Sustainable energy has the power to fuel progress across the Sustainable Development Agenda – it is generated from resources that are available to everyone, lights up homes in the remotest parts of the world, helps children learn and keeps girls in schools, runs equipment in hospitals, stores life-saving vaccines in cool conditions and creates more economic opportunities and jobs – without polluting the environment and warming the planet with fossil fuels. 

Despite its significance, the world is falling short on meeting Sustainable Development Goal 7 – the bedrock for ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030 – says Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), an international organization tasked with removing the obstacles to achieve the Goal.  

For more information on sustainable energy, please visit SEforALL’s research and data portal.

The Climate Action Summit, held in New York in September 2019, provided a foundation for new initiatives that can reduce emissions and build climate resilience and adaptation efforts. But the world needs to move quickly to follow through and get back on track to limit climate change.

The Madrid Climate Change Conference – COP25 – will bring the world together to consider ways to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Taking place from 2 to 13 December in Madrid, the Conference comes at a time when new data shows the climate emergency is getting worse every day, and is impacting people’s lives everywhere, whether from extreme heat, air pollution, wildfires,  intensified flooding or droughts.  

5 Things You Need to Know about COP25

On Monday, the United Nations will kick off critical negotiations on how to address the global climate emergency collectively and urgently. World leaders, experts, activists, creative thinkers, and private sector and local community representatives will gather to work on a collective action plan to realize critical commitments made by all the countries of the world in Paris, four years ago.

UN News put together this guide on COP25 to answer some of the biggest questions you may have and make sure you’re all caught up, with a ringside seat on the action.

Stay Informed

The conference Trello Board featured background information and digital assets. Follow @COP25CL, @UNFCCC, @UN and @GlobalGoalsUN for updates. 

The UN Climate Change app will share the latest news, live content and social media updates from Madrid. It can be downloaded on iOS or Android devices.

Today, only half of the investment required for universal electricity access is committed to the projects and enterprises that will help us reach Sustainable Development Goal 7. Investment for clean cooking is lagging even further behind. 

Check out the interactive Goal 7 tracking website for the latest information on specific countries as well as the recently launched Africa Energy Outlook 2019 which looks at the continent’s role in shaping global energy trends. 

The UN Secretary-General has a clear position on coal: it’s time to kick the habit, and transition to clean energy sources. Coal is in decline around the world, but some countries are still building coal-fired power stations, and have more in the pipeline. UN News looks at which regions are still addicted to the most polluting of energy sources, and which ones are taking the lead in cleaning up their act. Read the full story.

Women need to be front and center in the energy transition

Close to one billion people in the world lack access to electricity, and another 3 billion lack access to clean cooking. Ensuring women’s participation in the energy projects and programmes is an important step towards enhancing access to clean energy solutions and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the latest SDG Blog, Sheila Oparaocha of ENERGIA discusses the role of women as agents of change in ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable energy for all.

Clean Energy Solutions

UN Africa Renewal, a United Nations’ flagship magazine that provides the latest information and analysis on challenges facing the continent today, tells the story of how a group of students in Uganda’s St. Kizito High School are turning waste into clean energy and even handicrafts.

UN Women’s Suhela Khan, who runs the Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy Programme in India, discusses energy poverty, the challenges and barriers female energy entrepreneurs face, and the need for gender-responsive energy policies. 

Did you know that there an estimated 1 billion volunteers in the world, working everyday to make a difference on the issues that affect them and their communities? Under the theme ”Volunteer for an inclusive future”, this International Volunteer Day the United Nations celebrates those who put their needs aside to help communities near and far. Read their stories on helping communities live more sustainably across the world. Many other blogs from volunteers are available here.  

Ivy Chinogwenya, national UN Volunteer for Climate Change with UNICEF in Zimbabwe makes a difference by finding ways to mitigate pollution and increase responsible consumption with children and their families. Click here for the whole story.

Environmental pollution is one of the biggest problems affecting lives of people in Kosovo. Air pollution is seriously threatening the health of Kosovars – children and elderly in particular. Click here for the whole story.


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This year’s theme – “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda” – will focus on the empowerment of persons with disabilities in the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development agenda.

Young people are seeking to participate in all decisions that have a direct and indirect impact upon their well being. They need to be heard to inform more effective decision-making and achieve sustainable development for all. This Human Rights Day, our focus will be on “Youth Standing up for Human Rights.” UN digital media assets are available here.

Three months after the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, the International Day is issuing a call for world leaders to “Keep the Promise” for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage by 2030.