United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Groups on Energy

Focus Area 7: ENERGY
7 May 2014 OWG11 on SDGs

Dear co-chairs,

My name is Nagwa Gadaheldam of Global Partnerships for Local Actions and I am speaking on behalf of the Women’s Major Group, the NGO Major Group, WECF International, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, WEDO and ETC Group.

We are glad to see much improved language for the focus area 7 on “Energy; It is important to have a stand alone focus area, but in addition, we believe that Energy is a cross-cutting issue in all the development agenda!

We would suggest that the targets are slightly re-formulated to clearly express:
1- the need for energy, and role of energy, in poverty eradication and the human right for all to basic, safe, energy provision within planetary boundaries.
2- the need to incorporate the environmental externalities and eliminating unsustainable energy sources including phasing-out nuclear energy.

This SDG should ensure democratic and responsible governance of the energy sector. For sustainable energy to be safely and sustainably managed in a world where resources are limited, equitably access and sharing of energy are key for development and peace.

Target a) could read:

a-2) by 2030 ensure universal access to safe and sustainable, modern energy service provision and socially- and environmentally-sound technologies, while limiting corporate control and concentration in the energy sector with a specific reference to gender equitable and democratic governance.

The question of accountability of energy companies in the developing world is highly critical. I have seen how some grab resources for benefit of few, and not support social development for all. Therefore, we have to change business as usual, and have women and men, and marginalized groups, at the center of energy and development policies, -- over profit. ! Therefore, we call for an additional target:

a bis) By 2020, establish an international framework on accountability of energy companies.

Regarding proposed target b), “doubling” is in most cases not enough to address the great threats from climate change, and more importantly, we need to “reduce” excessive consumption of energy in the North.

Therefore we propose that this target b) could read :

b) Aim at a 40-50%[55] share of socially and environmentally-sound renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030 and set absolute caps to reduce energy over-consumption and per capita use in industrialized countries.

Regarding e), perverse subsidies and other incentives are a great barrier for moving to socially and environmentally sound provision of energy for all. We need to act immediately and collectively, therefore we recommend:

e) by 2020 phase out fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies[60], as well as removing ‘perverse’ incentives, such as carbon offsets for unsustainable biofuels, that encourage wasteful consumption [61] whilst protecting low income populations from negative impacts (ref. to FA1, Social Protection Floors), shifting these funds towards a transition for safe and renewable energy for all.

And finally, on d) we believe that a qualifier is needed for “clean” and low emission, and specific solutions for households and communities, beyond cookstoves, thus we propose the following:

d) by 2030 increase by x% the share of socially and environmentally sound clean and low- or zero-emission energy technologies (for households, communities, farmers, entrepreneurs) including for sustainable biomass and advanced cookstoves [59]

Thank you chairs