Briefing Prepares Stakeholders for High-level Events on Energy

 The Global Centre

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in partnership with UN-Energy organised a stakeholders' debate in preparation for the High-level Dialogue on Energy, which will take place at the summit level on 20 September 2021.

The High-level Dialogue on Energy is structured around five themes: energy access; energy transition; enabling SDGs through inclusive, just energy transitions; innovation, technology and data; and finance and investment. 

Minoru Takada, Energy Team leader, Division of Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG), DESA, opened the stakeholder event and recalled that the last global gathering in the UN General Assembly to address energy took place in 1981, when the world was in the middle of an energy crisis. He stressed that we are again in a crisis, and said we need to change the way we approach the energy agenda. 

During the event, which took place online on 3 June 2021, co-leaders of the five Technical Working Groups that had prepared reports on the themes for the High-level Dialogue on Energy presented recommendations from each report. Representatives of stakeholder groups provided comments on the ideas addressed in each report, following which each speaker was asked to state one key takeaway.

On energy access, speakers emphasized: access to electricity and clean cooking are equally important; long-term electrification of cooking energy should be on the agenda; challenges for remote and rural energy access, including clean cooking; and we need to invest in young people and clean energy start-ups.

On energy transition, speakers emphasized that the transition needs to: be a participatory process; create climate-friendly jobs; put communities in the lead and pay attention to human and Indigenous Peoples’ rights; and begin now.

On enabling SDGs through inclusive, just energy transitions, speakers called for taking the call for creating energy compacts seriously. They stressed the need for: an accountability framework for the energy sector that is linked to human wellbeing; making more data available to communities so they can play an informed role in decisions about energy; collaboration; and enhancing energy conservation through building design.

On innovation, technology and data, speakers stressed the need to: set an ambitious and aligned vision, act locally, and leave no one behind; think of energy efficiency as a first option; make technology transfer a participatory activity; and identify local solutions.

On finance 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 robust policy frameworks; formalize the role that the local level and local governments play in achieving SDG 7; train everyone who takes office on the importance of their decisions for the energy agenda; and raise awareness and build capacity. 

The five reports will be launched during the Ministerial Thematic Forums, which are taking place online from 21-25 June 2021.

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