Sustaining efforts to ensure access to sustainable energy
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Virtually (held New York time)

Official meeting

Documentation

Energy lies at the heart of both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. As governments worldwide tackle the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, we must not lose sight of the critical need for an accelerated clean energy transition. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 will open a new world of opportunities for billions of people through new economic opportunities and jobs, empowered women, children and youth, better education and health, more sustainable, equitable and inclusive communities, and greater protections from, and resilience to, climate change impacts Achieving SDG 7 will catalyze actions to combat climate change and advance targets of other SDGs and will contribute to accelerate transition to carbon neutral economy.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • How does/will the COVID-19 crisis and associated volatility in oil prices affect the energy sector?
  • How can clean energy investments contribute to a better and stronger recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How do we deploy the four “levers” identified in the GSDR - governance, economy and finance, science and technology, and individual and collective action – to accelerate the clean energy transition?
  • How do we accelerate the clean energy transition, while expanding access to electricity, achieving progress on clean cooking and ensuring the increase in transport movements is sustainable?
  • How can we mainstream decarbonization, decentralization and digitalization of energy systems into updated Nationally Determined Contributions to maximize synergies between the energy transition and climate action?
  • What are the outstanding challenges, and best practices to mobilize finance for clean energy investments, in particular in particular least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states?
  • How do we advance the SDG Decade of Action through innovative and knowledge-based policies and partnerships? What affordable, reliable and gender-responsive energy solutions do frontier technologies offer?

Chair:

  • H. E. Ambassador Mher Margaryan, Armenia, Vice President of ECOSOC

Moderator:

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

Resource persons:

  • Mr. Francesco La Camera, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency
  • Mr. Hans Olav Ibrekk, Policy Director, Energy and Climate Change, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Co-Facilitator of SDG 7 Technical Advisory Group
  • Ms. Sheila Oparaocha, Executive Director, ENERGIA (international network on gender and sustainable energy)

Lead discussant:

  • Ms. Leena Srivastava, Deputy Director General for Science, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, India (Science & Technology Community Major Group)

Followed by interactive discussion

Respondents:

  • H.E. Mr. Omar Ayub Khan, Minister of Energy, Pakistan
  • H.E. Ms. Cristina Gallach, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean (Vice-minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Spain
  • Mr. Li Yong, Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • Ms. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • H.E. Ms. Fatima Al Foora, Assistant Minister for the Ministry of Energy, United Arab Emirates
Biographies
H. E. Ambassador Mher Margaryan
Armenia, Vice President of ECOSOC
H. E. Ambassador Mher Margaryan

Armenia, Vice President of ECOSOC


H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan is the Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council. In 2019, he was elected Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women for the sixty-fourth and sixty-fifth sessions. He was appointed Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations in 2018. Before that, from 2017 to 2018 Ambassador Margaryan was his country’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. From 2015 to 2017, he was Minister Plenipotentiary to the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva. He worked as Head of the European Union Division at Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2015. With Government experience exceeding two decades, he has served his country in many capacities at Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at Missions abroad.

H.E. Ms. Cristina Gallach
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean (Vice-minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Spain
H.E. Ms. Cristina Gallach

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean (Vice-minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Spain

2020 Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean

2018 High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, Government of Spain

2017 Equal Opportunities Adviser, Council of the European Union

2017 Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, United Nations

2015 DPI Head of Department, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public
Information, United Nations

2014 Head of Public Relations and Spokesperson, Council of the European Union

2010 Spokesperson for the Government, Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European
Union

1999 Head of Division, Spokesperson and Chief Media Adviser to the High Representative for the
Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), European Union. Responsible for public
diplomacy and foreign policy.

1996 Media Adviser and Spokesperson for NATO Secretary General Javier Solana
Degree in Journalism, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (graduated 1982)
Master’s in International Relations, Columbia University, New York (graduated 1986), Fulbright-La
Caixa scholar

Born in 1960, Sant Quirze de Besora (Barcelona)
Languages: English, French, German (basic), Russian (basic), Spanish (native) and Catalan (native)

Mr. Francesco La Camera
Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency
Mr. Francesco La Camera

Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency

Mr. Francesco La Camera is the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He has more than thirty years of experience in the fields of climate, sustainability, and international cooperation.

