Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the Seven for 7 Event: “Celebrating Leadership & Innovation on SDG7”, in New York today:
I am pleased to join you this evening. Let me start by thanking Ashden and Sustainable Energy for All for organizing this event, and Bloomberg for hosting us in this beautiful space.
We are here tonight to recognize seven leaders and efforts that are moving the world closer to achieving universal access to clean, modern affordable energy. The seven you will hear from bring a powerful voice and a can-do spirit to the enormous challenges we face in building a sustainable energy future. They have demonstrated solutions that policymakers, business leaders and the finance community can learn from, adapt and scale up.
As most of you know, progress remains too slow to meet Sustainable Development Goal 7 on affordable and clean energy for all by 2030. Some 1 billion people still live without electricity. I met many of them during my visit to Chad, South Sudan and Niger last week. And some 3 billion people still rely on polluting fuels to cook their daily meals. Energy efficiency is not improving fast enough to meet the global target.
Renewable energy power, such as solar and wind, is expanding rapidly. But, the global share of renewable energy in the overall energy mix remains low. Progress is particularly slow in transport, industry and heating and cooling. Ultimately, sustainable energy is indispensable for addressing climate change. And as you all know, we are not yet on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. We have no time to waste if we are to avert runaway climate change.
The good news is that advances in technologies, rapid cost declines, innovative business models and strategic policy shifts are transforming energy systems. We must capitalize on this momentum to mobilize greater political will and catalyse investment in a sustainable energy future. Strong partnerships will be key to scaling up efforts. Which is why tonight is so important.
We are here to hear the success stories of remarkable leaders and innovators who are leading by example to drive the energy transformation. We are here to learn from their experience on how the nexus of energy and the other Sustainable Development Goals can yield tangible outcomes. We are here to encourage and inspire each other to go faster and further. We have embarked on an exciting journey towards 2030.
The United Nations is committed to working with all partners to deliver on this important agenda. Next year, the Secretary-General will convene a climate change summit to galvanize greater climate action and ambition. He and I welcome your engagement. We count on you to pave the way for more leadership and innovative action in the lead-up to the summit. I trust that together, we can fulfil our promise to make sustainable energy for all a reality. Thank you.