Rachel Kyte, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, highlights the importance of universal sustainable energy access and availability for Commonwealth members, with a focus on renewables and energy efficiency.
We need to change the future direction of the global economy in order to ensure universal energy access while combating climate change. And the energy transition we need to make must be a just one – leaving no-one behind. That is the joint commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement that the world’s leaders signed up to in 2015. Energy sits at the very heart of these critically important goals: energy that’s not only sustainable – allowing us to keep the planet’s warming well below 2˚C – but energy that is available to everyone to power healthier, safer, more productive lives. While the Commonwealth is blessed with a vast and diverse wealth of energy resources, its member nations’ energy wealth is unevenly distributed and mostly underdeveloped. To empower the Commonwealth, access to reliable, clean and affordable energy is critical. The commitment to the SDGs and the Paris Agreement means we need to manage a radical energy transition that decouples our growth and development from carbon.
Energy – the first priority
Access to clean, affordable energy underpins so many aspects of development that we need to front-load results on SDG 7, for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, to give us any chance of meeting other goals by 2030. The targets of SDG 7 align very closely with SEforALL’s three objectives: universal energy access; a doubling of renewables in the global energy mix; and a doubling in the pace of energy efficiency gains…
CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General