Decade of Sustainable Energy for All: We have now entered the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, 2014 – 2024, which was established by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2012. Inter alia, the resolution highlights the goals of increased energy access, renewable energy (RE) usage and energy efficiency (EE). The focus of the resolution recognises that sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy (SE), as well as, the reality that one in every five persons on the planet still lacks access to electricity, while one in every three does not have access to clean cooking fuel.
SE provides new opportunities: children can study after dark, clinics can store life-saving vaccines, etc. Additionally, it enables businesses to grow, generates jobs and creates new markets, thereby fostering growth in countries through more resilient and competitive economies.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the launch of the SE4ALL Initiative, stated that “With Sustainable Energy, countries can leapfrog over the limits of the energy systems of the past and build the clean energy economies of the future.”
Many of these potential benefits are relevant to most CARICOM Member States, where the energy challenge has been established as a major binding constraint to achieving economic competitiveness, growth and overall economic resilience. The goals of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative are relevant to CARICOM, because:
- The issue of lack of access is particularly relevant to some Member States; and
- The main solution to the overarching energy sector challenges of the lack of affordability and\ the over-dependence on imported oil (characteristic of most CARICOM countries), lies in the increased diversification of their energy supplies with RE playing a major role, along with EE.
It is therefore considered useful for CARICOM to seek to be engaged with the developments in the context of the UN Decade of SE4ALL, given the potential support for SE development through this Platform.
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Credit: CARICOM Energy Programme