High-Level Dialogue on Energy Technical Working Groups

The High-Level Dialogue on Energy is the first global gathering on energy under the auspices of the UN General Assembly since the UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy in 1981.

Presentation of the Final Report and Discussion

Rohit Khanna, ESMAP Manager, World Bank, told participants the report was reoriented and reframed based on the Group’s input. He emphasized that, to achieve universal access, the report addresses the need for a paradigm shift underpinned by five principles and supported by strong data. He said the report identifies four sets of building blocks with specific, measurable indicators and targets.

Elisa Portale, World Bank, highlighted that electricity access needs to increase from 82% to 94% in 2015 and 100% by 2030, while clean cooking needs to gain 3% each year, which translates to approximately 230 million people per year – or a 66% increase over current levels. She reviewed the five principles the report says should underpin an energy access paradigm shift:

  • Prioritize political commitments and financing, with cooking energy demand fully integrated into energy planning and strategy development;
  • Recognizing that energy access is a key enabler of inclusive, sustainable, and resilient economic growth and an integral part of the just energy transition, exploit synergies with other SDGs and reinforce the mutual implementation of the energy and climate link;
  • Put people at the center of both clean cooking and electrification initiatives, targeting in particular poor and vulnerable households in fragile and conflict-affected countries and LDCs;
  • Make “last mile” energy access the first mile of our efforts by working to increase rates of access to electricity and clean cooking among the remote, poorest, and vulnerable population segments, and prioritizing public institutions such as health facilities and schools;
  • Accelerate the pace of knowledge exchange, capacity building, and innovation, including by making best practices and lessons available to all stakeholders and investing in mechanisms to enable rapid transfer of knowledge, for the benefit of all electrification stakeholders. Action in this area would also include investment in capacity and skill building for all levels of participants in energy access expansion efforts, and should target women and youth in particular.  

Portale said the report identifies the building blocks to reach the key principles as follows: reinforcing the enabling policy and regulatory frameworks; enhancing social-economic inclusiveness of energy access; aligning the costs, reliability, quality, and affordability of energy services; and catalyzing, harnessing, and redirecting energy access financing.  

Rutu Dave, World Bank, presented the steps needed to achieve the building blocks, including reinforcing the enabling policy and regulatory framework and, by 2025, ensuring all access-deficit countries adopt national electrification and clean cooking strategies. The report also identifies steps related to: enhancing social-economic inclusiveness of energy access; aligning the costs, reliability, quality, and affordability of energy services; and catalyzing, harnessing, and redirecting energy access financing.

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