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2012 will be The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (United Nations)

The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All has been officially announced on 7 April 2011 (press release, UNIDO). The International Year is sponsored by the United Nations Foundation, the inter-agency UN-Energy, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and other public and private organisations. Its aim is twofold: increase awareness and find solutions on access to energy (with the objective of universal access by 2030) that is, in addition, affordable, clean and safe. It has as starting point the adoption in December 2010 of a UN General Assembly resolution endorsing the topic of this international year (GA/11040, 66th GA, 69th meeting, 20 December 2010; and Resolution 65/151 adopted by the GA on 16 February 2011), and its confirmation by its Secretary General in February 2011.

This initiative builds on the fact that 1.4 billion people are still lacking access to energy, and electricity in particular, and that access to energy and energy services is too often based on polluting energy sources. The resolution points out that over three billion people in developing countries rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating. The target of universal access to energy by 2030 was preliminary defined in 2010 by the Secretary-General's Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), Kandeh Yumkella (see AGECC's 2010 report "Energy for a Sustainable Future", HERE), and inscribes itself in the strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.