United NationsDépartement des Affaires Économiques et Sociales Développement Durable

Cyprus, Singapore and United Arab Emirates

FIFTH SESSION OF THE OPEN WORKING GROUP ON
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (OWG-SDG)
25-27 NOVEMBER 2013

STATEMENT ON ‘ENERGY’ MADE BY CYPRUS-SINGAPORE-UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, DELIVERED BY DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE
OF SINGAPORE, MR MARK NEO, ON 27 NOV 2013



Mr Co-Chair,

1 I have the pleasure to deliver these remarks on behalf of Cyprus, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. We would like to thank the UN Technical Support Team for putting together comprehensive issues briefs with very useful and constructive suggestions for our deliberation. We would also like to thank the panellists of the interaction discussions yesterday.


2 Energy plays a critical role in the development process. No country has developed without access to reliable and affordable energy. The TST issues brief indicates that economic and social development is seriously impeded by the lack of sustainable energy services. Conversely, access to energy has a catalytic and multiplier effect in promoting health, improving livelihoods, creating jobs, and generating income. The issue of energy therefore underpins our goal to eradicate world poverty and hunger, and achieve global sustainable development and growth.


3 At the same time, it must not be forgotten that sustainable energy is both a question of how to match growing energy demand with the limited existing resources available by improving productivity and efficiency. In an increasingly resource- and carbon-constrained world, sustainable energy must refer to both sustainable sources of energy, including renewables, and the sustainable use of energy.


4 Against that backdrop, our Group would like to highlight three points with regard to this cluster. First: the cross-cutting nature of energy and its inter-linkages to other issues. The TST Issues Brief highlighted that sustainable energy is a key enabler of sustainable development. It is important to improve energy access rates and reduce the number of people who rely on using solid biomass to cook their meals and heat their homes, because these practices damage health and decrease productivity. Improving energy services also contributes to the effective delivery of education and healthcare, maintenance of efficient and stable economies, global food security, and environmental protection. In this regard, the proposal to include energy within clusters of different SDGs merits careful consideration.


5 Second: the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy. According to the TST issues brief, energy efficiency is key to the transformation of energy systems, and is a proven and immediate, cost-effective near-term option for coping with global energy demands. We also recognise that renewable energy can play a critical role in sustainable energy provision. Potentials for energy efficiency and renewable energy vary, thus countries need to identify appropriate measure according to their different national circumstances. Renewable energy potentials have yet to be fully exploited and further investment and technological advances are sought.


6 Third: the need for universality, flexibility, and adaptability of goals. Any SDGs on energy must be flexible and adaptable to unique national circumstances, priorities, and policies, in order for them to be applicable and effective. This is because the path to achieving sustainable energy in each country may be different and complex, and must be tailored to suit specific needs.


Mr Co-Chair,

7 The integration of energy across sectors and other goals is crucial because its impacts cut across multiple issues and clusters. At the same time, national circumstances, priorities, and policies must be taken into consideration when we consider energy in the context of potential SDGs. Improving energy access and services also depends on the adequate provision of means of implementation, capacity-building, significant investment in technology and innovation, and commitment to improve governance and infrastructure. Thus, we call Member States to keep these multiple elements in mind as we engage in discussions in today’s meeting.



. . . . .