As we start 2018, there is good news and bad news on providing sustainable energy for all.
The bad news is that there is still a lot to do. Over 1 billion people globally do not have access to electricity that would allow them to be productive contributors to the economy. More than 3 billion also lack access to clean cooking fuels.
The good news? The solutions are within our reach; we simply need technology, policy and finance to work together. We can see examples of policy reforms that are working, investments happening and partnerships coming together. The challenge of 2018 is speed and scale.
As a global platform, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) works with leaders from across the world to broker partnerships and unlock finance to support Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG) – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
To accelerate progress on achieving these energy goals, SEforALL hosts the Sustainable Energy for All Forum, a landmark gathering and celebrating scalable action in the global sustainable energy movement.
Now in its fourth year, this year’s Forum in Portugal comes at a key moment for accelerating progress on global sustainable energy goals. Specifically, how do we achieve a clean energy transition that delivers universal energy access, but in the context of the Paris Climate Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate warming to below 2 degrees Celsius?
Taking place at the Convento do Beato in Lisbon, Portugal, May 2 – 3, the Forum will be a marketplace for government, business, international finance and civil society to come together to showcase success, interrogate failure and identify what’s needed to achieve faster, broader gains towards this transition that can provide clean, affordable energy for all.
Held under the theme Leaving No One Behind, the Forum will address how a significant number of people worldwide are still missing out on education, health, jobs and broader economic opportunities because they do not have access to affordable, reliable, clean energy. Closing these energy gaps — especially for those traditionally thought of in the ‘last mile’— is the Forum’s imperative.
If we’re to achieve action at the speed and scale needed, we need to have different conversations that can lead to bigger actions. Keynotes and disruptive insights, as well as deep-dive discussions on scalable success and remaining critical challenges, will help us move forward further and faster.
Attendees will hear from inspiring voices on the frontlines in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, who are building businesses, implementing policies and opening up new finance at the local, national and international levels. Leaders will reflect on trends in sustainable energy, the policies they are pursuing and what challenges remain, and who is at risk of being left behind and what are the solutions.
Our Forum marketplace will also allow our partners – including our new partner ALER – to showcase the great work they’re doing and create opportunities to network and broker new partnerships. Working sessions designed by SEforALL partners will further advance progress on specific, selected topics. You are invited to join ALER side-event on investment opportunities in Guinea Bissau, which will take place on May 4th.
The Forum is also an important platform for learning about the latest evidence and data on SDG7 progress. This year’s event will include the launch of the latest Global Tracking Framework report, which benchmarks progress towards global energy goals and shows us where we must take greater, more focused action to deliver sustainable energy for all.
The Forum and this new data will also take place just a few months before the UN High-Level Political Forum’s formal review on progress and key lessons learned on SDG7 and other SDG 2030 goals.
The evidence is clear that leaders that act boldly will be rewarded. There are many companies, large and small, seeking to enter what should be a vibrant market to provide affordable, reliable and clean energy services to millions that don’t have them today. Closing this energy access gap is one of the greatest economic opportunities of our lifetime, and with all the clear benefits, we must continue to ask our leaders, ‘Why wait?’
Join us at this year’s Sustainable Energy for All Forum in May to help us go further, faster – together – in turning commitments into action. We are already counting on our new proud partner ALER to do this in the Portuguese-speaking countries.
Director, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL)