Nearly one in five people around the world do not have access to modern energy services. Twice that number, three billion people, rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. In today’s economy, this is inequitable – a major barrier to eradicating poverty.
In 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the global Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative to mobilise action from all sectors of society to tackle this issue. He described renewable energy as ‘the golden thread that connects development, social inclusion and environmental protection’.
SE4All has three interlinked objectives to be achieved by 2030:
- providing universal access to modern energy services;
- doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency;
- and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
In 2012, Ban Ki-moon asked the First Minister to support the SE4All initiative, believing that Scotland has a significant contribution to make because of Scotland’s leadership on renewable energy and climate change. We are now working towards delivering on that agreement, focusing on two specific areas of need where Scotland’s strengths lie: policy support, and capacity-building.
In July 2014, the Scottish Government hosted the European Launch of the UN Decade of SE4All in Glasgow, as an offline event to the Commonwealth Games. This was a highly successful event and has cemented our relationship with the United Nation's SE4All Global Facilitation Team as we collaborate closely with them to take forward our SE4All contribution over the coming years.
We are now pleased to publish UN Sustainable Energy For All – Scotland’s Contribution; a paper laying out what we have achieved to date in this important area of activity, and what we intend to do over the coming years.