Excellencies, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen
I am pleased to deliver remarks at the Global SDG7 Action Forum.
The Asia-Pacific region must play a decisive role in achieving SDG7 through the energy transition.
It is the major population centre of the world, now responsible for half of the world’s annual energy consumption and nearly 60 per cent of fuel-related carbon emissions and rising.
However, we are not on track collectively to reach the SDG7 targets of energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean cooking fuels.
Energy intensity in the Asia-Pacific region is higher, and the share of modern renewable energy is much lower compared with other regions. We have the largest population without access to clean cooking fuels, at 1.3 billion people.
Much work is needed to put the region back on the path to achieve SDG7 and carbon neutrality in the middle of this century. The long-horizon planning for a sustainable energy transition and net zero needs to be matched by adequate short- and medium-term actions if these targets are to be more than simply aspirational.
At the same time, more countries are emerging as renewable energy leaders in this region. Promising developments can be seen in areas such as green hydrogen, electric mobility and cross-border renewable mega projects. Many Asia-Pacific countries have set targets to reach net zero emissions by mid-century.
ESCAP has supported the development of 15 SDG7 Road Maps at the national and subnational levels in this region, and is currently supporting another six countries to develop their pathways. These Road Maps have served as the foundation for the development of national energy policies and plans to achieve SDG7.
Through targeted capacity-building programmes on integrated energy planning, we are ensuring that the countries have the capacity to navigate their energy transition through a system approach, including considering the synergies between energy access, increasing the share of renewables and improving energy efficiency.
By identifying the key areas for intervention and the need for investment, these Road Maps are also offering the opportunity to attract private sector investment in the energy sector. This is a great approach to increasing investment in the sustainable energy transition.
In advancing SDG7 on sustainable energy for all in the Asia-Pacific region, ESCAP has also submitted Energy Compacts and implemented them with good progress.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The sustainable energy transition has begun, and no country can afford to be left behind. I look forward to continuing the collaboration we have had with all of you. I wish you successful discussions and a productive day.