By Magdalena AK Muir
The scope of the challenge of ensuring universal access to more sustainable energy was recognized at SE4ALL Forum. Transforming global energy systems and infrastructures to be more efficient and sustainable, and ensuring that energy is universally and equitably accessible is a monumental and ongoing challenge that will require broad participation of all global, national and local communities. The interconnection between the SE4ALL and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for energy, water, economic development, gender equity and health was clearly recognized, particularly as the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy For All 2014 to 2024 was initiated at this forum with a two year focus on women, children and health. The value of this forum for communicating the current activities and partnerships under the SE4ALL initiative was evident, and hopefully these communications can be more interactive and bilateral in future forums.
Across the SE4ALL forum, there was the recognition of the need for involvement of the private sector and finance. There was also a broad endorsement of the role of civil society in SE4ALL activities, including participation of academic institutions, community based organisations, environmental organisations, local governments, and profit and non profit entities. On June 6th, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) summarized the need for widespread inclusion of civil society when it underscored the need for the SE4ALL process to reach out not only to the energy supply side but also to the energy demand side, for the needs and voices of all energy users need to be heard. Further, the IUCN highlighted the role of nature, and the need for this energy to be nature friendly. The IUCN statement is found here.
Civil society inclusion has already been expansively defined and included in the Rio +20 process. Given the scope of the sustainable energy challenge, there is the need to incorporate civil society as broadly in the SE4ALL process, and related SDG for energy occurring under the Open Working Group (OWG) for SDGs (with the 12 Session of the OWG SDG taking place next week from June 16 to 20th), and in the post 2015 Rio process
Further information on this SE4ALL forum available at:
Sustainable Energy For All Forum website
IISD Summary Report on SE4ALL Forum
Daily IISD web based reports