A global roadmap to sustainable energy for all is under deliberation by five technical working groups. Their results will be launched at a set of virtual ministerial meetings in June and presented to world leaders at the High-level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021.

The ministerial thematic forums will take place virtually and will be open to all stakeholders. They will take place from 21-25 June 2021 in order to share the findings of each working group, and mobilize action by showcasing solutions and launching “energy compacts.” Several countries are Global Champions for each theme and will serve as co-hosts of the respective forums.

The forums will take place as follows:

  • Energy Access: 21 June
  • Innovation, Technology, and Data: 22 June
  • Energy Transition: 23 June
  • Enabling SDGs Through Inclusive, Just Energy Transitions: 24 June
  • Finance and Investment: 25 June

Each day-long virtual event includes: side events before and after the formal proceedings to promote action from various stakeholders; a set of multi-stakeholder dialogues held in parallel on topics related to the day’s theme; a grand opening with statements from the Secretary-General of the High-level Dialogue, Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, and the co-chairs and multi-stakeholder leaders of the High-level Dialogue; a ministerial segment featuring remarks by the Global Champions of the day’s theme and other ministers, and the official launch of the report of the Technical Working Group for the day’s theme; and a grand closing focusing on the way forward. Energy Compacts will be featured throughout the day.

On progress in preparing the final reports of the Technical Working Groups, the ‘Energy Access’ group held its third and final meeting on 12 May. Group members reviewed the draft report prepared by three co-leading entities: the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Office for Least Developed, Landlocked and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), and the World Bank. The report had undergone a number of changes following its previous meeting, and speakers expressed support for the changes to make the report more people-centered and focused on actions and recommendations, rather than challenges to achieving access to electricity and clean cooking.  

The group on ‘Enabling SDGs through Inclusive, Just Energy Transitions’ met on 19 May for its third and final meeting. Participants reviewed the draft report prepared by three co-leading entities: the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Many stressed the need to recognize the local context in which energy transitions must take place and to address the costs and benefits to local populations of a transition. Participants also said a recommendation on gender should be made more specific and should better acknowledge the role of women as instruments of change.

On ‘Energy Transition,’ the group held its third and final meeting on 20 May. The final draft was prepared by three co-leading entities: the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). Speakers called attention to the report released earlier in the week by the International Energy Agency (IEA) with a roadmap to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and several highlighted in particular that report’s proposal to have no new investments in fossil fuel production. Additional issues raised included the need to transition existing infrastructure and to address mining needs to secure the raw materials necessary for the energy transition. 

The other two groups will hold their final meetings on 25 May (Finance and Investment) and 26 May (Innovation, Technology, and Data). [Ministerial forums webpage] [IISD coverage of TWG meetings]