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2018 Sustainable Energy for All Forum - Day 2 Wrap-up
The second day of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Lisbon was about speed and scale of solutions. The urgency for bigger, bolder momentum on the SDG7 goals as well as backing words with movement and concrete action to leave no one behind.
 
You say you’re doing okay with the richest of the poor. What are you doing with the poorest of the poor?” asked Greta Bull, CEO of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), in a question that captured an important tone for the day.
 
The Forum’s closing day, with over 800 attendees present, did not disappoint. On a wide range of issues – energy access finance, bringing clean energy to refugee camps, clean cooking – government leaders, companies, NGOs, and financiers stepped up with new collaborations and commitments to achieve faster results.
 
 
And, with the Forum spurring a whole host of follow-up working meetings taking place in locations across Lisbon, more progress can be expected.
 
“We’ve got a theme here. Just do it."
 
Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All
Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer
and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All
 
I got the passion. I’m going back to Ghana with that passion,” added the Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, Ghana’s Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.
 
At the close of the Forum, Kyte and Mahama were joined on the stage by dozens of leaders from government, business, academia, civil society and other groups who over the two days had made new action pledges.
 
The closing ceremony. Photo credits: Daniel Pinto Lopes / Connect4Climate
The closing ceremony. Photo credits: Daniel Pinto Lopes / Connect4Climate

Among the day’s highlights

 

     ​  Sustainable Energy in Humanitarian Settings
 
With displaced populations increasing worldwide, the urgency for providing clean energy and clean cooking solutions at refugee camps and other humanitarian settings is growing. “They come, and they are welcome, but we need to provide for them,” said the Hon. Simon D’Ujanga, Uganda’s Minister of the State of Energy, which has 1.5 million refugees, most of whom rely on local firewood for cooking.
 
In a packed session, government leaders, UN officials, foundations and civil society pledged to work together to accelerate gains to bring clean, affordable energy to humanitarian settings. Everyone agreed that replicating success stories, such as solar plants that are now powering two refugee camps in Jordan, is imperative. “We’re still not being serious on this. What difference will you make between now and the end of the year and how can we hold ourselves accountable?” said Andrew Harper, director of the Division of Programme Support and Management at UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.
 
     ​  Spurring Energy Access Finance in Africa
 
More financing and different kinds of financing are critical for supporting and scaling projects and enterprises that are providing energy access in regions with the biggest gaps, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. The European Union agree to boost spending on off-grid energy and last-mile electrification and off-grid. Provider Mobisol highlighted the significance of $30 million of local currency asset-backed financing.
 
     ​  Government Leadership
 
On day 1 left no doubt that governments, many of them in Africa, are stepping up on leadership in advancing strategies and policies that will accelerate SDG7 gains. “We now have a truly global leadership cohort of countries that have really ambitious plans and have set aggressive targets. We now have that with countries such as Bangladesh, Kenya and Rwanda,” Rachel Kyte said. Among the examples that emerged on day 1 there's Rwanda committed to reduce – from 83 percent to 42 percent – the percentage of its population cooking with traditional biomass fuels by 2024. Uganda and the Smart Communities Coalition agreed to work together to bring clean cooking and other sustainable energy solutions to the country’s growing refugee population. Somalia hosted a multi-stakeholder meeting in Lisbon to advance its efforts to run its economy on clean energy. Togo committed to 60 percent of new power connections by 2030, largely provided by the private sector.
 
Sustainable Energy for All Forum Lisbon - Leaving No One Behind
This year's Sustainable Energy for All Forum focused on leaving no one behind. Photo credits: Daniel Pinto Lopes / Connect4Climate

More announcements

During the Forum, the Shine campaign was officially launched with three-dozen groups from the faith and philanthropic sectors making commitments to mobilize financing for energy access efforts. Among others, those commitments included the Wallace Global Fund targeting one percent of its total investment portfolio to energy access efforts in Sub-Sahara Africa and the IKEA Foundation rolling out six new grants totaling over $40 million to support energy access work in Asia and Africa. SEforALL also signed a new Deliver Partnership with leading energy efficiency business, Danfoss. The partnership will focus on the Cooling for All initiative, the District Energy Systems Accelerator and work to continue action on energy efficiency that supports SDG7 goals. A new Middle East Hub was also announced by SEforALL and the Islamic Development Bank which will be hosted at ISDB Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  The Hub will raise awareness at the national and regional level of the challenges, constraints, and opportunities available while achieving the three core objectives of SDG7.
 
