Some thirty United Nations agencies and the World Bank launched an action plan on May 4, 2022, under the UN-Energy label, to promote clean and affordable energy programs, mainly in developing countries.
This UN’s action plan "represents the Organization's collective response to current global energy and climate challenges," said UN Development Program Administrator and UN-Energy Co-Chair Achim Steiner. “It is essential that the commitments made at the 2021 High-Level Dialogue on Energy and at COP26 -the 26th Conference of the UN Parties on Climate Change, held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, in 2021- become actions on the ground, especially in support of the most vulnerable,” added Steiner.
The plan establishes a framework for collective action of almost 30 UN and allied organizations to support, facilitate and accelerate access to electricity for an additional 500 million people, and the provision of clean cooking systems for more than 1 billion people. It also aims to increase up to 100% renewable energy capacity worldwide, eliminate plans for coal power production after 2021, create 30 million jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector, and double annual investment in clean energy.
This purpose is framed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) outlined by the UN for 2030, in particular the SDG-7, which seeks to guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy.
To tackle these challenges, the plan established as the first step to expand joint measures to close the energy access gap and guarantee fair and inclusive energy transitions, "that leave no one behind". It proposed to weave a network of action to promote partnerships between various stakeholders, promoting energy pacts, and leading a global campaign in favor of SDG-7. Also, setting an example, making the operations of UN-Energy organizations greener.
It was decided to convene a Global Action Forum on SDG-7, as a side event during the high-level week of the UN General Assembly next September.
UN-Energy will inform to key intergovernmental organisms the setting of global agenda through analysis and policy guidance. It will also harness the power of data, digitization, and visualization to strengthen oversight, monitoring, accountability, and reporting of results across the world on clean and affordable energy projects.
In parallel, during the day an "Action Network of the Pact for Energy" was also launched, which seeks to connect governments seeking support for their clean energy objectives with other administrations and companies, which have committed to supporting these commitments with a total of more than 600,000 million dollars.
Among the coalitions, the first one was announced for Nigeria and another with the metropolitan regional government of Santiago de Chile.
The Santiago initiative seeks to promote solar energy and the use of electricity for public transport and heating in the Chilean capital. The agreement will serve to increase the share of electric buses in the city up to 100% by 2030, which is currently at 26%, and to expand the network of charging stations for electric vehicles, both public and private. Coalition participants also commit to accelerate the switch from wood-burning heaters in residential, commercial and government buildings to electric heating systems, from 10,000 replacements to date to more than 60,000 by 2030.
Photo. A technician inspects a solar panel installation in Zambia © Karin Schermbucker/UNDP