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Developing world reaps energy benefits

June 22, 2012 at 7:36 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 22 (UPI) -- The estimated $50 billion worth of commitments to universal energy access could bring payoffs for more than 1 billion people, an official said from Brazil.

Brazil is hosting this year's U.N. sustainability conference. Kandeh Yumkella, director general of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization, said financial commitments of more than $50 billion would help fund universal energy access and the advancement of a green economy.

"Hundreds of millions of beneficiaries in developing countries will gain improved access to energy through grid extension and off-grid solutions, as well as scaled-up renewable energy sources, increased investment and improved energy policies," he said in his address to the conference.

Brazil, he said, has committed $4.3 billion to achieve universal energy access domestically by 2014.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the conference marked the beginning of a better future.

"Rio+20 marks the beginning of a journey that will lead to a more sustainable and better future for ourselves and for generations to come," Ban's statement to the conference read.

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