United NationsDepartamento de Asuntos Económicos y Sociales Desarrollo Sostenible

Norway, Denmark and Ireland

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27November 2013
Open Working Group on SDGs
Key messages of Norway/Denmark/Ireland on Energy
 Sustainable energy for all is an ambitious but achievable goal.
 Energy is an important engine of economic growth, on which poverty reduction and shared prosperity depend. Development is not possible without energy, and sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy. Energy must be fully integrated into the post-2015 development agenda.
 The availability of energy services is highly inequitable across and within countries. Low-income countries, which account for 12 percent of the world’s population, consume a mere 1 percent of total global energy, and have an average electrification rate of about 30 percent. Energy consumption per capita varies one hundred-fold between the lowest and highest consuming countries.
 Energy is closely linked to most development issues. Energy enables. Access to sustainable energy services can simultaneously address most of the global challenges we are facing now and in the future, including poverty, food security, clean water, public health, education, economic growth, empowerment of women and youth, and climate change.
 Energy choices have significant local and global environmental and social impacts, making sustainability a critical concern. Indoor and outdoor air pollution due to energy use causes millions of deaths annually, mostly poor women and children.
 The world needs energy and we need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Energy accounts for about 60 per cent of global emissions of greenhouse gases. We need to change the way we produce and use energy. Early action is needed to keep the global temperature increase below two degrees before a new climate change agreement can take effect.
 The energy decisions we make today, may seriously limit our future possibilities. This is especially important taking into account the very long life of large infrastructure choices. We need to increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. At the same time, we must recognize that the fossil fuels share will remain significant for the foreseeable future. We need in parallel to develop effective means of reducing local and global impacts of use of fossil fuels. Natural gas, one of the cleanest fossil fuels, can be an effective measure to make use of domestic resources and bridge the gap to a low-emission future.
 Energy efficiency improvement and demand management are among the most cost-effective means of expanding energy supply. Energy efficiency will enhance access, reliability and affordability of energy services. Encouraging poor households to use clean and efficient cook
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stoves, innovative energy systems and improved biomass management will also be important.
 There is broad support for “sustainable energy for all” as a global goal, as was highlighted during the Global Consultations and the High-Level Meeting on Energy and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held in Oslo on 9 April, 2013.
 To achieve this global goal in a measurable way, we believe there is merit in further consideration of at least three global targets as proposed by the Secretary-General’s initiative for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL):
o Universal access to modern energy services for all by 2030;
o Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030; and
o Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
 When setting targets we should consider the nexus of energy, gender and health services as proposed by the Global Consultations and the High-Level Meeting on Energy and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, as well as the issue of phasing out of inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, as proposed by the Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Similarly, the energy-water-food security nexus and the greening of value chains are of importance in achieving greener, more sustainable development goals.
 A set of targets and indicators supporting the goal should encompass all three dimensions of sustainable development. Targets and indicators need to be fully adaptable to different circumstances and priorities at the regional, national and local level.
 Global energy markets are evolving rapidly. No country is an energy "island" and the interactions between different fuels, markets and prices are fundamental to improve the security of energy supply. A diverse energy mix can help decrease a country's fiscal burden, as well as increase long-term energy independence.
 The transition to sustainable energy systems presents a large opportunity - perhaps one of the greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century. Transformation and diversification of energy markets is needed and should include small scale off grid systems, especially in developing countries. Creating adequate market conditions will enable an infusion of capital from a broad range of private sector investors and leverage scarce public funds through public-private partnerships. Without viable business models, no investments.
 Creating enabling environments is critical. Governments must establish their own clear targets and strategies, and design and implement a set of national policies, regulations and financial environments that enable change which the market alone will not deliver. Inclusive and transparent decision-making processes on energy matters are key to ensure affordable, reliable and sustainable energy services also for poor people.
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 Commercially feasible options for providing energy must be made accessible, affordable and adaptable to the needs and particular circumstances of the least developed countries to enable these countries to achieve the targets. More analytical studies and “impact stories” are important to support knowledge management on energy solutions that work and can be replicated and upscaled.
 And finally, women’s rights and gender equality have to be addressed if we are to achieve sustainable energy for all. All countries will gain both economically, socially and politically by empowering women. The linkages between energy access, gender and economic growth are increasingly recognized. Better access to electricity in households and in communities opens new, and often distinct, opportunities for women. Integrating gender equality in national energy plans by ensuring that women benefit from and contribute to the energy sector, will improve overall development outcomes.