Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Whether it is jobs, security, climate change, food production or poverty, sustainable energy for all is essential for strengthening economies, protecting ecosystems and achieving equity. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is leading a new global initiative called “Sustainable Energy for All”. This initiative calls for private sector and national commitments and aims to attract global attention to the importance of energy for development and poverty alleviation.
The goal is to meet three objectives by 2030: 1. ensuring universal access to modern energy services; 2. doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; 3. doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. To recognize energy’s crucial role in sustainable economic development, the United Nations General Assembly has designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. In an effort to help achieve these objectives, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has developed an approach to increase poor households’ access to sustainable, low-cost clean energy1 through microfinance services that are supported by an enabling policy environment and energy value chain. UNCDF and UNDP have designed a $26 million global programme – CleanStart – to translate the approach