Global Development Goals transit to the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. For the first time a separate development goal was defined for affordable energy, energy availability, and energy efficiency. This is a significant milestone given that SDG 7 interlinks with all other SDGs. As we know there is no single entity in the United Nations system that has dedicated responsibility for energy. Therefore, a group of UN entities and non-Un bodies have come together to form the process of “UN Energy”. It is interesting to see that a large number of entities have come together to form this initiative while the private sector is also stepping up the engagement in sustainable energy for the future, which we discussed in an earlier article.
UN Energy has its members and partners. It is indeed a unique assembly created for the sake of better future in energy availability and affordability. Many of the members are UN entities. They are, UN ESCAP(Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific), ESCWA(Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia), UNECE( United Nations Economic Commission for Europe ) ,UN-DESA(Department of Economic and Social Affairs), FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization), UNESCO(United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation), IFAD(International Fund for Agricultural Development), UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), IAEA(International Atomic Energy Agency), UNCTAD(United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), WHO (World Health Organization), UNDP(United Nations Development Program), UNEP(United Nations Environmental Program), UNICEF(United Nations Children's Fund), UN-WOMEN, UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) who is expected to join in soon, and the World Bank. The partners (who are the non-UN actors contributing) in this process so far are International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) UN Foundation, REN 21, and Sustainable Energy for All.
These entities listed shed a light on how important are the interlinkages of SDG 7 to the other SDGs. Their mission has three main sections, to 1. promote coherence in the UN system’s multi-disciplinary response to WSSD and 2. promote interaction with other stakeholders through several action 3. Focus on substance and collaborative actions both in regard to policy development in the energy area and its implementation as well as in maintaining an overview of major ongoing initiatives within the system based on the UN-Energy work programme at global, regional sub-regional and national levels. These efforts are carried out through a set of actions described here.
During the ECOSOC Youth Forum, and the SDG 7 Global conference, SciencePolicy CirCle had the opportunity to work with several member and partners from un Energy and will do so in the coming UN cycles. The important aspect here is to create policies that are in coherence with the transition we expect to see in the utilization of energy sources. Therefore, we will look forward to bring more updates of the progress in this coalition of organizations.