More than one billion people in the world today do not have electricity and around three billion cook with inefficient, polluting fuels like firewood. Providing access to modern energy services must be part of strategies to contend with climate change, necessitating cleaner, lower-carbon energy resources, and improvements in energy efficiency. Financing will be central to achieving these goals, and a key topic at this year’s upcoming UN climate talks, COP 24, in Poland in December.
On the heels of a major new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the rising risks of climate impacts, on November 19th Brookings hosted Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, in conversation with David G. Victor. Following opening remarks from Foreign Policy Vice President and Director Bruce Jones, the pair discussed the need to provide energy services to the world’s poorest, along with international climate and sustainable development goals, and the financial flows needed to sustain them.
Rachel Kyte is chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and the special representative of the U.N. secretary-general for Sustainable Energy for All. She previously served as World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, and vice president for sustainable development.
After the session, panelists took questions from the audience.
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[On the U.S. negotiating team at the COP 24 climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland] They work seriously, effectively and knowledgeably. There is only this technical negotiating team, not a political one.
[On a Trump administration event on coal on the margins of the COP 24 climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland] It’s difficult for me to say how much a difference it will make in the negotiating room. They are doing some unhelpful things around the edges.