Speech/statement | Date: 26/11/2013 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
"We believe that sustainable energy for all is an ambitious but achievable goal.Key messages", said State Secretary Hans Brattskar in his key message on behalf of Norway, Denmark and Ireland at the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals in New York.
I am pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of Denmark, Ireland and Norway.
Today and yesterday we have heard many statements and interventions which have eloquently highlighted the key importance of energy for development.
In my view this can be summed as: no energy – no development!
Development is not possible without energy, and sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy. Hence, energy must be fully integrated into the post-2015 development agenda.
Energy choices have significant local and global environmental and social impacts, making sustainability a critical concern. Indoor and outdoor air pollution due to energy use causes millions of deaths annually, mostly poor women and children. Energy accounts for about 60 per cent of global emissions of greenhouse gases.
We need to change the way we produce and use energy. We need to decouple economic growth, energy use and emissions of greenhouse gases.
The energy decisions we make today, may seriously limit our future possibilities. We need to increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. At the same time, we must recognize that the fossil fuels share will remain significant for the foreseeable future.
Energy efficiency improvement and demand management are among the most cost-effective means of expanding energy supply. Energy efficiency will enhance access, reliability and affordability of energy services.
In our view there seems to be broad support for “sustainable energy for all” as a global goal, as was highlighted during the Global Consultations and the High-Level Meeting on Energy and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held in Oslo on 9. April, 2013.
To achieve this global goal in a measurable way, we believe there is merit in setting at least three global targets as proposed by the Secretary-General’s initiative for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL):
Universal access to modern energy services for all by 2030;
- Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030; and
- Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
A set of targets and indicators supporting the goal should encompass all three dimensions of sustainable development. Targets and indicators need to be fully adaptable to different circumstances and priorities at the regional, national and local level.
The transition to sustainable energy systems presents a large opportunity - perhaps one of the greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century. Transformation of the energy market conditions, especially in developing countries, is needed to enable infusion of capital from the private sector and leveraging of scarce public funds through public-private partnerships. Without viable business models, no investments.
Creating enabling environments is critical. Governments must establish their own clear targets and strategies, and design and implement a set of national policies, regulations and financial environments that enable change which the market alone will not deliver.
And finally, women’s rights and gender equality have to be addressed if we are to achieve sustainable energy for all. All countries will gain both economically, socially and politically by empowering women. Integrating gender equality in national energy plans by ensuring that women benefit from and contribute to the energy sector, will improve overall development outcomes.
We believe that sustainable energy for all is an ambitious but achievable goal.