Green Cross contributed to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Pathways to Sustainable Energy Conference at the UN in Geneva on 19 and 20 April.
The event is part of a long term project to develop scenarios for sustainable energy futures in the UNECE region – to 2050 and 2100 – to meet the requirements of the Paris Climate Accord and to provide quality of life in terms of energy services as defined by SDG Goals 7 and 13.
“We need to accelerate climate action while giving access to affordable low-carbon energy services across the region and around the world,” said Adam Koniuszewski during the conference. “The longer we wait, the fast we will have to phase out fossil fuels to remain within the carbon budget consistent with the 2-degree target. The current commitments will not get us there.”
Green Cross joined an elite group of experts from across the UNECE region including representatives of industry, policy makers, energy think tanks, country representatives and modelling experts.
During the session, the conditions to create a resilient policy framework were discussed. The need for early warning signals and mechanisms to support robust decision-making and help policy makers navigate uncertainty were raised.
Various policy levers were explored, including tools for energy efficiency, carbon intensity, productivity, the need for investment across the value chain, speed-to-market of new energy options, emergence of innovative technologies, carbon proce considerations, national / smart / off-grid solutions, centralised and decentralised energy systems, energy systems for energy services, the availability of financing, and free-market versus command-and-control considerations in modeling various energy future scenarios.
UNECE is made up of 56 member States in Europe, North America and Asia representing 20 per cent of the world’s population. Over 70 international professional organizations and other non-governmental organizations take part in UNECE activities.