Energy and The Post-2015 Development Agenda

The United Nations Decade of Sustainable Energy for All


Energy and The Post-2015 Development Agenda

The High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda convened by the Secretary-General strongly recommended the integration of energy in the post-2015 development agenda. The final report from the Panel included an illustrative, dedicated, global sustainable development goal relating to energy.


The Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals of the General Assembly included in its report a proposal of a goal on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, accompanied by targets on energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as two targets on related means of implementation. The proposed goals will undergo consideration by the General Assembly as part of deliberation on the overall post-2015 development agenda.


The World Bank has estimated that to achieve the three targets of sustainable energy for all (and the proposed sustainable development goal on energy), total global investments required will be about $600 billion to $800 billion per year, which includes $50 billion per year for energy access alone, and the rest for energy efficiency and renewable energy targets. To meet this challenge, the Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank Group have set up a finance committee of multilateral development banks, private commercial banks and institutional investors to consider innovative ways of mobilizing resources to support country-level actions .The three work streams on which the committee is working are: identification of business opportunities by countries/regions and their absorptive capacity; sources of capital, requirements for de-risking and market transformation and new innovations to leverage multilateral development banks capital; and project development capacity, funding and institutional arrangements.


For new financing structures, the Committee is evaluating four thematic areas within which several variants of financing structures are being discussed:(a) scaling up green bonds; (b) direct foreign investment and private-sector risk-sharing structures; (c) enabling new solutions with insurance; and (d) aggregation themes to attract additional funding into small-scale energy access, renewables and energy efficiency investments. A draft report was presented at the first Sustainable Energy for All Forum in June 2014, and further consultations are taking place with select financing institutions, banks and investors. A report on how to mobilize the first $120 billion will be ready by the end of the year.


It is worth reporting that, according to the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century report of June 2014, 140 countries have already set voluntary targets for renewable energy in their energy mix. The challenge is to how to support capacity-building in these countries for energy sector reforms and technology transfer to help them achieve their renewable energy targets. Furthermore, the European Union has pledged, under Sustainable Energy for All, to support the provision of modern energy services to 500 million poor people by 2030, with initial funding of €3 billion to leverage €13 billion over the next six years. This is complemented by the announcement in August 2014 by the Government of the United States of America under the Power Africa initiative to connect 300 million people in Africa to electricity in five years, with public-private financing of $20 billion; a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Sustainable Energy for All.


With these measures alone, it is conceivable that energy poverty could be reduced by over 50 per cent by 2030. Therefore, the 2nd report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Decade on Sustainable Energy for All strongly recommends that Sustainable Energy for All should be the initiative through which to track and monitor whether such commitments are achieved within the post-2015 development agenda, and to determine which are the best practices learned in the process and what further partnerships can be established to accelerate the pace for ensuring that the proposed sustainable development goal on energy is fully achieved within the next two decades.