Banner and thumbnail photo credits to Daniel Pinto Lopes / Connect4Climate
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2018 Sustainable Energy for All Forum - Day 1 Wrap-up
More than 800 attendees gathered today at the fourth Sustainable for Energy for All Forum in Lisbon to chart the bold steps that are needed to accelerate progress on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) by 2030.
 
The opening day was a mix of data-driven reality about the challenge ahead and optimism that bigger, bolder gains are more imminent than ever. And, no doubt, attendees at the Forum – a mix of financiers, governments, business CEOs, civil society and community leaders – were the secret ingredient for making the transformative gains happen.
 
“You are the vanguard, the tipping point of the revolution.”
 
Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer
and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All
 

Among the day’s key highlights

Taking Stock on SDG7 Progress: If Rwanda and Bangladesh can achieve exponential growth in off-grid renewables in just a few years, why can’t other countries in Africa and Asia? If Portugal can achieve 100 percent renewable energy, why can’t other advanced economies? This was the reaction to the Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report released at the Forum’s opening session. While the data shows significant challenges in meeting 2030 goals, it also contained some bright spots on energy efficiency, energy access, and renewable energy.
 
 
Among the positive trends: the primary energy intensity of the global economy improved at a faster 2.8% pace in 2015; for the first time in all regions of the world, electricity access grew faster than population growth; in Bangladesh and Mongolia, energy access gains were nearly 10 percent. Far more sobering was the report’s clean cooking access figures as well as slow progress in many Sub-Saharan African countries on all of the SDG7 objectives.
 
“Far more needs to be done to advance renewable and efficient energy in all sector. Let us invest in the future, not the past.”
 
UN Secretary-General António Guterres
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a video message to Forum attendees
 
So what will it take to get more countries on the right track? Supportive government policies and regulatory frameworks are critical – a point echoed by a half-dozen government ministers speaking about their gains on energy access, energy efficiency and clean cooking.
 
Rwanda’s government has an integrated electrification strategy emphasizing grid- and off-grid solutions. Remote, rural populations far removed from electric grids are a central focus of their strategy. “We want to make sure we connect the entire population,” said the Hon. Germaine Kamayirese, Rwanda’s Minister of State for Energy, Water, and Sanitation.

An inside look at the #SEforALLforum with Rachel Kyte

Getting Real on Clean Cooking

Static progress on access to clean cooking fuels and technologies was the most sobering trend by far in the SDG7 progress report. The clean cooking access deficit is still stuck at about 3 billion, with gains from 2014 to 2016 negligible gains and only 59 percent of the global population with access to clean cooking. “If we keep up this pace, we’ll only reach 73 percent by 2030. That’s unacceptable,” said Dr. Maria Neira, Director of Public Health and the Environment, at the World Health Organization.
 
No doubt, new, more collaborative strategies are needed, country by country. And all cooking fuels – whether biomass pellets, ethanol or LPG – need to be on the table as a scalable solution. “We need lots of solutions. There is no silver bullet,” Kyte said.
 
A case in point is Cameroon, which is pursuing an ambitious national strategy based primarily on LPG cookstoves. It has doubled its clean cooking numbers since 2006 and about 20 percent of the population is now using LPG stoves; by 2030, it hopes to be at 50 percent. Ghana is also pushing a national strategy based on sustainable biomass and LPG.
 
The international funding community also needs to step up in supporting countries with the biggest clean cooking access gaps. “There’s a massive opportunity to create big markets for clean cooking fuels,” Kyte said.
 
Funding needs to be incredibly patient,” added Dymphna van der Lans, CEO of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “This market is not off-grid solar. It needs to have a sense of humility.”
 
Simply put, Rachel Kyte noted, investing in clean cooking is investing in “smarter energy.”
 
What I’m hearing again and again today is that we’re not just talking about energy as electrons,” Kyte said he her wrap-up remarks. “We’re looking at the health care benefits that will be achieved when we deliver reliable affordable energy. Energy that will help save children’s lives because they’re breathing cleaner air.”
 
