21 July 2014/ New York - The UN General Assembly's Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG-SDG) concluded its 18-month deliberations at the UN Headquarters in New York on Saturday, 19 July 2014. The SDGs are expected to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once these expire in 2015.

Among the proposed SDGs is a global goal to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. The goal is accompanied by targets, including to, by 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services; increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix; and double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. These goal and targets are fully consistent with the objectives of the Secretary-General’s SEforALL initiative.

‘Throughout the process, it has often been repeated that energy is a missing MDG. The proposal of an energy SDG takes us a great step forward towards correcting this. Sustainable energy is the golden thread that links poverty eradication, equitable economic growth and a healthy environment,’ says Kandeh Yumkella, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and CEO of SEforALL, and Chair of UN-Energy

‘SEforALL, through its unique partnership between the UN and the World Bank, and so many other stakeholders, is well positioned to provide a platform for resource mobilisation and implementation of an energy goal and targets for the Post-2015 Development Agenda,’ adds Yumkella.

Joining the United Nations Member States and the UN system in supporting the proposed goal and targets is also a global force of thousands of SEforALL partners from the private and the financial sector, civil society, and international organisations, including national and regional development banks.

This massive global network of actors from all sectors and regions share the determination as stated by world leaders at Rio+20 to "act to make sustainable energy for all a reality and, through this, help to eradicate poverty and lead to sustainable development and global prosperity".

‘SEforALL and its partners stand ready to support. Together, we can make sustainable energy for all a reality. I invite even more partners to come on board to achieve the vision of Rio+20, and now also the Open Working Group,’ says SRSG Yumkella.

Following a final 28-hour stretch, the working group adopted its outcome by acclamation at 1:20 pm Saturday 19 July, with a standing ovation for Co-Chairs Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya, and Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the UN. This followed a last debate where numerous delegations took the floor to express satisfaction or reservations with various parts of the document.

The proposal by the working group will be submitted to the UN General Assembly for consideration and appropriate action at its upcoming 68th session in September. The proposal is being made as the General Assembly declared United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, 2014-2024, kicks off.

(Report from IISD)

(More about the OWG-SDG)

Proposed goal 7:

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

7.1 by 2030 ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services

7.2 increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030

7.3 double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030

7.a by 2030 enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technologies, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technologies

7.b by 2030 expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries,

particularly LDCs and SIDS