Amid a global energy crisis and a mounting climate emergency, the UN took a major step on Wednesday to catalyze the large-scale action and support needed for the transition to clean and affordable energy for all and zero emissions, with the launch of an action plan by a thirty leading organizations including “UN-Energy”.
Speaking of the triple energy, food and financial crisis linked to the war in Ukraine, UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently said that “we can maximize this moment to push for the change our world needs”. He added that “the time has come to turn this crisis into an opportunity”, to work towards the phasing out of coal and other fossil fuels, and to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources and a just energy transition, to cope with our deteriorating climate emergency.
$600 billion planned
The UN Energy Compact Action Network has also been launched to connect states seeking support for their clean energy goals with governments and companies that have pledged more than $600 billion to support these commitments. Partnerships were announced to support access to energy in Nigeria and the city of Santiago, Chile, showing the potential of the power grid, as well as fostering or expanding coalitions to support green hydrogen and a greater role for women towards and benefits of the energy transition.
Liu Zhenmin, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations Ministry of Economic and Social Affairs and secretary-general of the 2021 High-Level Energy Dialogue, said: “The global roadmap emerged from the high-level dialogue calls for I welcome today’s launch of the UN Energy Action Plan and Network, which will help us build momentum by generating concrete actions for clean, affordable energy and net zero emissions.
The UN energy plan lays the foundation for collective work
“Especially at this crucial moment, I am delighted to launch the UN Energy Action Plan. The current context has provided insight into how energy underpins the whole 2030 Agenda. It is crucial that the commitments made during the High Level Energy Dialogue in 2021 and COP26 are translated into action on the ground, in particular for the most vulnerable,” said Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. “The UN Energy Plan of Action is our collective response to today’s global energy and climate challenges. As part of this UNDP is stepping up its work on energy to help countries achieve a just energy transition, helping them make progress towards the sustainable development goals while addressing the climate crisis.”
Target: 30 million jobs in renewable energy
The UN Energy Action Plan for 2025. It outlines a framework for collective action for nearly 30 UN and international organizations – to deliver on the tremendous commitment they have made during the high-level dialogue. In line with the milestones set in the global roadmap, UN-Energy is committed to, among other things, supporting and facilitating 500 million people’s access to electricity and an additional 1 billion people to cook food without CO2 by 2025. emissions, i.e. without charcoal or gas, as well as a 100% increase in the world’s renewable energy capacity, no new coal energy plans in progress after 2021, 30 million jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and the doubling of the annual clean energy investments worldwide.
To address these large-scale challenges, the plan identifies seven areas of work:
1) Scale up UN-Energy’s collective action to close the energy access gap and ensure just and inclusive energy transitions that leave no one behind;
2) catalyze multi-stakeholder partnerships by developing energy pacts, in particular through the Action Network;
3) accelerate momentum, lead a global SDG action campaign;
4) lead by example by making the activities of UN energy organizations greener;
5) Organize an annual Global Forum for Action on SDG 7 in the margins of the UN High Level Week in September;
6) informing the setting of the global agenda by providing analytical input and policy guidance to key intergovernmental processes;
7) Harness the power of data, digitization and visualization to enhance monitoring, tracking, accountability and reporting of results.
The Action Network will be supported by UN-Energy, which brings together nearly 200 government, business and other civil society partners who have voluntarily committed themselves to energy pacts, to guide investment, know-how and resources to help deliver on the commitments made.