United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Romania and Poland

SDGs –Energy

Thank you Mr. Co-chair!

I will speak on behalf of Romania and Poland and would like to present some comments for today’s debate on energy.

• Public policy and regimes are shaped not only by impersonal forces, such as science, technological innovation and economic growth, but also by people’s, governments’ and institutions’ perception of reality. We need to reconcile the competing economic aspirations in a world that faces climate change, depletion of resources and ecological scarcity by reducing carbon dependency, promoting resource and energy efficiency and lessen environmental degradation.
• Energy, in particular universal access to affordable energy, plays a critical role in actions leading to poverty eradication and implementation of sustainable development. Consensus is emerging over the need to integrate in the new development agenda, being an enabler for development and cross-cutting in nature.
• Energy production and supply have a profound effect on productivity, health, education, climate change, food and water security, and communication services. There is a consensus that modern, safe, secure and affordable energy services are vital to helping people out of poverty, improving the quality of life of the world’s population, in particular in least developed countries. Sustainable development is not possible to achieve without access to sustainable and affordable energy.

Forming targets:
• A crucial role to play in promoting sustainable development and eradication of poverty in all its dimensions is ensuring universal access to energy, enhancing energy efficiency and consolidating the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. In this context, promoting investments in measures that enable higher energy efficiency, energy conservation and developing infrastructure for renewable energy are central elements.
• Time and time again we’ve heard delegations reiterating the need to set goals. But if we don’t know where we are, we don’t know where we come from and we don’t know how to measure where we’re going to then those goals will be jeopardized. Measurement and reporting is central to the implementation of any global, regional and national target. A robust set of measurement tools will be crucial for informing and assuring appropriate national – policy making as well as effective international cooperation.
• Crafting such a framework could be a complex task. First, there is a need for an adequate understanding of the issue to be measured. Thus, we need a common language to define targets such access to energy, efficiency, which don’t mean the same think all over the world. There is a huge agenda beyond the figures. Second, an segmented approach in setting targets for the steps that need to be undertaken in the lead-up to the final goal could generate greater accountability along the process and a coherent and stronger involvement at all levels.

Universal Access to sustainable energy
• Access to energy must become universal, affordable and must promote/encourage a sustainable consumption pattern. This will help on the long term in dealing with social inequalities by initiating and encouraging economic development in all fields and leading to enhanced social well-being.
• Universality doesn’t imply uniformity. Different states have different needs, and in this sense it is clear that an adaptable SDG strategy is required, one that takes into account a differentiated and proportional approach.
• Energy access guarantees social and economic development through enabling sustainable agriculture, transport, education, research and innovations, health – medical services, creating jobs and strengthening the local business, as well as ensuring access to all kind of services, while addressing such important issues like gender equality, national security and price volatility.

Energy efficiency -
• Improving energy efficiency will increase global resources efficiency and productivity, create economic and social growth, protect environment against pollution.
• Improvement of energy efficiency reduces the increase in demand for fuels and energy, and thus it is conducive to enhancing energy security by reducing dependence on import; it also reduces the environmental impact of the power sector by reducing emissions.
• Moreover, the initiatives designed to improve energy efficiency are of utmost significance in the wider context of macroeconomic stability through their implicit long term effects on the debt burden of the most vulnerable countries.
• For these vulnerable countries the cost of the energy bill often consumes a substantial amount of the state financial resources thus hindering or sometimes even blocking the state’s capacity to invest in development programs.
• Improving energy efficiency would unlock a consistent stream of internal financing that could be used for investment and growth programs, with synergistic effects on the economy and on the development of the small and medium sized businesses.
• The reduction of the energy bill though the implementation of energy efficiency measures is proven to improve the dynamics of business productivity in developing countries, thus creating a positive spiral that, on the medium to long term supports one of the most important aspects for the world economy today (within the current context of post-crisis recovery), that of competitiveness.
• Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective solution to reduce emissions and increase energy security. Technologies contributing to the increased efficiency of the entire energy chain include, among others, decentralized energy production; co-generation; intelligent networks; demand management; and more efficient and effective energy receivers, including household equipment.
• Education, the informational campaigns, implementation of sustainable consumption patterns to change consumers behavior should be conducted.

Development of sustainable energy -
• The future SDG for energy should ensure further development of sustainable energy which would stimulate further sustainable agriculture and forestry, create green jobs, improve energy security, reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Due to various national and regional circumstances, there is no universal approach to development of sustainable energy. Firstly, we need to focus on energy that can be generated using local resources. This is particularly important for many developing countries, where transmission grids are not well developed and cost of required infrastructure would be difficult to cope. Renewably energy sources could be a proper solution there, including wind, solar, biomass.
• Special emphasis should be given to the development of indigenous resources, as these could prove to be more suitable and cost efficient to offer a secure energy flow. In this context, for the long run, energy generation strategies need to be based on resources that are sustainable, competitive and clean.
• We should not also underestimate generation of electricity from fossil fuels - especially domestically based. Cleaner fossil-fuel technologies might be the key to ensure access to energy at a reasonable cost during the transition period towards green, low emission economy.

Means of implementation:
• Progress on these targets can only be achieved by policy measures, including financial and economic incentives, phasing out harmful fossil fuel subsidies and relevant investments with an emphasis on the most in need. We are in a situation where anybody needs to improve, but if some countries with high impact could be the focus of our support we could make progress much faster.
• Also, innovative and flexible funding mechanisms are urgently required to use the leverage effect of public resources and ODA and to attract more resources from the private sector, development banks and financial institutions.

Thank you very much for your attention.