Recognising the urgent need for action, leaders from the United Nations, private sector, national and local governments, youth and other organisations issued a joint call on Wednesday for countries, businesses, cities and civil society groups to put forward their “Energy Compacts” to show how they will achieve the goal of clean, affordable energy for all by 2030 (SDG 7) and net-zero emissions by 2050.
The UN in its press release said that the Energy Compacts would provide the clearest indication of how countries will ensure that all people have access to clean energy and move toward net-zero emissions.
The Compacts will be announced between June and the September UN High-level Dialogue on Energy. The leaders issued their call in a video released on Wednesday.
“Global Champion” Ministers from over 30 countries have joined the call for urgent energy action in advance of the High-level Dialogue, along with senior UN officials, climate leaders, including the Presidency of the COP26 conference, CEOs, Mayors and youth activists.
“This year’s dialogue is the best chance for governments, businesses and other partners to step up their commitments, if the world is to achieve clean, affordable energy for all by the 2030 deadline,” said Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Dialogue.
Energy use accounts for three-quarters of global emissions. Nearly 800 million people still lack access to electricity and nearly three billion lack clean cooking fuels, causing over a million deaths each year from indoor smoke pollution.
Momentum is growing for Energy Compacts, which will start to be announced at Ministerial Forums from 21-25 June, in the lead-up to the September summit-level Dialogue.
Participating in the call to action, in addition to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Liu, are the Co-Chairs of the High-level Dialogue, Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UNDP, and Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and CEO for Sustainable Energy for All.
“An energy transition is underway. It is our only viable way forward — we won’t succeed without it,” said Steiner.