He formerly served as Director-General of Sustainable Development, Environmental Damage, EU and International Affairs at the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land & Sea. In this capacity, he developed cooperation and partnerships agreements with a wide range of countries, particularly developing countries.

Mr. La Camera is widely credited with having spearheaded international cooperation on issues related to climate change and the environment. He played a key role in bringing together multilateral organisations to develop joint initiatives designed to implement the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. He has also coordinated a number of national strategies including on sustainable development, green finance and fossil fuel subsides among other things.

Mr. Hans Olav Ibrekk
Policy Director, Energy and Climate Change, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Co-Facilitator of SDG 7 Technical Advisory Group
Mr. Hans Olav Ibrekk

Policy Director, Energy and Climate Change, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Co-Facilitator of SDG 7 Technical Advisory Group

Mr. Hans Olav Ibrekk is Policy Director, Section for Energy, Climate and Food Security, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has more than thirty years of experience from government, international organizations, research and consulting in development cooperation, climate change, energy, water resources management, environmental financing, and capacity building, among other areas. He is a member of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and served on the Board of the Adaptation Fund 2007-2017, including serving as Chair in 2013 and 2015. Mr. Ibrekk is also the co-facilitator of the UNDESA-appointed SDG7 Technical Advisory Group. He is the focal point for water and sanitation in the Ministry. Mr. Ibrekk previously worked at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from University of Washington and a Master’s in Civil Engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology.

Mr. Yong Li
Director General, UNIDO
Mr. Yong Li

Director General, UNIDO

LI Yong, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), has had an extensive career as a senior economic and financial policy-maker. As Vice-Minister of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank for a decade, Mr. LI was involved in setting and harmonizing fiscal, monetary and industrial policies, and in supporting sound economic growth in China. He played a key role in China’s cooperation with multilateral development organizations, such as the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank.

Yong Li became Director General of UNIDO in June 2013. From 2003 to 2013, he served as Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Finance (MOF), People’s Republic of China. He was Assistant Minister, MOF in 2002-2003. From 1999 to 2002, he was Secretary General of the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Previous to that position, he was Executive Director for China at the World Bank Group (1996-1998). From 1992 to 1996, he was Deputy Director General and then Director General at the World Bank Department of the MOF. From 1990 to 1992, he was Senior Advisor to Executive Director for China at the World Bank Group. He was Director of the World Bank Department at the MOF in 1989-1990. From 1985 to 1989, he was Second Secretary and then First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations. In 1984, he was Deputy Director at the Foreign Fiscal Research Office, Research Institute for Fiscal Science, MOF.

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

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All

Damilola Ogunbiyi is CEO of Sustainable Energy for All, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.

Before joining SEforALL, Mrs. Ogunbiyi was the first female Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency and was responsible for successfully negotiating within 18 months the Nigerian Electrification Project, which is a USD 550 million facility (World Bank USD 350 million and AfDB USD 200 million) to rapidly construct solar mini-grids and deploy solar home systems across Nigeria. She was also responsible for the Energizing Education Programme, which will provide uninterrupted electricity to 37 federal universities and seven teaching hospitals through off-grid captive power.

She also conceptualized the Energizing Economies Initiative, which provides sustainable and affordable off-grid power solutions to economic clusters, including markets and industrial clusters in Nigeria. When completed, 1.2 million SMEs will be connected to uninterrupted power supply. In addition, she drove gender inclusion activities in the REA and energy sectors. Damilola previously worked as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Power and Head of the Advisory Power Team in the Office of the Vice President. She was responsible for the Power Sector Recovery Programme, which is a series of policy actions, operational, governance and financial interventions to be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria over a five-year period (2017-2021).

