Leaving No One Behind: Five Things You Need to Know about this Year’s SEforALL Forum Program
By Fiona Messent, Finance Specialist
To help accelerate progress on achieving global energy goals, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is once again hosting the Sustainable Energy for All Forum – the global landmark gathering that celebrates success, advocates for greater action and facilitates new partnerships in the sustainable energy movement.
Held at the Convento do Beato from 2-3 May 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, the fourth Sustainable Energy for All Forum is being organized under the theme, ‘Leaving No One Behind.’
Here are five things you need to know about this year’s agenda:
1. POWER TO THE PEOPLE
More than 750 leaders from government, industry, civil society and international organizations will gather at this year’s Forum.
The program will feature speakers from around the world who will challenge how we are thinking about the sustainable energy transition. It will include a number of ‘disruptive voices’ who are shaking up the energy sector and supporting greater progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030. Sessions are designed to identify how this transition can ensure that no one sector, country, community or individual is left behind.
2. NEW CONNECTIONS
SEforALL is made up of a diverse range of partners committed to supporting SDG7. The Forum provides a collaborative space for showcasing the inspiring work that our partners are doing across the world, while also providing an avenue for new partnerships to be formed.
A highlight will be the Forum’s Partner Working Sessions each afternoon. More than 30 partners will host 18 Partner Working Sessions over two days, giving Forum delegates access to the latest data, inspiration and connections to spur action focused on scalable results. Each session will also produce an outcome document to help drive progress beyond the Forum.
Our Forum Marketplace also returns this year. Held on the mezzanine which wraps around the beautiful Convento do Beato, this dynamic space will showcase the work of SEforALL Partners nurture new connections and.
3. OVERCOMING CHALLENGES
The Forum agenda will focus on sharing the latest evidence of progress on SDG7 and scalable innovations in providing electricity access, accelerating renewable energy and improving energy efficiency around the world. It will shine a spotlight on the urgency for bringing affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy to under-served populations, communities and regions that are at risk of being left behind in the global clean energy transition. These populations, and in particular women, are especially vulnerable to energy poverty, climate impacts and other extreme economic challenges and generally lack the finance and political capacity for changing their situation. Achieving SDG7 is essential to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits for all.
The first day of the Forum will therefore see the launch of the 2018 Global Tracking Framework (GTF) report, a product of the Sustainable Energy for All Knowledge Hub produced by partners including the World Bank and International Energy Agency, to frame the discussions across the Forum. The GTF highlights where progress is being made across SEforALL objectives, including universal access to modern energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and where more focus is required.
Through a series of keynotes and deep dive panels, speakers will draw on this data and their experiences to have honest, provocative discussions about what is really needed to address remaining challenges and ensure that the opportunities that energy access brings can be seized by all.
4. SCALING SOLUTIONS
Day Two will see the focus shift from challenges to solutions – looking beyond conventional practices and approaches to the increasingly innovative solutions that are, or have the potential to, deliver change at the speed and scale needed to meet SDG7.
Discussions will focus on bold innovations such as blockchain technologies and energy storage, that are allowing communities, regions and countries to accelerate progress across each of the objectives of SDG7; universal energy access, doubling the share of renewable energy in our energy mix and doubling energy efficiency improvements.
Innovators will explore the conditions that enable solutions to scale and be replicated elsewhere and how these solutions can not only assist in meeting each of the objectives of SDG7 but also a number of other SDGs.
5. ACCELERATING PROGRESS ACROSS THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
As we work towards our 2030 goals, at stake are significant populations that are missing out on education, health, jobs and broader economic opportunities because they do not have access to clean, affordable energy. Closing these energy gaps — especially for ‘last mile’ populations and women — is the Forum‘s imperative.
Timely access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services opens up new opportunities that improve livelihoods, enable businesses to grow and create jobs. It can empower women, improve health outcomes, expand educational opportunities and free up time for more productive activities, as shown in our latest Why Wait? Seizing the Energy Access Dividend research.
The closing session of the Forum will focus on all of these key interlinkages across Agenda 2030, providing a stepping stone to the 2018 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York City in July, where progress on SDG7 goals will be reviewed, along with other SDGs focused on water, cities and sustainable consumption.
So, join us at this year’s Forum in Lisbon. We are excited for you to join us and continue exploring how we can continue to go further, faster – together – in securing sustainable energy for all.