Your Excellency Prime Minister Puna,
Distinguished Heads of States and Governments,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to send greetings to this lunch, and I commend the commitment of Pacific island nations to my Sustainable Energy for All initiative, with its three complementary goals to be reached by 2030. Providing universal access to modern energy services, doubling of the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix will contribute greatly to achieving sustainable development.
Energy poverty – especially among women – is among the greatest constraints to an equitable, prosperous future. Electricity can greatly reduce the time women and girls spend on basic domestic chores, while street lights can help prevent violence. Modern energy services mean power for small businesses and a window to the outside world, via mobile phones, the Internet, television and radio.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency are also central to mitigating climate change. Small Island Developing States are on the front lines. You know first-hand why our current path is unsustainable. By embracing Sustainable Energy for All – through the Pacific Regional Energy Network, individual country initiatives and the May 2012 Barbados Declaration – you are helping to build the future we want.
Sustainable Energy for All gained considerable momentum at the Rio+20 conference. More than 50 developing countries are now working with the initiative, and more are coming on board. Tens of billions of dollars have been committed by multilateral development banks. New public-private partnerships are forming, with more than $50 billion mobilized from the private sector and investors. The Sustainable Energy for All initiative will monitor these commitments to establish targets, acknowledge achievements and identify where further action is needed.
Sustainable Energy for All is an example of how multi-stakeholder partnerships can help address the critical sustainable development challenges of our time. During the lifespan of the initiative, more than one billion people will gain access to modern energy services.
As we look ahead to the future we want, I thank you for your engagement and look forward to your continued leadership.