The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in partnership with UN-Energy has organized a stakeholder debate in preparation for the High Level Dialogue on Energy, which will take place at the summit level on September 20, 2021.
The High Level Dialogue on Energy is structured around five themes: access to energy; energetic transition; enable the SDGs through fair and inclusive energy transitions; innovation, technology and data; and finance and investment.
The speakers stressed that the energy transition must start now.
Minoru Takada, Energy Team Leader, Sustainable Development Goals Division (DSDG), DESA, opened the stakeholder event and recalled that the latest UN General Assembly global gathering on energy took place in 1981, when the world was in the midst of an energy crisis. He stressed that we are in a crisis again and said that we need to change the way we approach the energy agenda.
During the event, which took place online on June 3, 2021, the co-leads of the five technical working groups that had prepared reports on the themes of the High-Level Dialogue on Energy presented the recommendations of each report. Representatives of the stakeholder groups provided feedback on the ideas discussed in each report, after which each stakeholder was asked to state a key takeaway.
At access to energy, the speakers stressed: access to electricity and a clean kitchen are just as important; long-term electrification of cooking energy should be the order of the day; challenges for access to energy in remote and rural areas, including clean cooking and we need to invest in young people and clean energy start-ups.
At energetic transition, the speakers stressed that the transition must: be a participatory process; create climate-friendly jobs; put communities in mind and pay attention to human rights and indigenous peoples; and start now.
At enable the SDGs through fair and inclusive energy transitions, speakers called for taking seriously the call for the creation of energy pacts. They stressed the need for: an accountability framework for the energy sector linked to human well-being; make more data available to communities so that they can play an informed role in energy decisions; collaboration; and improve energy conservation through building design.
At innovation, technology and data, the speakers underlined the need to: define an ambitious and aligned vision, to act locally and to leave no one behind; think of energy efficiency as the first option; make technology transfer a participatory activity; and identify local solutions.
At financing and investment, speakers said we need to: turn billions of public money into trillions of private capital by making more use of blended finance; adopt strong policy frameworks; formalize the role that the local level and local governments play in achieving SDG 7; train all those who take office on the importance of their decisions for the energy agenda; and raising awareness and building capacity.
The five reports will be launched during the ministerial thematic forums, which will take place online from June 21 to 25, 2021. [ENB summary of HLDE Stakeholders Thematic Debate][ENB summary of the HLDE Technical Working Groups]