U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a message to delegates gathered at a weeklong energy summit under way in Abu Dhabi. The meeting represents the third session of the International Renewable Energy Agency assembly.
IRENA aims to promote widespread and increased use of clean energy resources from hydropower to geothermal technology.
Ban, in his statement, said his sustainable energy initiative aims to encourage governments, the public and the private sector to get behind the low-carbon transformation under way across the globe.
"Sustainable energy is essential to achieving sustainable development, the overarching priority of the United Nations," he said.
Ban's so-called sustainable energy for all initiative aims to provide universal energy access, double energy efficiency rates and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy sector by 2030.
Ban said harnessing sustainable energy resources may "reduce the risks of runaway climate change."
In November, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization stated there was a 29 percent increase in the 1990-2010 period in the warming effect of greenhouse gas emissions. WMO notes this is the highest increase in the industrial age, which began more than 260 years ago.