Small Island Developing States Sustainable Energy for All Conference:
What is SIDS SE4All?
The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The Secretary-General has launched his Sustainable Energy for All(SE4All) initiative to identify and mobilize action by stakeholders from across government, business, civil society, academia and the development community. Three interlinked objectives underpin the goal of achieving sustainable energy for all by 2030:
- Ensuring universal access to modern energy services;
- Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix; and
- Doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency the goals to be reached by 2030
Achieving Sustainable Energy for All is essential for addressing two of the most pressing challenges of our time – reducing poverty and minimizing the risks of climate change impacts. Without access to sustainable energy, there can be no sustainable development. The upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (Rio+20), presents the international community with an opportunity to establish a global response for making sustainable energy for all a reality on the ground in every community and every country. To profile the SIDS perspective on sustainable energy for all, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Barbados are co-hosting a conference to examine how to achieve the three inter-related Sustainable Energy for All objectives in the SIDS context. The conference will pursue four interlinked objectives:
- Establish awareness and understanding of SIDS conditions and perspectives on sustainable energy for all (SE4All);
- Articulate SIDS commitment to support SEFA and convey SIDS support of SE4All as a core element of the three pillars of sustainable development;
- Build awareness in governments and their institutions for the formulation of required policies and their enforcement in order to regulate the market and to attract investments into affordable and sustainable energy services;
- Foster recognition by governments and their institutions of the importance of identifying potential areas for doubling energy efficiencies, as well as development of alternative energy sources.
As the SE4All initiative is closely linked to the Rio+20 processes, the SIDS conference will also provide an opportunity to discuss support to the SE4All targets and commitments as one outcome of Rio+20, and contribute to the discussion on the potential establishment of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and related global monitoring mechanisms. The Barbados conference will also be an opportunity to showcase the work of the SIDS DOCK partnership – a sustainable energy initiative of SIDS in collaboration with the UNDP, World Bank, and donors. It is anticipated that by the end of the conference, there will be a Barbados Declaration, which will be a clear statement of the unique circumstances, vulnerabilities and needs of SIDS, articulating SIDS support and commitments towards the three SE4All objectives, in the lead up to and at the Rio+20 conference.