For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

Urgent Action on Energy Needed For Both Development and Environment
by: Timothy E. Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation, and Member of UN Secretary-General?s High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All

For humanity to thrive and for the planet to support it, development must be brought into harmony with environmental protection. Yet the natural desire of all people for economic and social development has often been seen as conflicting with the need to protect the natural world, on which all human life depends. Unconstrained development has frequently made that conflict real ? but it need not be so.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), to be held in Rio de Janeiro this June, is an important milestone on the road to reconciling those two forces. Energy is the linchpin that joins them together.

The tension between environment and development permeates the production and use of energy. The conversion of fossil fuels ? first coal, then oil, then natural gas ? has enabled modern societies to flourish and lift billions of people out of poverty. It has also despoiled the landscape and polluted our air and water. Now its prodigious production of carbon dioxide is changing the very climate of the Earth, with rapidly worsening consequences.

The urgency of the topics of Rio+20 could not be greater: More than a billion people still have no access to electricity ? critical to development in a modern economy ? even as the climate impacts of energy production are felt around the world in severe weather events that disrupt food production and drive up what for the poor is truly the cost of living.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has declared that the highest priority of his second five-year term, beginning in January, will be sustainable development ? memorably defined in ?Our Common Future,? the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development chaired by Dr. Gro Brundtland in 1987, as ?development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.?

As the first step toward that end, the Secretary-General has launched a very welcome new initiative, Sustainable Energy for All, with three interlinked global objectives for 2030:

Ensuring universal access to modern energy services;
Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and
Doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Energy is an enabler of all three components of sustainable development ? economic development, social development, and environmental protection ? declared by the World Summit in 2005 to be interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars. Indeed, none of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be met without access to modern energy services. The importance of energy to productive activity is taken for granted in the industrialized world; it is no less true for those who are living on a dollar a day.

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