Leaders from the United Nations (UN), the private sector, national and local governments, youth and other organisations issued a joint call on Wednesday for countries, businesses, cities and civil society groups to put forward their ‘Energy Compacts’ to show how they will achieve the goal of clean energy for all by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.
The UN in its press release said that the Energy Compacts would provide the clearest indication of how countries will ensure that all people have access to clean energy and move toward net-zero emissions.
The Compacts will be announced between June and the September UN High-level Dialogue on Energy. The leaders issued their call in a video released on Wednesday.
It added that ‘Global Champion’ ministers from over 30 countries have joined the call for urgent energy action in advance of the high-level dialogue, along with senior UN officials, climate leaders including the Presidency of the COP26 conference, CEOs, Mayors and youth activists.
“This year’s dialogue is the best chance for governments, businesses and other partners to step up their commitments, if the world is to achieve clean, affordable energy for all by the 2030 deadline,” said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Dialogue.
Zhenmin added that Energy Compacts could also help to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, avoiding the worst consequences of climate change.
Urgent action is needed as global temperatures are already 1.2 degrees higher than they were in the late 1800s, with climate-related disasters displacing millions of people.
Energy use accounts for three-quarters of global emissions. Nearly 800 million people still lack access to electricity and nearly three billion lack clean cooking fuels, causing over a million deaths each year from indoor smoke pollution.
The UN said that the momentum is growing for Energy Compacts, which will start to be announced at Ministerial Forums from 21-25 June, in the lead-up to the September summit-level Dialogue.
“Since April, national government officials, major networks of cities and businesses, as well as civil society and youth groups, have been participating in an intensive series of planning meetings for their Energy Compact commitments. For countries, the Compacts will align with enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions and long-term climate goals under the Paris Agreement,” it added.
According to the co-chair of the high-level dialogue and administrator of UNDP, Achim Steiner, an energy transition is underway without which we won’t succeed.
“The challenge is whether we can make it happen equitably and fast enough. It is unacceptable that almost 800 million people in the world still lack access to electricity. The transition must ensure that there is universal access to clean energy,” added Steiner.
Damilola Ogunbiyi, special representative of the Secretary-General and CEO for Sustainable Energy for All and co-chair of the high-level dialogue said that this was an opportunity of a lifetime to provide universal energy access by exploiting new technologies, funding innovations that can create a cleaner and brighter economic future.
written by: Michael Creg Afful