UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon inaugurates the Sustainable Energy for All Office in Vienna


VIENNA, 3 November 2014 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today inaugurated the Global Facilitation Office of Sustainable Energy for All in Vienna marking a decisive step for the institutionalization of his signature initiative tasked with confronting global energy issues within the UN system in an effort to end energy poverty.

Speaking at the Andromeda Tower, the Secretary-General noted that the global energy landscape must change to ensure shared prosperity and that modern energy is made available to all and is provided as cleanly as efficiently as possible. “My initiative brings together governments, private sector and civil society because we need to work together. Governments set the priorities and create the policy framework, providing the lever that can generate private investments. Business is an essential partner, critical to achieving tangible results. And civil society has a key role in helping us to reach those most in need and providing appropriate services,” said Mr. Ban.

The initiative, launched in 2011, seeks through this multi-stakeholder and meaningful partnership, to meet its three ambitious global targets of providing universal energy access, improving energy efficiency and growing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030. On the occasion of the inauguration ceremony with H.E. Ambassador Peter Launsky representing the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Kandeh Yumkella, Mr. Ban’s Special – Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and the initiative’s Chief Executive said that “energy is central to sustainable development and economic transformation. By the official inauguration of the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Vienna we continue to ensure that the UN will coherently pursue the Sustainable Energy for All Goal in the Post 2015 Development Agenda and show that the targets are achieved”.

Austria, Denmark, EU, France, Germany, Iceland, Korea, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom were recognized for their contributions to the establishment of the initiative’s office. “This day would not have been possible without the generous support and timely leadership of our donors. They continue to make it possible for us to push ahead in our quest for a global transformation of our energy system,” underscored Yumkella. Only 15 months since operations began with a small staff, the initiative is working with partners and its impact felt on a global scale with unprecedented action on the ground.

Under Yumkella’s leadership, the initiative has launched a global collaboration system for Member States for the implementation of Country Level Action in 30 developing countries. Also at the recent Climate Summit hosted in New York by the UN Secretary- General, the Global Energy Efficiency Platform was launched with a focus on emerging economies. An assessment prepared by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Brazilian National Development Bank and the World Bank Group on behalf of the Advisory Board of Sustainable Energy for All confirmed the potential to raise about US$120 billion additional per year to finance investments in sustainable energy. These investments will contribute to halving energy poverty and promoting sustainable energy solutions with six concrete financial instruments.

Furthermore, a reporting and tracking framework lead by World Bank and the IEA was established under SEforALL to monitor the developments of the Initiative and a Sustainable Development Goal for energy was included in the framework of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. The inauguration attended by member states and high-level dignitaries represents a historic milestone in the United Nations, affirming the strategic importance of energy in socio-economic development and in climate change and as a global convenor on the need to mobilize and strengthen further action for shaping a new energy future. Click here to view the photos of the inauguration event