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Clean Energy Top Priority, U.N. Chief Tells NREL (Text Version)

This is a text version of the video of the U.N. secretary general at NREL.

Thank you. Dr. Arvizu, director of this NREL, Dr. Shell, executive director of Department of Energy, distinguished scientists.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's a great pleasure for me to visit this National Renewable Energy Laboratory. I know that this is the only national laboratory working on renewable energy. I'm here to learn more about how we can work together, how United Nations and national government and business communities and academic research communities can work together to realize these sustainable energy for all reality.

As you know United Nations has taken this as highest priority at this time, and thus the General Assembly has declared next year as the international year for sustainable energy for all. This is very significant. So let us work together.

I have been traveling during last five years many places where I could learn and I could see more about all the challenges which we are facing, particularly on addressing climate change. I have visited both poles, and I have visited Lake Chad, I have visited the Aral Sea, I have seen this Kilimanjaro, and I have been in Brazil rainforest, Brazil Amazon Basin. You name it, any places where we can learn the negative consequences of climate change.

Now this may not look like such a terrible place; this is a very nice compound, a beautiful building. I know that this is most energy efficient, almost energy general building and I highly commend your work. I'd like to thank, at this time, to many scholars who have contributed to the special report on intergovernmental panel on climate change, IPCC. I know that Dr. Arvizu is working very closely with Dr. Pachawi, who is our very distinguished collaborator, partner in working together.

Now then why energy, sustainable energy at this time, particularly renewable energy? After all, we have limited resources and we have almost three billion people around the world who are not having access to energy. To be more exact, at least 1.4 billion people do not have access at all to electricity. The rest of the 1.6 billion people, they do not have access to energy.

When we address global health issues, when we address job creation, when we address women empowerment, when we address climate change, food security, water scarcity issues I think energy is a cross-country issue. Sustainable energy is cutting across nearly every major challenges humanity faces today and in the future if we do not work together, if we do not realize that this initiative for sustainable energy for all realized by 2030.

My advisory group on climate change and energy has recommended and we have adopted this strategy -- three strategies: first of all, realize universal access to energy by 2030, and double energy efficiency by 2030, and double this energy, renewable energy share in the global energy mix. We have only 16% of renewable energy as a mix, as an element of our energy universal access. We have to double this at least.

This may cost money. But according to International Energy Agency report it will cost only 3% of global energy investment. Therefore it is possible if there is a political will -- and I think you should speak out, this community, academic research, research community -- you should speak out to government leaders. We have distinguished representative of the Department of Energy, Secretary Chu and President Obama, he should take political priority, policy priority in making this energy as number one priority.

United Nations will stand forefront, and I hope you'll be in the vanguard in working together with the United Nations. And that is why I'm here. I'd like to get more visions and more realistic agendas, for when you speak and you research, try to be bold and big, try to think big and bold in a realistic way -- and United Nations will fully support your work and this is what -- and I wanted to hear from you and I'm very much interested in listening and learning more from you. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

Thank you.

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