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FFRE Transition Workshop Series
Description/achievement of initiative

In 2011 the Secretary General launched the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative that has three objectives to be achieved by 2030: ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. The ambitions and policies for many SIDS go beyond these objectives however.To support the SE4ALL initiative and SIDS ambitions, the partners of this initiative are organising a series of Fossil Fuel to Renewable Energy (FFRE) Transition workshops, building the capacity of policy makers and other stakeholders in ramping-up national-level transitions to sustainable energy. UNOSD, in collaboration with the MID Commission, has already delivered the first iteration of the FFRE workshop, in Mauritius, from 12 to 16 May 2014. This and future FFRE workshops convene senior level officials of national sustainability strategy agencies, ministries of finance and energy, or planning authorities.This capacity-building process is particular timely for Member State governments as a strong global momentum is building to accelerate the transition to low-emission, renewable energy sources. While UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, talking in Davos to global political and economic leaders this January, repeated his call to mitigate climate change through energy transitions, both Jim Yong Kim, World Bank President, and Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, warned investors of the imminent risk to fossil-fuel assets as regulators and economies steadily move to a post-carbon era. This highlights the need for developing countries, in SIDS and elsewhere, to anticipate and benefit from this trend, minimising their dependence on fossil fuels and maximising the impact of early planning and investments.

Implementation methodologies

The initiative is achieved by pooling expertise and experiences from both implementing partners and participating Member States. Based on the overall objectives and specific focus of each FFRE workshop, instructional content calls upon such expertise, for both material and instructors, while all participants are encouraged to share their experiences and lessons learned for the benefit of others. Workshops are organised at the regional level, in a regional lingua franca, under the auspices of one of the participating Member States. Events are kept to a medium-size group of 15-25 people, enabling agile participation and interaction for maximum exchange and learning over a period of 3 to 5 days.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The event is a capacity-building initiative, focussed on training and knowledge exchange between participants, and the nurturing of a lasting community of practice for peer support in energy transition.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

To date, the initiative has been coordinated by UNOSD, having taken the lead in launching the FFRE series with the Mauritius event. UNOSD will continue in the foreseeable future to coordinate FFRE workshops, although with increasing inputs from its partners from WECDB/DSD and GSI with both capacity development contents and organisational support. Other partners may soon join the initiative.


United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), DSD, UNDESA Water, Energy and Capacity Development Branch, Division for Sustainable Development, UNDESA Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI), IISD
Progress reports
Goal 7
FFRE Nairobi (East Africa)
FFRE Mauritius (Indian Ocean and African Island States)
FFRE Abidjan (Francophone Africa)
Financing (in USD)
Staff / Technical expertise
Staff time by host country, and expert time from other partners
In-kind contribution
Training material from some partners

Basic information
Time-frame: 0000-00-00 - N/A
United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), DSD, UNDESA Water, Energy and Capacity Development Branch, Division for Sustainable Development, UNDESA Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI), IISD
Contact information
François Fortier, Senior Sustainable Development Expert, fortier@un.org
United Nations