U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is pushing for an overhaul of current energy consumption trends and for more investment in green technology.
Speaking at the fourth annual World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Ban said renewable energy could help solve a number of the planet’s most pressing problems.
"We need a global clean energy revolution, a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all. This is essential for minimizing climate risks, for reducing poverty and improving global health, for empowering women and meeting the Millennium Development Goals, for global economic growth, peace and security, and the health of the planet."
Ban warns global energy consumption is set to rise by 40 percent in the next two decades, with the highest growth expected in developing nations.
He also pointed out that more efficient power would greatly help people living in poorer countries.
"Investing in the green economy is not simply a luxury of the developed countries. It represents opportunity for job creation and economic growth in developing countries and prosperity for all."
Pakistan's president agrees. Speaking at the Abu Dhabi summit, Asif Ali Zardari described his country as "an example of the world’s energy crisis”"
Pakistan has been hit by a number of recent natural disasters and Zardari believes that they are at least somewhat connected to global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
"Even the most cynical can no longer deny the unavoidable consequences of climate abuse. The question before us today, the great issue for our generation is whether we have the courage and determination and the vision to do whatever is necessary, to reverse the deadly process that is choking our children's future."
The World Future Energy Summit, which brings together world leaders and renewable energy experts to find solutions to global energy challenges, ends Thursday.