Leveraging Women’s Role: Gender diversity and women’s empowerment in the SDG7 movement came up time and time again.
 
A new report produced by SEforALL and ENERGIA, Levers of Change, provides powerful evidence of how women are often not given an equal chance to take advantage of sustainable energy opportunities, such as traditional and mobile money financing that would enable them to acquire home solar systems or clean cooking solutions.
 
At an interactive lunch on gender inclusive investing, Calvert Impact Capital highlighted two key opportunities for enhancing women’s role: first, because women are more apt to live in energy poverty then men, targeting them in investment strategies will have a bigger impact; second, Calvert found its investments perform better when it uses a gender lens.
 

Banner photo credit to Kaia Rose / Connect4Climate

Thumbnail photo credit to Daniel Pinto Lopes / Connect4Climate
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Progress on Global Energy Goals Slow, but strong gains in countries show promise
The world is not on track to meet the global energy targets for 2030 set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, but real progress is being made in certain areas – particularly expansion of access to electricity in least developed countries, and industrial energy efficiency, according to a new report from five international agencies
 
Renewable energy is making impressive gains in the electricity sector, although these are not being matched in transportation and heating – which together account for 80% of global energy consumption.  
 
While global trends are disappointing, recent national experiences around the world offer encouraging signs. There is mounting evidence that with the right approaches and policies, countries can make substantial progress in clean energy and energy access, and improve the lives of millions of people. 
 
Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report, launched at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Lisbon, is the most comprehensive look available at the world’s progress towards the global energy targets on access to electricity, clean cooking, renewable energy and energy efficiency.  
 
 
The following are some of the main findings of the report. Findings are based on official national-level data and measure global progress up to 2015 for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and 2016 for access to electricity and clean cooking. 
 
Access to Electricity 
         One billion people – or 13% of the world’s population – still live without electricity. Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central and South Asia continue to be the areas of the world with the largest access deficits. Almost 87% of the world’s people without electricity live in rural areas. 
       ​  The number of people gaining access to power has been accelerating since 2010, but needs to ramp up further to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030. If current trends continue, an estimated 674 million people will still live without electricity in 2030.
       ​  Some of the strongest gains were made in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, which all increased their electricity access rate by 3% or more annually between 2010 and 2016. Over the same period, India provided electricity to 30 million people annually, more than any other country. Sub-Saharan Africa’s electrification deficit has begun to fall in absolute terms for the first time.
       ​  Tens of millions of people now have access to electricity through solar home systems or connected to mini-grids. However, these remain concentrated in about a dozen pioneering countries where penetration of solar electricity can reach as much as 5-15% of the population.
 
Clean Cooking 
       ​  Three billion people – or more than 40% of the world’s population – do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies. Household air pollution from burning biomass for cooking and heating is responsible for some 4 million deaths a year, with women and children at the greatest risk.  
       ​  Parts of Asia have seen access to clean cooking outpace growth in population. These positive outcomes were driven largely by widespread dissemination of LPG or piped natural gas. In India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam, the population with access to clean cooking technologies grew by more than 1% of their population annually. 
       ​  In Sub-Saharan Africa, however, population growth in recent years has outstripped the number of people gaining access to clean cooking technologies by a ratio of four to one. 
       ​  Clean cooking continues to lag the furthest behind of all the four energy targets, due to low consumer awareness, financing gaps, slow technological progress, and lack of infrastructure for fuel production and distribution. If the current trajectory continues, 2.3 billion people will continue to use traditional cooking methods in 2030. 
 
