Excellencies, distinguished delegates,
It is my pleasure to join this very important and timely event.
As we entered this decade of action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we were already not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We continue to face several overlapping challenges, including ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasingly felt effects of climate change, and an energy crisis– that is straining the economies of many countries in the Asia-Pacific region as well as around the world.
We face these challenges together, and therefore it is very important that we address these challenges together.
Accelerating the energy transition and constructing a zero-carbon energy system are essential for achieving sustainable development.
At ESCAP, one of the pathways of collaboration on energy transition that we emphasize in our work is power system connectivity. Countries that integrate their power systems can more affordably and securely integrate renewable energy resources by trading power across borders.
In 2021, ESCAP’s member States endorsed the Regional Roadmap on Power System Connectivity, the strongest region-wide endorsement to date of the important role that power system connectivity can play in enabling the energy transition.
We are now working with member States and partner organizations such as GEIDCO to implement the Road Map’s nine strategies. These address a range of topics, including the importance of building trust and political consensus, the need to develop a common vision for connectivity in the form of a power grid master plan for the region, the benefits of more coordination, harmonization, and institutionalization of policies and regulations, and the vital need for increased capacity and knowledge sharing.
Perhaps the most fundamentally important strategy, however, is ensuring that power system connectivity contributes to sustainable development, including meeting the 2030 Agenda and enabling net-zero targets.
Power system connectivity is just one way that we can and should all work together to accelerate the energy transition. Through the implementation of the Regional Road Map, we are supporting substantial efforts to develop integrated power systems and enabling collaboration on the broader range of energy issues that we all collectively face.
While the energy transition is facing a number of challenges, ultimately, it offers us the best way forward to creating a better future for all, one that addresses climate change, improves our air and water, and lifts millions out of poverty.
Every moment that this transition is delayed comes at a real cost to lives around the world. Therefore, we must move faster, and we must do so together.
In closing, I wish you a successful event, and I look forward to the rest of the conversation.
Thank you very much.