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Global Compact to Bring Energy to the Poor Needed, Says World Bank Managing Director

Energy for All
Sri Mulyani, Managing Director, The World Bank, speaking at the Sustainable Energy for All initiative at Oslo.

October 4, 2011

Speaking in support of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched last month by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and the Energy+ initiative launched by Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Ban Ki-moon in Oslo on October 10, Sri Mulyani said the Bank Group seeks to translate its goals into practical country-level action.

Sustainable Energy for All aims to deliver universal access to modern energy services—electricity and clean cookstoves—by 2030, while also doubling the rate of improvement to energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix from 15 to 30 percent.

Energy+ is to develop an international partnership to provide access to efficient energy services to all by increasing the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to mitigate energy’s impacts on climate, in harmonization with ongoing work under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); and to be tested in pilot countries.

“These are ambitious goals,” she said in her speech at the Energy for All conference, hosted by Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and also attended by Ban Ki-moon. “But we need to be bold because the challenge is a big one. Look at the scale of energy poverty—1.4 million people who still live in darkness after sunset, and three billion who burn wood, dung or coal to heat their homes or cook their meals,” she said.


Drag timeline slider to 1:54:00 and press the Play button to directly access Sri Mulyani's speech

Sri Mulyani cited the experience of Vietnam, which expanded access to electricity in its rural areas from 14 percent in 1993 to 95 percent today, as a model to be emulated. She also highlighted Rwanda, where the Bank supported the country’s sector-wide approach to expanding energy access.

To help other countries achieve what Vietnam did, Sri Mulyani proposed an “Oslo Compact” in which developing countries would agree to specific actions based on a shared commitment with donors to expand energy access. The goal: extend modern energy services to 100 million people by the end of the decade.

She proposed four key elements to such a compact, which were well received by the conference participants:

  • Good governance in the power sector
  • A program-based, sector-wide approach
  • Incentives for the private sector, focused on results
  • Increased support for renewable energy

When responding to questions from the floor following her intervention, Sri Mulyani emphasized the shared responsibility between partners including the World Bank for promoting the Energy+ goals; the need to create an enabling environment for energy investments; and the important role civil society can play in promoting sustainable energy investments.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Stoltenberg noted that the aim of the Conference was to address the two most pressing global challenges: poverty and climate change.

The conference summary concludes that universal access to modern energy should be an important input to the UNFCCC and Rio+20 processes; that universal access to sustainable, affordable and reliable energy should be included in the discussions on the reformulation of the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals; and asked participants to convey the conference summary to the G20 Summit in Cannes, the UNFCCC COP17 meeting in Durban and the Rio+20 Summit next June.

The UN has declared 2012 to be the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All”. Participants saw 2012 as an opportunity to make modern energy access a political priority and re-orientate policies and funding accordingly.

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Last updated: 2011-10-17

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