United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Business & Industry

Access to Energy
14th Session of the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD14)
delivered by Norine Kennedy, United States Council for International Business (USCIB)
Thank you Mr. Chairman. I would like to speak on the issue of accelerating access to energy for
sustainable development. Maintaining and growing the energy supplies required to provide
access to those lacking it and to meet future demand with reduced environmental impacts will
require significant investments in the long term at every step of the energy supply, transport,
distribution and consumer chain. We are all familiar with the International Energy Agency?s
estimate of $17 trillion of needed investment between now and 2030. What we often forget is
that even after that money is spent, the scenario still envisions millions without access to energy.
From the perspective of business and industry, that shortfall is not satisfactory. We must
In deciding how to raise and spend that considerable sum of money most effectively in
accelerating access to secure and affordable energy, we must involve a wide range of business
sectors in addition to the traditional sectors of power generation, utilities and natural resource
extraction. Transport, grid maintainers, automotive, transport and energy intensive sectors are
also essential parts of the energy supply and use chain.
I am speaking on behalf of Business Action for Energy (BAE), a business coalition comprising
major business groups, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), World
Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Energy Council
(WEC). This group brings together that broad range of industry sectors and nationalities that are
engaged in making investments and providing solutions towards energy for sustainable
development. This group will be making examples and recommendations available to this
meeting, and we look forward to working with you all.
Mr. Chairman, you said the challenge of energy access reminded you of running up a downward
bound escalator. How do we reorient the direction of that ?escalator?? In the view of business,
fighting bribery and corruption in both public and private sectors is one of the most critical
priorities. Bribery and corruption undermines energy infrastructure, discourages investment and
hampers local business growth. Governments and business have to continue to work together in
the prevention of bribe solicitation and in the prosecution of offenders.
On a more positive note, to further speed the energy access ?escalator? moving in the right
direction, governments, businesses and other key stakeholders should work in partnership to
provide sustainable energy services, notably in partnership projects at the small and medium
scale. These cooperative approaches, constructed with appropriate responsibilities and rules, can
leverage resources, ensure affordable energy and supplement other options.
Thank you Mr. Chairman