The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called for significant cuts in annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Since about 80 percent of global energy consumption today is still fossil-fuel based, the energy sector alone accounts for two-thirds of the total annual global emissions. Both the SE4ALL initiative as well as the proposed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 on Energy seek to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency can deliver multiple benefits, including: Positive impacts on health, poverty alleviation and an increase in disposable income; an increase in economies of scale in cities; and reliable and affordable electricity to run machines and appliances, as well as a means of improving transportation.
UNDP focuses on removing barriers to increasing investment in energy-efficiency, particularly in buildings, industries, and the appliances sectors, as well as through sustainable cities projects. Currently, UNDP implements 55 energy efficiency projects in 40 countries worldwide, mobilizing a total of US$161 million in Global Environment Facility (GEF) resources and leveraging about US$1 billion in co-financing from other sources.