Achieving universal energy access in a low-carbon future

COP24, Katowice, Poland (UN DESA-GEIDCO Pavilion): 7 December 2018

Time: 13:15-14:30

This event draws on analysis behind the World Energy Outlook’s Sustainable Development Scenario, a benchmark scenario to achieve three energy-related sustainable development goals (SDGs) – providing universal energy access, reducing air pollution and related health implications, and tackling climate change.

Opening remarks:  Minoru Takada, Team Leader of Sustainable Energy, UNDESA

Presentation: Andrew Prag, Head of Environment and Climate Change Unit, IEA
Panel discussion:   Laura Merrill, IISD; Linus Mofor, African Climate Policy Centre; Youba Sokona, the South Centre; Rana Adib, REN21.

After a presentation on IEA’s recent findings on energy access, a panel discussion will follow exploring challenges to accelerating energy access and interlinkages between energy access and gender equality.  The discussion will likely expand on the following themes:

  • A review of recent progress on energy access (SDG 7.1) – we will provide the latest data on access to electricity and clean cooking, based on the latest data released in the World Energy Outlook-2018. Key findings are that for the first time the number of people without access to electricity fell below 1 billion, and updated data show that the number of people without clean cooking facilities is declining gradually. 
  • Synergies between energy access and climate mitigation (SDG 13). In our proposed pathway to 2030, pursuing a least-cost strategy for closing the energy access gap has no negative impact on achieving climate change goals. Indeed, there is likely to be a net climate benefit due to displacing the traditional use of biomass for cooking.
  • Linkages between energy access and many other SDGs. Energy access is a cornerstone for economic and social development, so achieving SDG 7.1 brings benefits  for many other SDGs.  A particular focus could be on improving gender equality (SDG 5), building on analysis in the latest World Energy Outlook.

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