Published on November 14, 2018
Kyiv, 12 November 2018 – Policymakers and energy experts from some 100 countries joined a discussion about the role of energy transition in sustainable development and opportunities for cooperation at the Ninth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The 2018 report on the world’s progress on sustainable energyreveals that the energy sector’s support for the 2030 Agenda is at risk of faltering because the rates of improvement in energy efficiency, deployment of net low-carbon energy solutions, and provision of sustainable access to modern energy services are insufficient.
The Forum and its energy ministerial are intended to provide a reality check on the state of the energy transition through an honest and informed debate on the need to modernize fossil-based economies and the drive towards a green economy and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
“This year’s forum addresses resilience, focusing on our ability to cope with the effects of climate change. It will consider digitalization, nuclear power, sustainable resource management, and the role of fossil energy in a sustainable future. This Forum’s insights are even more important in the context of the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland,” said Osnat Lubrani, UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, at the Forum opening.
Transforming energy systems will require creative and innovative shifts in policy and regulation. In many countries, the current political, regulatory, and industrial infrastructure is not yet ready for a deep and accelerated transformation of aging infrastructure. Countries are not prepared to address the challenges that will emerge in the coming decade as new entrants and emerging business models destroy old paradigms and shift economic power. The “new normal” in energy is acceleration of the transformation.
The Ministerial Forum, therefore, offers a platform for honest and rational conversation about key challenges including energy security, fossil fuel dependence, lack of information, and inadequate capabilities to effect change. Participants at the Forum can discuss the opportunities and concerns that emerge from the “new normal” in energy.
In the European region, the Sustainable Development Goal 7 targets will not be reached if the current path persists, stressed Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. “This trend is being repeated in the other regions of the world, though each region and each country has its specificities. Action is needed, and it is needed now. I do believe the objectives of the 2030 Agenda can be met. The technologies that are needed exist today. The policy pathways to meet the challenges are clear. The only thing preventing the challenges being met is collective will. The recipe for success is not complicated: it requires being bold. It requires being innovative. It requires mobilization at scale,” stressed Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
The Ministerial Conference sends a strong message on the vital role that energy plays as an enabler for improving quality of life. Policy must integrate energy into other sectors such as water, climate, health, and agriculture. Without energy, attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is at risk.
Participants provided their perspectives about the necessary paradigm shift, specifically referring to fossil fuels. The Conference concluded that integration of new business models and technologies requires a change in mindset and political will to drive the transformation.