Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us to launch the 2023 Regional Trends Report on Energy for Sustainable Development in this virtual setting.
This report is an important input to the upcoming Third Asian and Pacific Energy Forum later this month, which is the main feature of Asia-Pacific Energy Week starting on 16 October and the only intergovernmental ministerial level meeting organized by the UN focusing on energy issues in the region. The theme is “Building a secure, sustainable and interconnected energy future for Asia and the Pacific.”
I am pleased to recognize Thailand as the host of this Forum and as our long-term partner for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 on affordable and clean energy.
At the SDG Summit last month, the Secretary-General indicated that only 15 per cent of the targets are on track, and the SDGs need a global rescue plan.
For the Asia-Pacific region, we can take some reassurance that our collective performance on Goal 7 is higher than other Goals.
However, at the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we all realize much more work needs to be done. Progress is needed across the clean energy scoreboard.
We need to close the final gaps in electricity access, accelerate the deployment of clean cooking and renewable energy, become much more efficient in our energy use, and drive more investment into clean energy technologies.
Asia and the Pacific is the critical region for energy and climate change. We are the source of more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions and consume more than half of global energy.
Therefore, the global success of the energy transition and stabilizing climate change hinges on actions in our region.
The report being launched today gives a detailed assessment of these issues. It provides a call to action for countries to work decisively to close the remaining gaps in Goal 7.
It highlights that increased levels of finance will need to be mobilized to realize the Goal 7 targets, with the majority coming from the private sector.
The report also touches on the very long term and strategic issue of critical raw materials. Without stable, secure and affordable access to these materials, we will not be able to create the quantities of clean energy technologies we need to solve the crises we are facing. This requires a holistic approach and cooperation across the region.
We will present the highlights of the report in more detail to you later. But before closing, I would like to underscore that we are committed to working with our member States to address these present and future challenges.
We are supporting many initiatives to ensure the acceleration of progress on Goal 7, including developing road maps for 16 countries of the region.
Our work on regional power connectivity is guided by the Regional Roadmap on Power System Connectivity. This was developed together with our member States and provides a set of nine strategies for how countries can work together to develop secure, sustainable and affordable power systems.
Later this month, we will be launching the Green Power Corridor Framework, which provides a set of principles for aligning power connectivity initiatives with sustainable development.
Thank you very much.