In an unprecedented move, the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations are embracing renewable energy, offering a unique opportunity to align climate, development, peace, and security goals. Denmark, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UN Department of Operational Support (UNDOS), and the UN Department of Peace Operations (UNDPO) jointly presented the Energy Compact on Renewable Energy for Peacekeeping during the High-level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021.
The compact aims to accelerate the transition of UN peacekeeping operations to renewable energy through partnerships, local capacity development, and benefits for host communities. During the Pre-Assembly day of the 13th IRENA Assembly, stakeholders convened to discuss the alignment of climate and development objectives, reaffirming their commitment to the Compact’s goals.
Recently, the Permanent Mission of the UAE to IRENA, the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations, IRENA, support countries, host countries, and Friends of the Compact organized a roundtable discussion at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York. The discussion aimed to profile and mobilize support for the Compact while presenting prospective projects requiring assistance and discussing progress on joint actions.
In her closing remarks, H.E. Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Permanent Representative of UAE to IRENA, highlighted the trifold opportunity of the Energy Compact – delivering on the UN’s renewable energy target, addressing climate, development, peace, and security objectives, and supporting COP28’s vision for the energy transition and climate finance.
Ms Lisa Buttenheim, Assistant Secretary-General for the Support Operations Department of Operational Support, emphasized the practical experience of deploying renewable energy and the dedication of the team to the Energy Compact’s positive legacy.
Moving forward, all parties agreed to present future actions of the Compact at COP28 in the UAE, focusing on the human aspect of climate change and energy transition, and its impact on humanitarian relief, reconstruction, and peace. The Energy Compact paves the way for a sustainable and impactful transformation in UN peacekeeping operations.