Excellencies, distinguished delegates, fellow panelists,
On behalf of the five regional commissions, allow me to summarize the key issues on Sustainable Development Goal 7 progress in these regions.
Africa remains the least electrified region, with 589 million people lacking access to electricity. The Economic Commission for Africa has emphasized the need for countries in the region and their partners to promote a just transition to renewable energy and scale up green and resilient infrastructure. To achieve this, Governments need to strengthen their policies and create an enabling environment to leverage both foreign direct investment and private sector investment to fund the energy transition.
In Europe, the Economic Commission observes that renewable energy and energy efficiency have not moved fast enough. To speed up, building improved understanding and management of renewable energy resources, including for critical raw materials, is a key strategy, along with support for the creation of a fertile environment for affordable and clean energy investments. Improving data quality and reliability is also needed to track and measure progress.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, boosting renewables has the potential to promote new industrial sectors and their value chains, such as green hydrogen. The Economic Commission has estimated an annual investment need equal to 1.3 per cent of regional GDP over a decade to progress the energy transition. This would reduce CO2 emissions by 31 per cent and create 7 million new green jobs.
For the Western Asian region, accelerating the energy transition requires governments to fund research and set targets to increase the share of renewables. Cooperation with banks and private companies is also needed to secure appropriate financing mechanisms for projects, especially small projects in modern sustainable energy.
Lastly, in Asia and the Pacific, the pandemic and global energy crisis have combined to create dramatic energy price increases. Some countries in the region have responded by implementing measures to improve energy efficiency and shift towards renewable energy. Reducing the economic burdens from fossil fuels and enhancing energy affordability requires investments in energy efficiency, electrification and renewable energy. The Just Energy Transition Partnership initiatives launched in Indonesia, and Viet Nam are welcome initiatives.
Let me conclude by confirming that all five regional commissions are committed to support our member States in their efforts to accelerate progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 and manage the impacts of the crises we are experiencing.