Workshop on SDG7 Implementation in Asia and the Pacific

19 Mar 2019 to 21 Mar 2019
Bangkok, Thailand
By invitation only

The National Expert SDG Tool for Energy Planning (NEXSTEP) and the Asia Pacific Energy and Resource Modelling Platform

Transitioning the energy sector to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the objectives of the Paris Agreement presents a complex and difficult task for policymakers. The transition needs to ensure sustained economic growth, respond to increasing energy demand, reduce emissions and consider and capitalise on the interlinkages between Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) and other SDGs.

This requires an integrated system approach by considering the synergies between its constituent elements - increasing access to modern energy services, improving energy efficiency, reducing emissions from the energy sector and increasing the share of renewable energy.

Each of these actions has an impact on the others. Therefore, a system optimisation process is needed to identify the best available pathway to the energy system we need by 2030. There are constraints to be considered such as economic imperatives to adopt least-cost options. Domestic resources availability must be considered. Climate change need to be considered through the emission reduction targets under Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) committed to as part of the Paris Agreement.

A national SDG7 implementation roadmap that aligns the existing national energy plan and strategy with SDG7 targets and NDCs as well as provides guidance for policymakers on what is required to achieve SDG7 and NDC targets and can offer a set of policy recommendations based on suggested energy transition pathways. This presents a new challenge for policymakers. The capacity at the national level of undertaking such planning and to identify the appropriate policy options to achieve SDG7 and NDC targets is often limited. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is developing a tool - the National Expert SDG Tool for Energy Planning (NEXSTEP) - to support the development of national SDG7 roadmaps. Energy modelling, using historical energy data, macroeconomic factors, demographic parameters and other data, would be an essential component of NEXSTEP. This tool will also perform an economic analysis of options and scenarios identified by the energy modelling. Further, it will undertake policy analysis to develop a set of policy recommendations to achieve the targets. This tool would enable policymakers to make informed policy decisions to support the achievement of the SDG7 and emission reduction targets. This initiative has been undertaken in response to the Ministerial Declaration of the 2nd Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (April 2018, Bangkok) and the Commission Resolution 74/9.

In this connection, ESCAP and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) will jointly organize a workshop on the National Expert SDG Tool for Energy Planning (NEXSTEP). This workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss the development process of this tool with country representatives, experts and other stakeholders, and to invite comments and suggestions to make it useful and relevant for policymakers. The 3rd day of the workshop will be in partnership with UNDP and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in sharing insights on energy and resources modelling from globally renowned experts. The key objectives of this workshop are to:

• Build member State capacity and share best practices in energy modelling for the achievement of SDG7. This will include exploration of country-specific challenges and policy solutions, as well as synergies between different national priorities, NDCs, and other SDGs;
• To inform participants about the opportunity to operationalize the NEXSTEP tool in order to develop comprehensive energy roadmaps to inform and guide decision-making and policy action that is consistent with country strategies; and
• To gather insights to customize the NEXSTEP tool to the specific needs of the member States.

The outcome of this workshop will ensure that NEXSTEP is developed in a way that is robust, relevant to ESCAP member States, simple to use and has the ability to guide the implementation of SDG7 in achieving 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The workshop is also expected to explore possible collaboration at national and regional levels to facilitate the development of SDG7 implementation roadmaps through application of NEXSTEP.