High-level Dialogue on Energy New York, September 2021

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website_hld_program_for_22_23._v._9_sep_clean31_0.pdf (un.org)



Curtain-raiser Virtual Press Briefing
Wednesday, 15 September, 9:00-9:30 a.m. New York time

With the Co-Chairs of the High-level Dialogue on Energy:

Achim Steiner, Administrator of U

 Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General
 for Sustainable Energy for All

Watch live at webtv.un.org and register https://forms.gle/5fS4yLULpFHsjj3T6 to submit questions.
Registration open to bona fide media representatives only

New York, 9 September —Faced with the rapidly accelerating impacts of climate change and urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from the energy sector—while ensuring that all people have access to electricity

and clean energy -- the UN is bringing together Heads of State and Government as well as leaders from business, foundations and other organizations on 24 September to mobilize commitments and actions.

The High-level Dialogue on Energy, which will be convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the summit level at the request of the General Assembly, is an historic opportunity to close this gap, as the first gathering of leaders in more than 40 years at the UN solely devoted to energy issues. 

It will produce a roadmap toward net-zero emissions and universal energy access and provide an opportunity for governments, as well as businesses and civil society organizations, to present plans and commitments in the form of “Energy Compacts”, that will help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 and the Paris Agreement.

ENERGY COMPACTS.  As of early September, over 100 Energy Compacts have been submitted from organizations in over 26 countries, including:  Member States;  businesses; UN and international

organizations; foundations; financial institutions; regions and cities; and civil society groups including

several youth networks.  They include commitments on boosting access to electricity and clean cooking,

increasing the

share of renewables and energy efficiency, spurring investment and showcasing other new technologies.

Many more Compacts are expected prior to the High-level Dialogue and in the months ahead, as the commitments are tracked through the 2030 target year and partnerships expanded.

Among the large-scale Energy Compacts already previewed, the Rockefeller Foundation and

IKEA Foundation have committed $1 billion to spearhead a new global funding platform and empower

1 billion people with

access to distributed renewable energy, such as mini-grids. The European Bank for Reconstruction and

Development (EBRD) pledged to invest an additional $1.3 billion by 2023 to finance district energy

investments and other services as part of its Green Cities programme in nearly 40 countries.


The recent IPCC report showed that urgent action is needed to keep the 1.5°C goal in reach, in order to

limit the impacts of climate change.  At the same time, this goal will not be reached unless all people have access to clean, affordable and reliable energy, as agreed to by all countries as part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals -- Goal 7.

Globally there are 759 million people without access to electricity. A further 800 million or more people have unreliable or intermittent access to the essential electricity that is needed at home, work, school,

health facilities and community services for people to live healthy and productive lives.

Nearly 3 billion people do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies.

The energy sector currently accounts for almost three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions.

While energy access-deficit countries may contribute little today to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, achieving access for everyone to sufficient energy for productive use, industrialization and economic growth would cause their emissions to increase significantly if that energy comes from fossil fuels, such as coal-fired power and continued use of diesel-powered generators.

Taking place less than two months before the critical Climate Conference in Glasgow this November—

COP 26—the Energy Dialogue is also an important step towards mobilizing commitments and defining the actions that will enable countries to reduce their emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by

2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

WHEN  / WHO  (all events virtual, livestreamed at webtv.un.org and www.un.org/en/conferences/energy2021
22 September, “The Power of SDG7 to Create a Better Future for People and Planet”

23 September, “Let’s Get It Done: Catalytic Finance for Universal Energy Access and Energy Transition”
7:30-9:00 am  both days – pre-summit events with leaders from business, foundations, youth and

civil society, who will announce their Energy Compact commitments and aim to expand partnerships. 

24 September
9:30 – 10:00 am Opening of the High-level Dialogue on Energy, with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, and business and youth leaders. 
10:00am-6:00pm  -- High-level Dialogue on Energy – statements by Heads of State and Government, and business and other leaders as time permits.

Interactive “fireside chat” with the Co-Chairs of the High-level Dialogue, Achim Steiner and Damilola

Ogunbiyi, as well as leaders from business and civil society organizations. (Time TBC)

Dialogue closing remarks by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and UN Under-Secretary-

General for Economic and Social Affairs and Dialogue Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin

Media Contacts 
UN DGC: Dan Shepard, shepard@un.org
HLDE Secretariat, UN DESA: Pragati Pascale, pascale@un.org
Daniella Sussman, daniella.sussman@un.org
UNDP: Sarah Bel, sarah.bel@undp.org
SEforALL: Divya Kottadiel, divya.kottadiel@seforall.org

The Dialogue programme, logistical information, press resources and contacts for partner organizations

will be posted here.

For updates, subscribe to the Dialogue newsletter by sending a request to energy2021@un.org, or follow @UN_Energy on Twitter.







The High-level Dialogue on Energy in 2021 represents the first global gathering on energy under the

auspices of the General Assembly since the UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy

held in Nairobi in 1981. It presents a historic opportunity to provide transformational action in the first

years of the SDG Decade of Action and support the implementation of the Paris Agreement.



The overarching goal of the High-level Dialogue on Energy is to promote the implementation of the

energy-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Dialogue should raise ambition and accelerate action towards the achievement of the SDG7

targets by catalysing innovative solutions, investments and multi-stakeholder partnerships in support

of the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

This overarching goal will be supported by a series of objectives including:


  • Strengthen political commitment to the achievement of SDG7.
  • Promote green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through sustainable, decarbonised energy
  • solutions.
  • Catalyse multi-stakeholder partnerships and voluntary commitments by all stakeholders.
  • Leverage energy action for advancing other SDGs.
  • Catalyse finance, investment, innovation, new technologies, capacity building and quality data for
  • SDG 7 acceleration, including maximizing its contribution to combatting climate change.
  • Strengthen synergies with major intergovernmental processes, including on transport, ocean,
  • biodiversity, gender equality, food systems and climate change.
  • Accelerate delivery of United Nations support and services for Member States on energy-related
  • issues at all levels.


HL Dialogue

Following the General Assembly resolution 74/225, the Secretary-General will convene a

High-level Dialogue on Energy at a summit level during the 76th session of the UN General

Assembly in September 2021 in New York, to accelerate SDG 7 action for the achievement of the

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Dialogue represents the first inclusive global gathering on energy under the auspices of the

General Assembly since the UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy held in

Nairobi in 1981. It presents a historic opportunity to provide transformational action in the first years

of the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs and support the implementation of the Paris Agreement.



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