Energy Action Forum sets bold tone for UN Climate Summit
Some of the world’s most high-profile and influential business and political leaders provided inspiration for the global energy transition during the Energy Action Forum on 22 September 2019 in New York City.
Watch the opening and closing sessions of the Energy Action Forum
The Energy Action Forum convened high-level stakeholders to demonstrate a leap in collective ambition to accelerate action towards sustainable energy systems. The Forum was organized to build momentum for the Energy Transition Track of the UN Climate Summit held the following day.
“We have set out our objective in the Sustainable Development Goal 7 on sustainable energy, now we need to move that to real actions on the ground: on the transition to renewables, on energy efficiency and on access to energy that leaves absolutely no one behind,” said Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN.
In line with this call to action, transformational projects and commitments were announced during the Forum.
Launch of the Energy Transition Track Climate Investment Platform
In response to country needs to mobilize low-carbon, climate-resilient investments, the Climate Investment Platform was launched during the Forum as a new global public good aiming to increase the flow of capital in developing countries to meet climate ambitions.
The Climate Investment Platform is an inclusive partnership welcoming all stakeholders from governments and international organizations to the private sector to scale-up climate action and translate ambitious national climate targets into concrete investments on the ground.
“The Climate Investment Platform will help bridge the gap between supply and demand to accelerate capital and scale up climate resilient investments, allowing countries to raise their climate targets and develop policy environments that allow investment to flow,” said Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).
IRENA, SEforALL and UNDP announced the partnership in coordination with Green Climate Fund.
Seven new members join Powering Past Coal Alliance
During one of the ministerial panel events at the Forum, the Powering Past Coal Alliance announced that it is welcoming seven new members and that it is extending its partnership with leading finance sector initiatives.
Germany, Slovakia, the State of New Jersey (USA), the Province of Negros Oriental (Philippines), Puerto Rico, AXA Investment Managers and Schroders joined the Alliance, which is a group of national and sub-national governments, businesses and organisations working to advance the transition away from unabated coal power generation.
With these additional members, the Powering Past Coal Alliance now counts 91 members. The continued growth of the Alliance shows how governments and private sector actors are responding to the challenge laid out by the UN Secretary-General to curtail coal generation and end the construction of new coal plants by 2020.
Heads-of-state call for ambition
The day featured many other inspiring talks and focused discussions around how sustainable energy can support economic growth, alleviate energy poverty and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark, both spoke about the importance of sustainable energy access for their respective countries and for alleviating global inequality.
“Tackling energy poverty is as significant as tackling other areas of poverty,” said Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia. “Our goal is to move from energy poverty to sustainable energy for all—for Ethiopia and for the continent.”
Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark stressed that “The transition to green energy must unfold all over the planet, not at the expense of progress, I have to say, but as a driver of progress, where we combine progress, economic development and clean energy, leaving no one behind.”
These speeches are available through the above video.
The Energy Action Forum was organized by the governments of Ethiopia and Denmark—the two co-leads of the Energy Transition Coalition for the UN Climate Action Summit—along with SEforALL and the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit Team.