Kazakhstan Focuses on Energy for Sustainable Development

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NEW YORK (IDN) – Energy drives and enables national development and the global economy. Energy lies at the heart of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which constitute Agenda 2030 endorsed by world leaders at the United Nations Summit in September 2015.

It is widely agreed that increasing renewable energy production and consumption by 2030 will therefore contribute to climate change resilience, economic growth and poverty reduction.

Kazakhstan, as a forward looking and staunch proponent of energy security for over half a decade now, will contribute to global discourse and multilateral action by hosting the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 on Future Energy from June 10 to September 10 in the country’s capital Astana.

In keeping with its repute of serving as a venue for landmark events, Astana will during the Expo, also hold the Eighth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development, together with an Energy Ministerial at the opening of the Future Energy Expo-2017.

Ambassador Dr. Kairat Umarov, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN in New York, addressed the diplomatic community, highlighting how the two events in Astana will prepare the blueprint for a shared destiny of sustainable energy production and consumption for countries of the world.

The Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations convened the briefing on April 4, 2017 together with representatives of the UN Regional Commissions: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Economic Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP), Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).

High-level representatives of Regional Commissions on their part also provided in-depth briefing on recent developments in preparation of the Astana Ministerial, including substantive and thematic issues of the conference. They stressed the need for fostering multi-sectoral approaches to enhance coordination for implementing the SDGs.

The speakers presented flagship projects underway as part of the sustainable development agenda. Each UN Regional Commission will publish a full-fledged report on its respective region with special focus on the energy-related SDGs.

Dr. Umarov indicated that the Forum and Energy Ministerial were co-organized through collaboration by Kazakhstan with the five UN Regional Commissions, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the World Bank, UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNID), the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency, and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century.

The Kazakh Permanent Representative to the UN also pointed out that the focus on the five regions underlines recognition of the fact that today all countries especially the most vulnerable ones – the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – are aspiring to implement SDG 7 on energy in partnership with the most developed and technologically advanced economies.

SDG 7 takes into account that: one in five people still lacks access to modern electricity; three billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating; energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, contributing around 60 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions; and     reducing the carbon intensity of energy is a key objective in long-term climate goals.

Kazakhstan is honoured that the Eighth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development will open for the first time with an Energy Ministerial, indicating the country’s efforts to bring together key policy and decision makers together for greater impact, Dr Umarov said.

The event in Astana will bring together ministers, other government officials, international energy experts, and representatives from international organizations, business community, financial sector and civil society to share perspectives on actions the energy sector can contribute in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The significance of the Eighth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development is also underlined by a report published on the same days as the Briefing at the Kazakh Permanent Mission to the UN.

According to the latest Global Tracking Framework (GTF) report released on April 3 by the World Bank and the International Energy Agency as part of the Sustainable Energy for All Knowledge Hub, The current pace of progress on three global energy goals – access to electricity, renewable energy and efficiency – is not moving fast enough to meet 2030 targets.

The report shows that the increase of people getting access to electricity is slowing down, and if this trend is not reversed, projections are that the world will only reach 92 percent electrification by 2030, still short of universal access. [IDN-InDepthNews – 09 April 2017]

By Devendra Kamarajan

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