HLPF Reviews SDG 7 on Energy, Anticipates “End of Coal”
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China, India and Saudi Arabia have committed to install hundreds of gigawatts of renewable energy.

Saudi Arabia considered phasing out subsidies to be unrealistic, and preferred considering renewables in the context of economic diversification.

Lead discussant Hans Olav Ibrekk, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, proposed establishing an intergovernmental oversight mechanism for SDG 7.

10 July 2018: The 2018 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) continued at UN Headquarters in New York, US, with review of implementation of SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy. Several developing countries showcased their own achievements in improving energy access domestically, and many countries highlighted their commitment to increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix.

On energy access, the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) reported that the number of people without electricity globally has dipped below the “symbolic threshold” of one billion. Kenya reported that it has increased national energy access from 27% in 2013 to 71% in 2017. Thailand highlighted domestic measures that have provided near-universal access to energy, while Indonesia outlined its plans for achieving universal access by 2020.

Kenya reported that it has increased national energy access from 27% in 2013 to 71% in 2017.

On increasing the share of renewables, session moderator Adnan Amin, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), highlighted that China, India and Saudi Arabia have committed to install hundreds of gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy. Switzerland described its introduction of a national carbon tax. Austria presented its strategy for adopting 100% renewable energy by 2030. Sweden called for eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. Saudi Arabia considered phasing out subsidies to be unrealistic, and preferred considering renewables in the context of economic diversification.

Lead discussant Hans Olav Ibrekk, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, proposed establishing an intergovernmental oversight mechanism for SDG 7.

Summing up the session, Amin suggested that energy investment trends are signaling “the end of coal.” [IISD RS Coverage of Tuesday 10 July] [SDG Knowledge Hub Coverage of HLPF]


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