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Energy for Sustainable Development – Must reality conflict with ambition?

The state of the global economy and the economics of energy markets have led to outcomes that conflict with the ambitions of the UNECE member States with respect to sustainable development. While the global energy map is being redrawn, coal use and hence greenhouse gas emissions are increasing, tariffs are rising though quality of service is not, and geopolitics have moved energy security of supply, especially for natural gas, to the forefront.

During the 23rd session of the Committee on Sustainable Energy (19-21 November), high-level representatives from government and business will provide their views on progress made and the remaining challenges. Member States will be consulted on how the UNECE region can reshape pathways towards cleaner energy systems. The Committee meeting will be held during UNECE’s Sustainable Energy Week (17 –21 November), which will also include the first meetings of the Group of Experts on Energy Efficiency and the Group of Experts on Renewable Energy. 

The Committee’s activities aim to provide access to affordable and clean energy to all, in line with the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, and to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the energy sector. The upcoming Committee meeting aims to explore the UNECE region’s opportunities for redirecting itself to truly sustainable energy outcomes. A sustainable energy system integrates a variety of approaches and technologies to support the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental.

The Energy Week will feature the launch of the Geneva Energy Conversations. UNECE and the Centre for International Environmental Studies of the Geneva Graduate Institute are organizing an innovative evening event on 19 November, from 18:30 to 21:00, focussing on the solutions and challenges to reach and stay on a 2°C pathway. “Putting the Genie back - Two degrees will be harder than we think” will be presented by David Hone, Chief Climate Advisor, Shell, under the auspices of the Committee and with the participation of Acting Director-General of UNOG Michael Møller and UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach.

A Workshop on the Development of a Classification for Renewable Energies will also take place during the Energy Week. Current energy security concerns foster an ever greater need for countries to consider managing their energy portfolio as a mix of conventional and renewable resources. This workshop will help to deliver a common and transparent framework applicable to all energy resources.

For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=35137

Or contact Stefanie Held at stefanie.held@unece.org