We only have 8 eight years to achieve the SDGs and to reduce emissions by about 50 per cent. And we are not on track.
The SDG7 Progress Report prepared by the SDG7 custodians and the SDG7 Policy briefs prepared by UNDESA’s SDG7 Technical Advisory Group, clearly tell us that radical action is needed.
Let me from the outset commend the important work of the custodians and the SDG7 TAG.
We now see the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of an energy system reliant on the fuels of the 20th century. In response we need to speed up the transition to renewable energy and to increase our focus on energy security.
Recent IPCC reports have sent us clear messages. Anything short of radical and immediate action will diminish – and may possibly eliminate – the chance of staying on the 1.5° or even 2°-degree path.
Now countries must take concerted and immediate action to deliver on their SDG7 and climate commitments.
Let me highlight four key issues:
First, we must strengthen focus on providing access to energy – electricity and clean cooking. Universal access is a prerequisite and catalyst for improving the peoples living conditions, economic development and poverty reduction. Access needs to be on top of our agenda.
Second, ending hunger and achieving food security will not be possible without access to energy. Energy is required throughout the agri-food value chain, including for irrigation. Access to energy in the agricultural sector means access to modern farming technologies and fertilisers to increase agricultural productivity and crop yield. Modern energy also helps provide access to information and markets.
Third, investing in energy can create transformational opportunities, innovation and generate millions of new jobs. We need to work with businesses to unleash these opportunities. Ensuring equal opportunities for both women and men in the work force and leadership is key. Gender diversity has been shown to deliver both higher effectiveness and better performance.
Fourth, we need a just, inclusive and equitable energy transition to leave no one behind. The ambition to leave no one behind is at the heart of Agenda 2030. Although the transition pathways will vary based on the individual needs of countries and regions, all pathways must be just and inclusive in order to accelerate actions.
The twin challenges of energy access and energy transition cannot be solved through piecemeal efforts. We need global cooperation, and we all have to do our share.
Norway will do her share.
Energy is a key priority in our development cooperation. We will double climate finance to 14 billion Norwegian kroner by 2026. We will work with partners to help finance their transition to renewable energy, including supporting investments that can help phase out coal. We have established a new Climate Investment Fund to finance renewable energy in developing countries. And we have strengthened guarantee mechanisms.
Again, let me thank the SDG7 custodians and the SDG7 TAG for their excellent work.
Good luck with the launch of the reports and thank you!