Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs

National Contributions to SDG 7 and Sustainable Energy for All:
EXPO-2017 as an Input from Kazakhstan

Thank you, Mr. Binger, for your introduction.
Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States,
Ms. Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All
Mr. Akhmetzhan Yesimov, Chairman, Board of the National Company “Astana EXPO 2017”,
Dr. Kanat Baigarin, Vice-President for Innovation, Nazarbayev University,
Ms. Margo LaZaro, Co-Chair, NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank the Government of Kazakhstan for organizing this timely event focusing on SDG 7 on sustainable energy.
DESA is pleased to co-sponsor it.

I convey the greetings from Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo, who is on mission attending another energy-related event – sustainable transport.
Mr. Wu expresses his deep appreciation to the Government of Kazakhstan for keeping the spotlight on the critical role of SDG 7 on sustainable energy for all.

As many of you recall, during the Open Working Group on SDGs, there was a strong consensus among Member States on the urgency of action on energy and on climate.

Energy is of strategic, environmental, economic and social importance. It is the lifeblood of modern economy. Oil and gas are among the most traded commodities in the world. Nations build strategic reserves of energy.
None of this is unfamiliar to you.

But a key development in recent years is the change in the perspective we address energy.

Today, the international community is trying to address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of energy in an integrated manner – that is: energy in the context of sustainable development.

Today, as we grapple with the impacts of climate change, a greater focus is on reducing energy intensity in the major sectors of the economy, including the industrial, commercial, service, residential, and transport sectors.

Energy efficiency is a key plank of a green economy.
In the social dimension, we are now focusing more on accessibility and affordability of modern and sustainable energy systems.

Ensuring access to modern energy services, including electricity, gas and energy efficient cooking stoves, for example, is shown to have saved millions of lives and created millions of jobs.

Energy empowers girls and women, allows them to go to school and to undertake entrepreneurial activities.

That is why Member States adopted SDG7 on affordable and clean energy, with three specific targets, supported by means of implementation.

Let me reiterate these three targets:
• By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy service;
• By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix;
• By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

For those who have followed UN work on energy, you are very familiar with these targets, as they were built upon earlier initiatives by the United Nations, including the Secretary-General’s “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative.

Energy is also a priority for the UN General Assembly, which declared 2012 as the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All” and the decade 2014-2024 as the “United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All”.

DESA is working with Member States, sister UN organizations and all partners in supporting the implementation of the Decade.

Excellencies,

These actions are absolutely essential if the international community is to fully achieve the 2030 agenda.

The world continues to face urgent and interconnected challenges related to modern energy services.

One out of every five people on the planet has no access to electricity. This situation is particularly challenging for the development efforts of Africa for instance.

Twice as many people — nearly 3 billion — use wood, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating, exposing themselves and their families to smoke and fumes that damage their health.

Indoor pollution kills several millions of people a year – women and children are often the victims.

Here is the inconvenient truth: without access to modern energy services, it will not be possible to fully achieve the SDGs.

The availability of adequate, affordable and reliable energy services is essential for alleviating poverty, improving human welfare, raising living standards, creating sustainable infrastructure, fighting inequality, combating climate change, and, ultimately, achieving sustainable development goals everywhere.

The current trends help underscore the energy imperative.

Here are two salient trends impacting our energy needs:
• The global population is expected to reach 9 to 10 billion by about 2050.
• More than half of the current population now lives in urban centers and urbanization is expected to increase substantially in Asia and Africa, giving rise to increased demands for energy services.
• Such increases in energy consumption, if not managed sustainably, will continue driving up CO2 emissions, wreaking havoc with our climate and ecosystems.

That is why achieving SDG7 is so critical to the future of our planet and the prospects for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

But we are not starting from scratch.

Over the last decade and in particular the last five years, we have witnessed considerable growth in many areas of renewable energy, including power generation, heating and cooling, and transport fuels.
The development of this potential is of utmost importance for those developing countries that lack domestic fossil fuel resources and depend on fuel imports.

The cumulative investment estimated to provide universal modern energy access by 2030 is about $1 trillion, or an average of about $48 billion per year. Obviously, support from the public and private sectors is necessary.

To make it all happen, coherent and stable public policies, as well as regulatory reforms, will be needed to create a supportive investment climate.
Investment in energy – when done in a sustainable development context – can translate into investment in health, education, poverty reduction, clean air, clean environment and reduced threat of climate change.

We need enhanced international cooperation that supports the transfer of technology and capacity building.

Excellencies,

It is in this broad setting that the Government of Kazakhstan is creating a national policy to foster progressive changes in energy for sustainable development.

EXPO 2017 in Astana is shining a spotlight on the theme – The Future Energy, by showcasing state-of-the art renewable energy.
We applaud this initiative and stand ready to collaborate with the Organizers of the Expo to help disseminate the messages of the SDG7 and the success stories and best practices in advancing the 2030 Agenda.

In conclusion, allow me to quote the UN Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General has often said – and I quote “energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity, and an environment that allows the world to thrive” – unquote.

Let us work together toward achieving the SDG 7 – to Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Thank you.

Please check against delivery.

*****
Follow Us