NEW YORK, 27 November 2013 - Access to clean, reliable energy powers economies, lights up homes, hospitals and schools, and improves lives and livelihoods. Yet around the world one billion people lack access to electricity, and three billion rely on firewood animal dung and crop waste for energy to cook their meals, boil their water and heat their homes, exposing them to health hazards and contributing to dangerous climate change.

Recognizing this, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and is calling on Governments, business and civil society in an unprecedented effort to transform the world’s energy systems by 2030 and achieve sustainable energy for all.

The initiative, launched in September 2011 seeks to achieve the goal of Sustainable Energy for All by 2030 by meeting three inter linked global targets: universal access to modern energy services; double the rate of energy efficiency; and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

The UN Secretary General, together with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, launched on 27 November 2013 in New York, a new media campaign entitled ‘We Have the Power: Efficient, Renewable, Affordable as UNEP’s contribution to Sustainable Energy for All by illustrating solutions already being implemented by UNEP and its partners to support the three objectives of the initiative.

Realized through collaboration with the Magnum Photo Agency, photo essays and exhibitions are planned in 2014 in the context of the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All. Magnum photographer Steve McCurry is patron of the initiative.

For more information on We Have the Power, please visit


  • Brighten up! Discover how a switch to efficient on-grid and off-grid lighting globally would save more than USD 140 billion annually and 580 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Video link here.
  • Cook up solutions! Discover how improved cookstoves and fuels can reduce CO2 emissions by 25–50 per cent and save millions of lives. Video link here.
  • Move Ahead! Discover how Sustainable Transport Systems in East African Cities can improve access to mobility, reduce air pollution and provide an opportunity for local development. Video link here.