November 7, 2016

What Will it Take to Build a Sustainable Energy System for the Future?

Driving the Decarbonization of the Economy to Provide Universal Access to Clean, Affordable Energy

In September 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced a goal of achieving sustainable energy for all by the year 2030. In response to this vision, the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) initiative was launched. By convening top-level leadership from governments, business, and civil society, SEforALL strives to deliver access to modern energy services as a fundamental right to human development and investment in our collective future.



Rachel Kyte, chief executive officer of SEforALL, explained how the organization is mobilizing action towards its 2030 goals. She discussed the implications of the agreement of Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Specifically, she looked at how countries and non-state actors can scale and speed up an energy transition that will drive the economic transformation that commits to inclusion and zero net emissions growth demand. Throughout this discourse, Kyte examined the role of women on this transition.

This event, which continued a semester-long dialogue on the environment, was co-sponsored by the Georgetown Environment Initiative, the Global Futures Initiative, the Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and the science, technology and international affairs major. This event is part of the SFS Centennial Event Series: Environment. As the School of Foreign Service approaches the one-hundredth anniversary of its founding in 2019, it is curating annual event series that convene thinking and reflection on vital issues across its school, the university, and the community.

Rachel Kyte is chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All and special representative of the UN secretary-general for sustainable energy for all. Prior to her current role, Kyte served until December 2015 as World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, leading the Bank Group’s efforts to campaign for an ambitious agreement at the 21st Convention of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 21).

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