United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Business and Industry

November 27, 2013
UN Open Ended Working Group on SDGs
Business and Industry Major Group Statement on Energy

Thank you Co Chair. I am Norine Kennedy, USCIB Speaking for GBA 2015 – We welcome many good insights offered by government representatives here this morning, and their recognition of the central role of the private sector in the area of energy, and of energy to SDGs and the post 2015 devt agenda.

It is gratifying to hear so much agreement that energy access and security is critical to sustainable development. Companies of all sectors and in all countries depend on access to energy, and the links between energy access to creating livelihoods and inclusive growth are very clear. Access and cost of energy is an important consideration to varying degrees for nearly all companies, of whatever size and sector. Energy costs are felt in value and supply chains and thru stationary and non-stationary energy use and as such are a key factor in competitiveness for businesses and affordability for consumers.

Certainly, access to high quality and dependable energy services is fundamental to support the economic diversification and industrialization referenced by several delegations yesterday. Maintaining and growing the energy supplies required to provide access to those lacking it and to meet future demand with reduced environmental impacts will require significant private sector long-term investment in every element of the supply and use chain and in infrastructure.

All energy options carry risks and all energy options can and should be deployed while managing these risks. More sustainable energy pathways play a key role in ensuring that economic activity advances social development and environmental protection in both developed and developing countries. Energy efficiency is crucial here and businesses all over the world have been using efficiency to reduce their energy, improve their bottom lines and be more competitive. SDGS should be designed to catalyze investments in energy in developing countries that would allow leapfrogging to the most efficient technology options while meeting growing energy demands.

Let me close with innovation, the favorite topic of business – to take a page from the Netherlands team intervention: Energy enables, Business innovates. Numerous Lower carbon, lower emissions technologies, many currently non-commercial, must be developed and deployed globally to stabilize and reduce greenhouse gas concentrations. There is no silver bullet: power, transport, agriculture, land use and other sectors will all require successful, ongoing innovation. The SDG relating to energy, and indeed many other SDGs must prioritize and advance innovation, with enabling frameworks for private and public sector innovation.

Thank you.