Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be with you today.
We find ourselves already in the third year of implementing Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
This transformative agenda is a global call to action to make a significant shift towards an inclusive, resilient and sustainable future for everyone, everywhere.
One key question is how do we ensure that development progress yields equitable benefits for all.
The answer is obviously of special important for the world’s Least Developed Countries.
Energy, your focus today, is a particular concern.
For LDCs, access to sustainable energy is a lifeline.
It cuts across all social sectors and economic goals as well as the challenge of climate change.
There has been some progress in access to electricity.
Yet more than half the population of LDCs still goes without.
We have very concrete challenges before us.
They include the need to connect underserved rural and remote areas, increase access to clean cooking fuels, enhance energy efficiency, increase the share of renewable energy and build capacity to manage energy access.
Meeting our goal of universal access by 2030 will not be easy, and will require transformative solutions.
Financing needs are also considerable.
Realizing universal access to electricity alone is estimated to cost $45 billion annually.
In LDCs, UNCTAD estimates that between now and 2030, financial requirements for universal access to sustainable energy could reach $40 billion per year.
These needs cannot be met by domestic finance or multi-lateral finance alone.
Decision-makers in LDCs will have to define national energy and investment strategies, and continue improving policy and regulatory frameworks to promote commercial investments.
But it is clear that SDG 7 will require a new generation of partnerships.
Numerous priority areas are amenable to strong public-private partnership, ranging from clean electricity to grids that can bridge rural-urban access gaps.
A key incentive for private sector investment will be an enabling environment characterized by well-functioning institutions and transparent transaction processes that build credibility, stability and predictability.
In turn, international and multilateral development banks have two critical contributions to make.
First, boosting their contributions to sustainable energy financing.
Second, providing technical assistance and strengthening countries’ sustainable energy management capacities.
The United Nations is ready to work more closely with the business sector and, indeed, strengthening our ability to do is a critical part of current efforts to reform the UN development system.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The LDCs are our litmus test in upholding the core promise of the 2030 Agena to leave no one behind.
The energy sector by tradition has always deeply transformed people’s lives.
We need to come together to ensure that LDCs have a real opportunity to achieve SDG 7 by 2030 and contribute to combating climate change.
This is why I am grateful that we have come together here to discuss how we can achieve this and maximize investments in sustainable energy.
Let us work as partners to build a sustainable and peaceful future for all.