*** Virtual event hosted by the Group of Friends of Sustainable Energy, co-chaired by Denmark, Ethiopia Pakistan and Norway ***
Let me join the Permanent Representative of Pakistan, Munir Akram, in welcoming you all to the global launch of two key energy reports that will frame our discussions in the coming months.
2021 will be a pivotal year for energy. It has been labelled a make-or-break year for concerted action on the energy transition. For the first time in 40 years, we will be discussing energy under the auspices of the General Assembly. This presents a major opportunity for transformational action, in the SDG Decade of Action, and in support the implementation of the Paris Agreement. But more than anything in the context of COP 26 - we need more climate action and ambition: on mitigation, on adaptation, and on finance.
Recent trends indicate we are heading in the wrong direction. The “Tracking SDG7: Energy Progress Report” will give us an updated status – and not all news will be positive. At COP26 we must agree to a common path towards achieving the Paris targets.
Decisive action on sustainable energy can catalyse progress towards all other SDGs, and global climate targets. And the SDG7 Policy Briefs will provide us with guidance how we can leverage energy action to advance this goal.
Making a rapid transition to a clean energy future for all will not only have an enormous impact on the quality of people’s daily lives, but also on the survival of future generations. But, the transition needs to be carefully managed, to ensure equity and inclusiveness. With gender issues taken fully into account, in driving progress, and managing impacts.
2020 was a challenging year. Mostly we got negative news. Except on the renewable energy front: IRENA’s Renewable Capacity Statistics 2021 showed that the global renewable generation capacity experienced a 10.3% increase in 2020. This is despite COVID-19.
The world also added more than 260 gigawatts of renewables. This, despite the economic slowdown, is the biggest expansion in recent years.
Yet, we know that we need a total transformation of the energy systems which underpin our economies. Last year, about 60% of cars sold in Norway were electric. This is where we must be globally in 2030 according to the latest net zero report by the International Energy Agency.
Are we approaching the long-awaited tipping point for renewable energy? All these sources tell us that it is possible to undertake the transformation if we act quickly and decisively now.
Before closing, let me sincerely thank the SDG7 global custodians, and the SDG7 Technical Working Group for their outstanding contribution.
Your reports will benefit member states, and all stakeholders, as we deliberate progress on the SDGs at the HLPF, at the High-level Dialogue on Energy and at COP26.