News / Science & Technology

Earth Summit Strives for Energy for All

Giant wind turbines dot the landscape at the Darling Wind Power national demonstration project near Cape Town. Giant wind turbines dot the landscape at the Darling Wind Power national demonstration project near Cape Town.
x
Giant wind turbines dot the landscape at the Darling Wind Power national demonstration project near Cape Town.
Giant wind turbines dot the landscape at the Darling Wind Power national demonstration project near Cape Town.
Zulima Palacio
More than 130 world leaders are expected to gather in Rio de Janeiro next month for the summit, which is also referred to as "Rio+20," a nod to the 20th anniversary of the original Rio Summit. The goal of the meeting is to secure political commitment toward sustainable development and energy, as well as addressing new and emerging challenges.

Nearly two billion people, about one-third of the world’s population, don't have access to energy, according to the United Nations.  

At a preview of the summit, at the non-profit Center for Global Development in Washington, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the best way to fight poverty is through energy. But he cautioned the earth has limited resources.

“We are using 1.3 times more than we have," Ban said. "If you have to spend 1.3 times more than your salary, what would happen to the whole economy? What would happen to the companies? They will all bankrupt."

UN Earth Summit Strives for Energy for Alli
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Zulima Palacio
May 15, 2012 2:26 PM
Nearly two billion people, about one-third of the world’s population, don't have access to energy, according to the United Nations. So the leading goal for the upcoming 2012 United Nations Earth Summit is “energy for all” by the year 2030, mostly from renewable and sustainable resources. VOA's Zulima Palacio reports.

Renewable energy is crucial and yet currently only represents 16 percent of the world's energy, according to Ban. That has to change, he said, especially since the burning of fossil fuels has a direct impact on climate change.

“Without addressing climate change properly, as soon as possible, like by 2020, then we’ll be heading to almost a tipping point of this planet earth," he said. "This is a slowly approaching threat to our world, to our future.”

Another issue is the current imbalance of energy consumption.  While developing nations use large amounts of energy, many underdeveloped countries in Africa and Asia have few energy resources at all.  

“If in the U.S. every person were to consume 10 kilowatt hours, 10 units of energy less per month, which is not a lot, that could save 4,000 megawatts of generation capacity," said Vijay Iyer, the World Bank's director of Energy, "which is the combined demand today of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.”

But to accomplish the goal of energy for all, Iyer said, the world needs to increase today’s annual investment of $9 billion to $45 billion a year, which presents a difficult challenge.  

Ban said the political will of world leaders will be decisive in achieving the goals of Rio + 20, most especially that of U.S. President Barack Obama.  

“President Obama’s role will be crucial again, as the number one world’s economy, as the most powerful and leadership country, we count on the United States,” Ban said.

It's not known yet whether Obama will attend the summit. Ban said he hopes the president will participate, right after the G20 summit meeting in Mexico.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid