UNITED NATIONS: A new United Nations report launched on Tuesday urges investment in energy-efficient technologies to help achieve sustainable growth and tackle a host of global challenges from climate change to poverty reduction.
The Industrial Development Report, the flagship publication of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), states that industrial energy efficiency is core to sustainable development.
Energy production is also essential to overcome the major challenges the world faces today, according to the report, which was launched at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and also released at UN Headquarters in New York.
"A world that has just reached a population of seven billion must take into account industrial energy efficiency if it wants to address such challenges as green growth, employment generation, security, climate change, food production and poverty reduction," UNIDO Director-General Kandeh Yumkella said as he presented the report. "Industrial energy efficiency is essential for strengthening economies, protecting ecosystems and achieving social benefits," he added.
Yumkella noted that improving industrial energy efficiency is key to sustainable industrial development worldwide but especially in the rapidly developing countries of the Global South. "It will help realize the global green economy and green industries. Investing in energy-efficient technologies, systems, processes, training and upgrading of skills must underpin low-carbon green growth," he stated.
The report is UNIDO's main contribution to the Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last year. The initiative seeks to ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix, all by 2030.
Addressing the summit in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Ban called on governments, the private sector and civil society to help expand energy access, improve efficiency and increase the use of renewables to help build a "new energy future."
The UNIDO report has a special focus on developing countries, backed by a set of unique statistics on Manufacturing Value Added (MVA), manufacturing export trends, and other key indicators.
It states that energy consumption could grow even faster as developing countries reduce the income gap and grapple with growing populations demanding more manufactured products. This makes it imperative to remove barriers that currently impede energy efficiency investments.