Mr Steiner who also serves as a UN Under-Secretary-General called for implementation of the initiative's "Framework for Action" designed to guide the work of governments, the private sector and civil society as they mobilised, facilitated and monitored efforts to expand energy access, promote efficiency standards and politic, and strengthen investment in renewables.
He noted that, "Engagement by the private sector is essential to boost economic growth and reduce poverty. It will help address the huge need for investments in Africa and mobilise the action necessary to provide universal access to modern energy services".
“Globally, one person in five lacks access to modern electricity and nearly three billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating.”
Mr Amin spoke about the immense potential for significantly increasing investment in renewable energy based on establishing an enabling policy environment and enhanced capacity.
"In this regard, Kenya is paving the way for other African nations with her pledge to be kerosene-free by 2018 and in its use of wind and geothermal energy to power municipalities.