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  The Global SDG 7 Conference will take place in Bangkok, Thailand next week. (21-23 February). SDG7 represents a major milestone, especially since the Millennium Development Goals from 2000-2015 did not include a goal for Energy sector. Energy is therefore,  recognized as a core part of the global sustainable development agenda of the United Nations system for the first time. Energy although many do not see as a critical topic, is  actually interlinked to many SDGs. Key interlinkages are seen towards, poverty eradication, food security, clean water and sanitation, health, infrastructure, education, prosperity, jobs creation, empowerment of youth and women and climate change. Therefore, the links are directed towards all 16 other SDGs

 The ECOSOC Youth Forum  in January put the initial steps to review the SDG 7 under the theme “Sustainable Energy for Climate Resilient Communities”. The theme was also related to the overall theme of the UN review cycle this year which is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies". This will be considered in depth during the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2018. The ECOSOC YF also took in the youth perspectives on the SDG 7 while taking into account the implementation constraints as well as emerging issues in the field.  SDG 7 is one of the SDGs that will be reviewed at the HLPF 2018. South Asian countries who are presenting their VNRs this year like Sri Lanka has been struggling to fullfill its fuel needs. There has been fuel shortages that concerned the citizens and uncertainities on the energy future due to the harmful nature of current fossil fuel plants and inability of the government to secure sustainable renewable energy solutions. Therefore, we hope by July 2018 there will be a through assesment of the status quo and proper plan for the energy mix of the country (Sri Lanka). 

  Now we come to a point where we need to look at where our final destination is. Let us look at the underlying targets of the SDG 7 which will give us an idea of where we need to reach in 12 years time,

  • By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
  • By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
  • By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support [1]

 The regions and specific locations that are in need of special attention when reaching above targets are already mostly  identified. Therefore, main tasks in implementation process we see now are related to mobilizing necessary resources, enabling the necessary technology facilitation, tincorporating new innovations while involving the local knowledge, building capacity of the communities to embrace the novel technologies, paving the way for further research to reduce the unit generation costs of renewable technologies among many others. Therefore, it will be quite important to follow up on above points when we look at the discussions and outcomes of the next weeks conference. Furthermore, we are now in the process of ensuring youth practitioners participation in the event where we could feed the outcomes from the ECOSOC YF outcomes of the SDG 7 to a more broader platform.

[1] https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/sdg7conference/content/documents/concept_note.pdf