April 2, 2012
Where energy, water and food are all under strain as global demand for them increases, energy efficiency must be improved to expand access to electricity, and do it sustainably.
That was the message delivered by Kandeh Yumkella, co-chair of the High-Level Group leading the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, to experts at the Fifth EE Global, an annual conference on energy efficiency March 28.
Yumkella, also Secretary-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization, underscored the need to double the rate of gain in energy efficiency by 2030, one of three goals of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. The other two are achieving universal access to electricity and clean household fuels, and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
With rapid economic growth in Asia and Latin America propelling three billion people into the middle class in coming years, Yumkella said, energy efficiency is essential. Gains can be achieved, he added, by behavior changes in every household, industry and business, as well as efforts to build markets for energy efficiency.
Among the latter, he highlighted the market potential in reducing the 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas flared every year in association with oil production, which produces about 400 million tons of CO2 emissions. The World Bank manages a Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership, which supports countries and companies seeking progress on this front.