Energy Access for All

8 June 2014

ECO was jumping for joy during the ADP ministerial when some of the Parties and groups echoed CAN’s call for phasing out all fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future, as early as possible, but no later than 2050.

Phasing-out fossil fuel emissions is of fundamental importance to secure the right to zero-carbon development for all – especially for those whose lives, homes and cultures will be at existential risk even at 1.5°C warming.

ECO is sure that you, Dear Reader, agree that this goal must be met in a way that secures the rights of the world’s poorest people to water, food, health and sustainable energy access, as well as the right of countries to fulfil those. Protecting these universal sustainable development human rights is the key challenge in a world that is desperately striving to drive carbon pollution down to zero in its bid to stave off the worst climate change impacts.

ECO suggests – and we know our friends agree – that full decarbonisation must include achieving 100% renewable and affordable Energy Access for All.

Replacing current energy systems everywhere with renewables by mid-century will be ambitious and challenging. But, quite frankly, the escalating costs of runaway climate impacts mean that not doing it would be even harder, particularly for the most vulnerable.

We have – as anyone familiar with these negotiations knows – a double challenge that must be solved hand-in-hand. While we must phase out fossil fuel emissions across the global economy – and fast – we must at the same time ensure that all people can follow a pathway towards dignified and sustainable standards of living. In practice, only a human-centred and right-based approach to sustainable energy access for all can ensure a zero-carbon development pathway for the world’s poorest.

Here at the UNFCCC, the challenges of zero-carbon development are taking a very real and immediate form. If these negotiations are to succeed, there will have to be a real breakthrough on the provision of means of implementation, most notably international climate finance, at a scale that makes a just transition towards 100% renewable energy for all by 2050 possible. Without such a breakthrough, there will be no chance for the sort of rapid phase-out of fossil fuel emissions that preventing climate chaos and guaranteeing affordable sustainable Energy Access for All requires.



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