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EC unveils new commitment to UN's Sustainable Energy for All

Ban PielbagsBrussels, 16 April 2012 – The European Commission today unveiled its new commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Energy for all which will provide access to sustainable energy for an additional 500 million people in developing countries by 2030

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the commitment made by European Commission José Manuel Barroso at the opening of the EU Sustainable Energy for All Summit in Brussels today. “Its strong leadership in making energy central to its development policies, and for advancing the issue of energy access, helps place energy at the forefront of the global development agenda,” Mr. Ban said in his keynote speech to the Summit.

The Commission's proposals called “Energising Development”, include a new EU Technical Assistance Facility worth €50 million over the next two years, which will support those developing partners that "opt in" to the initiative by providing EU expertise in the field; thereby promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth.

President Barroso emphasized in his speech to the Summit that in the run-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio in June, the "Rio+20" conference, the EU and Member States will look to mobilise additional support of up to several hundred million euros to support concrete new investments in sustainable energy for developing countries – working with banks and the private sector to create a leverage effect to multiply this amount many times over. As the largest provider of development assistance in the world, the EU plays a crucial role in efforts to end energy poverty around the globe.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said:

"Without energy access, we simply will not meet the Millennium Development Goals…With today's strong pledge that we will assist developing countries in providing energy access for 500 million people by 2030, we are demonstrating our own commitment and hope that others will join us in making sure that by 2030, energy access is no longer a privilege but the right of all."

At a joint Press Conference with Mr. Barroso, the UN Secretary-General pointed out that one in five people on the planet still do not have access to electricity and two out of five people – three billion people -- still rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating. “In the 21st century, this is inequitable… and unsustainable.”

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