Sustainable energy production and consumption is everybody’s business. And it’s in everybody’s interest to get it right: access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, with a substantial increase in the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Speakers at this joint UNRISD-IISD-GEN panel discussion, held ahead of the Swiss popular vote on 21 May on the country's proposed Energy Strategy 2050, explored the implications of the energy transition from a range of perspectives—from the technological and environmental, to the social, economic and political.
- Peter Wooders (International Institute for Sustainable Development)
- Marek Harsdorff (Internaional Labour Organization)
- Dunja Krause (United Nations Research Institue for Social Development)
- Matthias Rüetschi (Services Industriels de Genève)
- Nora Kronig Romero (Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN)
The Sustainable Development Context
With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, governments have committed to an ambitious vision that aims to transform our world. SDG 7 holds the promise of access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, with a substantial increase in the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The Paris Agreement reached at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2015 (COP21) was a turning point on a net zero-greenhouse gas, climate-resilient and sustainable development path.
What are these commitments likely to translate to, in practice? What will it take to turn the vision into reality? Global energy systems, and the economies and societies within which they function, will have to undergo significant transformation in many domains to produce energy sustainably, change consumption patterns and enhance energy efficiency. Energy transition is necessary not only to meet rapidly rising energy demands, but also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate change, and reduce the adverse environmental impacts of the extraction and use of fossil-based energy. Energy transition is a requirement to achieve the social, environmental and economic objectives inherent in the concept of sustainable development.
Remote Access to the Seminar
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Photo: Ivy Dawned (Creative Commons via Flickr)