Video Message to the High-Level Dialogue on the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2019: A Mid-Point Review

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

Asia and the Pacific is transforming its energy sector to improve energy efficiency, increase the use of renewables and improve access to energy for all citizens.

Considerable progress has been made, but the demand for energy and the release of greenhouse gases continue to rise. Modern renewable energy remains below 10 percent of our energy mix.

A system based on sustainable energy can overcome these challenges. To achieve it, the Secretary General of the United Nations has set out three priority areas.

  • Phasing out subsidies to fossil fuels.
  • Shifting taxes from salaries to carbon.
  • Stopping new coal power plants being built by 2020.

The benefits would be significant.

Ending fossil fuel subsidies in Asia-Pacific would free up $164 billion per year to fund renewable energy.

Combined with the revenue generated from a carbon tax of $25 per tonne of CO2, this could fully fund the investment needed to achieve renewable energy targets by 2030.

Putting a stop to building new coal plants by 2020 would reduce power sector CO2 emissions by 8% annually.

With these priorities in mind, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific is working to assist its member States develop national Sustainable Development Goal 7 roadmaps to achieve the targets of the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All.

I am looking forward to hearing the outcome of your High-Level Dialogue, and to joining forces with all of you to accelerate this work. Sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific depends on it.

Thank you.