Before joining the Federal Government of Nigeria, Mrs. Ogunbiyi was the first female to be appointed as the General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board, which is responsible for public lighting, independent power projects and energy development in Lagos State. Under her leadership, five independent power projects were completed to deliver over 55 megawatts of power to Lagos State hospitals, schools, streetlights and the Government secretariat. In renewable energy, she completed a five-megawatt decentralized solar project for 213 schools and clinics in Lagos State.

Mrs. Ogunbiyi entered public service as the Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Public-Private Partnerships. Prior to her appointment, she was a consultant for the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID) on public-private partnerships.

Mrs. Ogunbiyi maintains a keen interest in mentoring and empowering young people through skills acquisitions. She created the Lagos State Energy Academy to build the capacity of young people in renewable energy technology.

Mrs. Ogunbiyi is one of the Commissioners for the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty, which is an initiative driven by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Ms. Leena Srivastava
Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s Science Advisory Group for Climate Summit
Ms. Leena Srivastava

Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s Science Advisory Group for Climate Summit

Dr. Leena Srivastava is the Vice Chancellor of the TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi – an inter-disciplinary higher education institution, focussed on sustainable development. She has a Masters in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a Ph.D in Energy Economics from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India.

She is a Co- Chair, Science Advisory Group, UN Secretary Generals 2019 Climate Action Summit; and Co-Chair, Future Earth; and member of: President's Advisory Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank; Ad Hoc Informal Multi-stakeholder Technical Group of Advisors on Sustainable Development Goal 7, United Nations, Division for Sustainable Development; Global Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Network; the International Advisory Panel of Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany, the Carbon Trust Advisory Panel, UK;. the Research Advisory Committee, WWF-India, Council of Advisors for Fraunhofer, India. She has recently been recognized as an IIASA Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

She is also an Independent and Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Bharti Infratel Ltd. and Shree Cement Ltd., India. She serves on the Sustainable Development Advisory Board, Caterpillar Inc. USA; the Sustainability Advisory Board of Cairn Energy, Vedanta Resources and Consocia Advisory, India

Ms. Mami Mizutori
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Ms. Mami Mizutori

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

Mami Mizutori is the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction, and head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, based in Geneva, Switzerland. She assumed her role on 1 March 2018.

The role of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction is to support countries and stakeholders in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030). The Special Representative ensures the strategic and operational coherence between disaster risk reduction, climate change and sustainable development agendas as well as the linkage with the UN Secretary General’s prevention agenda and with humanitarian action.

Ms. Mizutori served for twenty-seven years in various capacities in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to joining the UN, Ms. Mizutori was Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of East Anglia, UK, since 2011.

Ms. Mizutori graduated in law from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo and obtained a Diploma in International Studies from the Diplomatic School of Spain.

A Japanese national, Ms. Mizutori speaks Japanese, English and Spanish.

Ms. Sheila Oparaocha
Executive Director, ENERGIA (international network on gender and sustainable energy)
Ms. Sheila Oparaocha

Executive Director, ENERGIA (international network on gender and sustainable energy)

Sheila Oparaocha has twenty one years of working experience in the gender and energy sector, a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine and a Master’s Degree in Gender and Development Planning. Sheila is the International Coordinator and Programme Manager of the ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy. ENERGIA is an International Network of like-minded organisations and professionals that was established in 1996 to create an institutional base for galvanising action aimed at integrating gender into the energy access agenda of developing countries. Currently, ENERGIA has a programme of work with 31 partner organizations in 18 countries in Africa and Asia. Sheila has the overall and primary responsibility for managing ENERGIA’s international programmes, planning, monitoring, reporting and liaising with ENERGIA’s donors. Sheila also provides technical support to ENERGIA’s activities on women entrepreneurship development, gender mainstreaming in energy programmes, international policy advocacy, research and evidence development, network building and knowledge management. Sheila is the co-chair of the Technical Advisory Group for the Sustainable Development Goal 7 and a member of the Health and Energy Platform for Action.

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