Energy Efficiency 
       ​  There is mounting evidence of the uncoupling of growth and energy use. Global gross domestic product (GDP) grew nearly twice as fast as primary energy supply in 2010-15. Economic growth outpaced growth in energy use in all regions, except for Western Asia, where GDP is heavily tied to energy-intensive industries, and in all income groups. However, progress continues to be slow in low income countries, where energy intensity is higher than the global average.
       ​  Globally, energy intensity – the ratio of energy used per unit of GDP – fell at an accelerating pace of 2.8% in 2015, the fastest decline since 2010.  This improved the average annual decline in energy intensity to 2.2 % for the period 2010-2015. However, performance still falls short of the 2.6% yearly decline needed to meet the SDG7 target of doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
       ​  Improvement in industrial energy intensity, at 2.7% per annum since 2010, was particularly encouraging, as this is the largest energy consuming sector overall. Progress in the transport sector was more modest, especially for freight transportation, and is a particular challenge for high-income countries. In low and middle-income countries, the energy intensity of the residential sector has been increasing since 2010.
       ​  Six of the 20 countries that represent 80 percent of the world’s total primary energy supply, including Japan and the US, reduced their annual primary energy supply in 2010-15 while continuing to grow GDP – indicating a peak in energy use. Among the large energy-intensive developing economies, China and Indonesia stood out with annual improvement exceeding 3 percent. 
 
Renewable Energy 
       ​  As of 2015, the world obtained 17.5% of its total final energy consumption from renewable sources, of which 9.6% represents modern forms of renewable energy such as geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind. The remainder is traditional uses of biomass (such as fuelwood and charcoal). 
       ​  Based on current policies, the renewable share is expected to reach just 21% by 2030, with modern renewables growing to 15%, falling short of the substantial increase demanded by the SDG7 target. 
       ​  Rapidly falling costs have allowed solar and wind to compete with conventional power generation sources in multiple regions, driving the growth in the share of renewables in electricity to 22.8% in 2015. But electricity accounted for only 20% of total final energy consumption that year, highlighting the need to accelerate progress in transport and heating. 
       ​  The share of renewable energy in transport is rising quite rapidly, but from a very low base, amounting to only 2.8% in 2015. The use of renewable energy for heating purposes has barely increased in recent years and stood at 24.8% in 2015, of which one third was from modern uses. 
       ​  Since 2010, China’s progress in renewable energy alone accounted for nearly 30% of absolute growth in renewable energy consumption globally in 2015. Brazil was the only country among the top 20 largest energy consumers to substantially exceed the global average renewable share in all end uses: electricity, transport and heating. The UK’s share of renewable energy in total final energy consumption grew by 1% annually on average since 2010 – more than five times the global average.
 
Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report is a joint effort of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO).  
 
“It is clear that the energy sector must be at the heart of any effort to lead the world on a more sustainable pathway. There is an urgent need for action on all technologies, especially on renewables and energy efficiency, which are key for delivering on three critical goals – energy access, climate mitigation and lower air pollution. The IEA is committed to leading this agenda and working with countries around the world to support clean energy transitions.” 
 
Dr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)
 
Dr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA)
 
“Falling costs, technological improvements and enabling frameworks are fueling an unprecedented growth of renewable energy, which is expanding energy access, improving health outcomes, and helping to tackle climate change, while also creating jobs and powering sustainable economic growth. At the same time, this tracking report is an important signal that we must be more ambitious in harnessing the power of renewable energy to meet sustainable development and climate goals, and take more deliberate action to achieve a sustainable energy future.”
 
IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin
Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General
 
“This detailed report describing the progress so far on SDG7 is a testament to the collaboration of the five international agencies on providing quality and comprehensive data and delivering a common message regarding the progress towards ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Still, there is a need for improving statistical systems that collect energy information in those countries where the most pressing energy issues remain to be addressed. Better data are needed to inform policy accurately, particularly in developing countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States. For this, investments in energy statistical systems are essential.”
 
Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the Statistics Division of UN DESA
Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the Statistics Division of UN DESA
 
“The experience of countries that have substantially increased the number of people with electricity in a short space of time holds out real hope that we can reach the billion people who still live without power. We know that with the right policies, a commitment to both on-grid and off-grid solutions, well-tailored financing structures, and mobilization of the private sector, huge gains can be made in only a few years. This in turn is having real, positive impacts on the development prospects and quality of life for millions of people.”
 
Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank
Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank
 
“It is unacceptable that, in 2018, 3 billion people still breathe deadly smoke every day from cooking with polluting fuels and stoves. Every year, household air pollution kills around 4 million people from diseases including pneumonia, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and cancer. By expanding access to clean affordable household energy, the global community has the power to lift a terrible health burden from millions of marginalized people – in particular women and young children who face the greatest health risks from household air pollution.” 
 
Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, at the World Health Organization (WHO)
Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, at the World Health Organization (WHO)
 
 
“As we take stock of progress towards the global goal on sustainable energy, this latest data clearly shows more action and political leadership is needed if we are to live up to our promise to leave no one behind. To meet 2030 targets, we must make every unit of energy work harder. We need to increase investment in the technologies and business models that make electricity access affordable for everyone, place even bigger bets on the remarkable capacity of renewable energy and build big markets for clean fuels and cooking access. World leaders put the promise of leaving no one behind at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, and now is the time for that promise to become reality.”
 
Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and CEO of Sustainable Energy for All
Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and CEO of Sustainable Energy for All.
 
It is the fourth edition of this report, formerly known as the Global Tracking Framework (GTF). Funding for the report was provided by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
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Smart Cities Forum 2018 - Rome
April 13, 2018 - 9:00am to April 14, 2018 - 6:00pm
Sustainable mobility is an essential building block for sustainable urban development. For cities to function successfully, the urban mobility system must provide access to social and economic opportunities for its citizens.
 

Agenda (April 13, 2018)

Agenda (April 14, 2018)

Interview with Virginia Raggi, the Mayor of Rome

Interview with Angelo Sticchi Damiani, President of the Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI)

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FIA Smart Cities Initiative 2018 Santiago - Recap
Fashion4Climate|Energy|Waste
Fashion: Part of the problem, therefore of the solution
The global fashion industry came to COP23 to tell of its efforts to cut out the waste and greenhouse gas emissions in its production, supply and customer behavior which have played a significant part in the linked problems of climate change and sustainability.

Watch how the fashion industry supports the Paris Agreement

The event at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference left the human models at home to shine a spotlight instead on business models and environmentally sound practices that can ensure the transition towards a cleaner, sustainable future, including making fibers from orange juice production.
 
The fashion sector represents an annual global turnover of around 160 billion euros. It produces 60 million tonnes of garments a year, which could reach 100 million by 2030, and employs 60 million people around the world, mainly in developing countries.
 
Fashion event COP23 Enrica Arena, Orange Fiber
Photo Credit: UNFCCC
 
Moderating the event, Costa Rican fashion designer Mitchell de La O outlined efforts to design and promote a new low carbon and sustainable system for fashion production and consumption.
Brands are adopting various climate and sustainability approaches, including by measuring their climate impact and looking beyond the first tier of suppliers, integrating sustainability in core business practices, making efforts to bring transparency to the supply chain and applying a variety of innovative solutions.

Mitchell de La O, Costa Rican fashion designer 

Swedish brand Filippa K’s sustainability expert Elin Larsson shared insights on how resource intensive garment making is. The production of 1 kilo of cotton requires 3,000 liters of water and 1 kilo of chemicals, creating 16 kilos of CO2 and half a kilo of waste. In Sweden, on average each person throws away 13 kilos of garments a year, of which 8 kilos ends up as waste – yet at least 60% could be reusable.  
 
Vanessa Rothschild, the Sustainability Expert at the H&M Group, said the group’s strategy was to be 100% run on renewable energy by 2040 with an entirely circular production model, where the by-product of one industry serves the objective of another.
 
The panelists also discussed how industry players are developing and adopting new tools to lower the carbon footprint of the industry. For example, Filippa K has created a way to classify fiber for weaving according to a set sustainability degree (its biological/organic source, ability to be repaired and recycled or even being of a recycled nature already).
 
Orange Fiber’s innovation, developed in partnership with the Polytechnic University of Milan, uses by-products from citrus juice production to produce a sustainable textile. Enrica Arena, one of the two original entrepreneurs, works at the end of orange juice production to retrieve the waste of the chain, and extract from it the cellulose that helps to create the necessary textile fiber.
 
Filippa K said it was also essential to involve customers in campaigns. For example, Elin Larsson presented the “7 pieces is all you need” campaign, where 18 different looks were created from the same seven pieces to prevent over-consumption of their products.
 
Another campaign is to tell people there is no need to over-wash clothes, which quickly breaks down the fibers, as well as to remind them that clothes can be mended, instead of thrown away. 
 
Banner and thumbnail photo credit to UNFCCC