Explanation of Position on a Resolution on Ensuring Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable, and Modern Energy for All

Jesse Walter
Advisor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 24, 2020


While the United States joins consensus on this resolution, and we strongly supported the inclusion of a reference to the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy, we dissociate from PP18 and OP15 due to concerns about the evolving use of the terms “sustainable” and “modern.”

Energy access is an extremely important issue for the Trump Administration, and we feel these paragraphs over-emphasize renewable energy to the exclusion of other affordable, readily available and durable options for improving energy access. Energy access should not become a vehicle for promoting green politics that will prolong and worsen the hardship of people who lack access to energy, especially while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The terms “sustainable” and “modern” are increasingly used to favor a narrow set of technologies, thereby limiting options for countries and peoples that desperately need reliable access to affordable energy to power their economic growth and prosperity. The “all fuels, all technologies” approach taken by the United States enables true energy independence and also supports the energy security and access aspirations of other nations. Applied to energy access, an “all fuels, all technologies” mindset embraces countries’ development of their own indigenous energy resources. It creates more options for energy access, not less. Countries should be encouraged, not discouraged to use their own energy resources.

Regarding references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement, climate change, the characterization of technology transfer, and build back better, we addressed our concerns in our General Statement delivered on November 18.

Thank you.