iisd SE4All Bulletin-Briefing Note on Implementing SDG 7: The Role of Partnerships in Ensuring Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable, and Modern Energy For All




The high-level event on ‘Implementing Sustainable Development Goal 7: The Role of partnerships in Ensuring Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy For All’ took place on 27 September 2015 in New York, US, on the margins of the UN Sustainable Development Summit.


The event celebrated the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 on energy, and showcased commitments and actions towards SDG 7 by a wide range of stakeholders, including high-level representatives of governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector. The event was organized by the Government of Denmark and the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative.




The high-level event was opened on Sunday morning, 27 September by Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer designate, SE4All Partnership, who was Master of Ceremony for the segment. Kristian Jensen, Foreign Minister of Denmark, stressed the need for: political will to create the right policy frameworks for greening energy and trade liberalization, in order to enable freer circulation of resources across borders; opening the markets for clean technologies; creating robust models to accelerate public-private partnerships; and international cooperation to foster access to sustainable, reliable and affordable energy for all.


Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank, said energy is central to development and is the single most important element for the world’s developing economies. He stressed that energy efficiency is the foundation for a low-carbon economy. Noting the imperative to triple global investment in energy to 1 trillion per year in order to achieve SDG 7 by 2030, he underscored the need to create a level playing field and a stable business environment to engage the private sector.


Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General, called for working horizontally, across sectors, and for leveraging multi-stakeholder partnerships in implementing SDG 7. He noted that SE4All was created to serve as a toolbox for all the stakeholders.


Mogens Lykketoft, President, UN General Assembly, noted that implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will require determination, partnerships, innovation, financing and transfer of clean technologies. He announced that he will convene a high-level event on climate change, sustainable development, and financing, focused on the opportunities provided by public-private partnerships (PPPs), and that he will support advancing the work on the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries.


Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank, expressed the Bank’s strong support for SE4All. He stressed the need to unlock Africa’s energy potential, both conventional and non-conventional, and the importance of finding the right energy mix. He underlined the importance of political will and the need for governments to dedicate a sufficient part of their GDP to their energy sectors.




This panel was moderated by Kandeh Yumkella, former Special Representative and CEO, SE4All. Lionel Zinsou, Prime Minister, Benin, highlighted that people ask for light first and connectivity second.  He shared that Benin will launch the “Light for All and Connectivity” programme, which aims to bring solar kits to 100% of households within one year.


Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, said the EU cooperation strategy is based on three pillars: supporting policy development, improving the regulatory environment, and using innovative financial instruments.


Naif Alotaibi, Deputy Minister for Petroleum Affairs, Saudi Arabia, said success in providing sustainable energy will only occur through inclusive and broad approval, and using a mix of energy sources, including traditional hydrocarbon and unconventional energy sources that should be used in a complementary and balanced manner.


David Hallam, UK Envoy for Post 2015 Development Goals, UK Department for International Development (DFID), said it is important to focus on research and evidence gathering in order to best meet the energy needs of women and girls.


Reema Nanavaty, Head, Self Employed Women’s Association, India, underscored that discussions on the production, management and ownership of energy should take women, particularly poor women, into consideration. She called for half of the funds provided by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to be directed to supporting women in producing services that expand access to clean energy for all.


Radha Muthiah, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, explained the main drivers of the organization’s success in ensuring the usage of 3 million clean cookstoves: bringing the multiple stakeholders together; being extremely disciplined in building a solid conceptual foundation; and ensuring that the focus is on usage, not on the access. She underscored the importance of engaging the users right from the production phase, in order to get the products right.


Parminder Vir, Chief Executive Officer, Tony Elumelu Foundation, said a lot of foot soldiers will be needed to realize the SDGs. In that regard, she said the Foundation will support 1,000 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years to create 1 million jobs and bring US$10 billion to Africa.


Dejan Ostojic underscored that SDG 7 is not only about energy but is also an enabler for other services that support SDG 3 (health), SDG 4 (education) and SDG 6 (water and sanitation); and that it should therefore be addressed as a cross-cutting issue. Speaking about governments’ commitments and institutional reforms, he stressed the need to ensure that subsidies reach people who need those subsidies.


Participants from the private sector stressed the need to inter alia: address government regulations that challenge the scaling-up of programmes; ensure the buy-in of these renewable energy programmes by the public; and develop programmes that are replicable and business-oriented, and whose impact and success can be measured through key social metrics.




This panel was moderated by Adnan Amin, Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Isabella Lövin, Minister of International Development Cooperation, Sweden, stressed that every government should make it a priority to make a shift to a 100% renewable energy use. She said developed countries have the responsibility to transition to clean energy systems while helping developing countries leapfrog to the same systems…


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