EU pledges €50m for clean energy in developing countries
The European Union (EU) has announced a €50m initiative for clean energy projects in developing countries as part of an ambitious UN plan to provide sustainable energy for all by 2030.
José Manuel Barroso, the EU commission president, said the EU will seek to mobilise additional support of up to several hundred million euros to support concrete new investments for developing countries in the run-up to June's Rio+20 conference on sustainable development.
"Here, today, I would therefore like to set a key objective of the commission's energising development initiative," said Barroso at an EU energy summit in Brussels. "We should seek to provide support to developing countries committing to the initiative, with the aim of providing access to sustainable energy services to 500 million people by 2030."
The energy conference brought together high-level representatives from the EU, UN, developing countries, industry and civil society groups. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has designated 2012 as the international year of sustainable energy for all as part of his sustainable energy for all initiative.
About 1.5 billion people worldwide, more than one in five, lack electricity. The UN Development Progamme (UNDP) estimates that, by 2030, the move to clean energy – taking in mitigation and adaptation costs – will cost between $249bn and $1,371bn annually.
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