Opening Remarks Global Launch Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report and SDG7 Policy Briefs: Advancing Sustainable Development through Optimized Interlinkage

Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I wish to thank the Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of Sustainable Energy – the Permanent Representatives of Denmark, Ethiopia, Norway and Pakistan – for co-hosting this joint global launch of the 2021 editions of the SDG7 Tracking Report, and the SDG7 Policy Briefs. 

Sustainable Development Goal 7 holds a unique position in the nexus between the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. 

Ensuring universal access is critical for socio economic development. On the other hand, failure to transition to sustainable energy systems will jeopardize the fight against climate change. It will threaten human well-being and economies for decades. 

The world made significant progress toward SDG 7 in some areas. Yet, efforts remain well below the scale required to meet the Goal by 2030. This is evidenced by this year’s SDG7 Tracking Report by the SDG7 indicator custodian agencies, and chaired this year by the Statistics Division of UN DESA. 

Moreover – when we had this launch event last year, the depth of the COVID-19 crisis had not yet been clear. Indeed, the pandemic may have lasting detrimental effects on progress towards SDG7, especially on energy access. 

At the same time, the pandemic also represents an opportunity for advancing SDG7. Governments can use this moment to leverage stimulus packages to scale up investments in sustainable energy solutions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

It is clear. We need to do more, much faster.

If we do not accelerate the global momentum towards universal energy access, and a decarbonised, climate resilient energy system, we will fail to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

Energy action must be at the heart of the climate action agenda to secure global net zero emissions by mid-century. All countries have the opportunity to step up their ambition and Nationally Determined Contributions towards the UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, in November. 

That is why United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is convening the High-level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021, under the auspices of the General Assembly.  

The Dialogue represents the first global gathering on energy, since the 1981 UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy, held in Nairobi. We have before us, a historic opportunity for transformative action. 

As the Secretary-General for the High-level Dialogue on Energy, I am encouraged that the fourth edition of the SDG7 Policy Briefs have already provided substantive inputs into the preparatory process. Especially, on enabling SDGs through just, inclusive energy transitions – one of the five themes of the Dialogue.  

UN DESA commends the outstanding work of the SDG7 Technical Advisory Group, under the leadership of Ms. Sheila Oparaocha and Mr. Hans Olav Ibrekk. 

I also commend the SDG 7 indicator custodians, namely, the: 

  • International Energy Agency, 
  • the International Renewable Energy Agency, 
  • the Statistics Division of UN DESA, 
  • the World Bank, and 
  • the World Health Organization, for their outstanding work and cooperation to jointly develop the annual tracking report for SDG 7.   

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

We are all in this together, and the need for action could not be more urgent. I call upon all stakeholders to increase ambition and urgency, and mobilize political will, international cooperation, and financing to deliver sustainable energy for all. 

I thank you. 

File date: 
Monday, June 7, 2021

Mr. Liu