This year’s edition of the WEO found that the world population without electricity access fell below 1 billion for the first time ever in 2017, led by India; but despite recent progress, efforts in sub-Saharan Africa need to redouble to achieve the goal of universal access.
The event on Wednesday drew more than 300 participants, including ambassadors from several countries, as well as former Vice-Chancellor of Austria Mr. Reinhold Mitterlehner and high level representatives from UNIDO and OPEC.
Under Co-chair Ban’s leadership as Secretary General of the United Nations, the UN adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) including SDG 7 related specifically to energy in the year 2015. Ban acknowledged the IEA’s role in tracking progress toward SDG 7 and congratulated IEA for the continued efforts in providing analysis and data on the SDG 7 through the World Energy Outlook.
Ban also stressed the importance of adapting to the climate change as Head of Global Commission on Adaptation and Chairman of the Board of Global Center on Adaptation:
“Climate change is a global challenge requiring a global coordination.”
“Adapting to climate will require a complete transformation.”
“Adaptation is not only the right thing to do but a smart thing to do.”
Minister Elisabeth Koestinger of the Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism welcomed this year’s World Energy Outlook as a source of information and data for political leaders while Ban spoke of his childhood experiences with access to energy growing up in South Korea, and highlighted the importance of international cooperation to improve energy access while tackling climate change.
During a dialogue session with Minister Koestinger and Executive Director Fatih Birol of IEA, Ban stressed 3 key points, urging that everyone has to use energy more wisely and sustainably in order to achieve the sustainable development of the future:
1. Enhance effectiveness of energy use
2. Make energy accessible for all
3. Develop renewable energy