UN High-Level Political Forum shines light on clean cooking
This year’s United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), which focused on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), prominently featured clean cooking, thanks in large part to the work of the Alliance and partners hosting events and discussions throughout the two-week forum.
Three billion people are still cooking with polluting fuel and stove combinations, and throughout the forum there was a sense of urgency to accelerate access to cleaner cooking solutions, as was noted in the Report of the Secretary General. Sector leaders called on governments and stakeholders to make clean cooking solutions a priority. The Alliance and many partners had a major voice in these conversations as co-organizers of multiple events and serving as panelists at others.
Launch of a Global Plan of Action Framework
For the first time, energy in humanitarian settings was part of the UN HLPF deliberations.
During the first week of HLPF, the Alliance joined a number of partners and organizations to launch the Framework for the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA), an evolving process that will provide concrete actions for accelerated progress towards the vision of “safe access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy services for all displaced people by 2030.” The mission of the GPA is to equip all relevant stakeholders—aid organizations, the private sector, governments, and others—with the capacity to mainstream sustainable energy solutions into improved programming for displaced people. The event highlighted how the GPA can be a tool for accelerating progress in this area, identifying key challenges and recommendations for action. As a member of the GPA Steering Group and co-chair of the Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Humanitarian Working Group, the Alliance is leading the development of the Coordination & Planning working area of the GPA, as well as ensuring that improved cookstoves and fuels remain a key part of it. Following HLPF, the Alliance will collaborate with the GPA Steering Group and other stakeholders to translate the framework into a cohesive, actionable work plan for the sector.
Women in Energy HLPF Side Event
The Alliance, United Nations Foundation, ENERGIA, Sustainable Energy for All, UN Women, World Bank, the Governments of Kenya and Norway, and Bright Green Renewable Energy Ltd. convened an official HLPF side event, “Women in Energy: Fueling Development through Women’s Empowerment and Gender-Inclusive Energy Practices,” on the pivotal and dynamic role of women in the energy sector and in achieving SDG7. The Alliance spearheaded the organization of the event, where both Alliance CEO Dymphna van der Lans and Alliance 2018 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Chebet Lesan spoke.
The event highlighted the importance of enhancing women’s leadership and diversifying the involvement of women across the energy value chain, and what elements of an enabling environment can advance these goals. With contributions from governments, international organizations, and civil society, the panel discussion addressed the successes, challenges, and pathways forward in empowering women in the energy sector and achieving SDG7.
Leaving no one behind
Joined by heads of state, government ministers, business leaders and ‘last-mile’ energy entrepreneurs, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) hosted a discussion on SDG7. The event, “SDG7: Leaving No One Behind,” included diverse speakers who shared successes and challenges in delivering affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy to vulnerable populations living in Asia, Africa and other developing regions.
The backdrop to the session was the recent “Tracking SDG7: The Energy Progress Report” showing that global progress on key SDG7 goals isn’t moving fast enough to achieve 2030 objectives. Speakers were especially concerned about the one billion people who still lack access to electricity and three billion who lack access to clean cooking fuels and technologies.
“Energy is the key to leaving no one behind,” said Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General. “We’re not going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without universal access to clean cooking.”
Following the session, Alliance Senior Director for Global Partnerships and Communications Kip Patrick talked with SEforAll CEO Rachel Kyte about the organization’s work and what needs to be done to accelerate progress on clean cooking. See the full interview HERE.