On 22 September 2019, during the Energy Transition Track: Clean Cooking, Energy and Health session, prior to the United Nations Climate Action Summit, government and private sector representatives, local authorities and members from international organizations met to discuss concrete actions towards a just energy transition in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to spur gender-responsive investments, to address critical issues that hinder a gender-balance development of the energy sector and to close the clean cooking access gap. Here are the key takeaways from the Moderator, Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General.
Representatives from governments, civil society, business, the youth, international organisations and other stakeholders, having met at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22 September 2019 at the occasion of the Climate Action Summit 2019,
- Stressed that the global energy transformation must be accelerated to achieve both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change, recognising that the world is currently not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals including SDG 7 on energy or to keep global temperature rise this century below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels;
- Expressed deepest concern that three billion people still lack access to clean cooking solutions and are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution, which results in about 4 millions of deaths each year, mostly among women and children, and that burning of non-renewable wood fuels for cooking is also the largest source of black carbon;
- Stressed that strengthened political will and increased levels of investment are required to accelerate clean cooking solutions and to leave no one behind, and called upon all governments to make clean cooking solutions a top political priority and put in place specific policies, cross-sectoral plans and public investments to catalyse far larger amounts of private financing;
- Emphasised the need for all stakeholders including businesses, civil society, women and the youth, to promote innovation, capacity building, knowledge sharing, south-south cooperation and monitoring;
- Welcomed the Clean Cooking Fund proposed by the World Bank aimed at scaling up public and private investment in the clean cooking sector, and strongly encouraged all development partners to support this fund while expressing deep appreciation to the governments of Denmark, Norway and The Netherlands and others for their announced intended contributions;
- Welcomed the establishment of the Health and Energy Platform of Action by the WHO together with UNDESA, UNDP and the World Bank, aimed at helping countries strengthen the political and technical cooperation of the health, energy and other sectors;
- Welcomed a proposed High-Level Coalition of Leaders for Clean Cooking, Energy and Health, to be supported by the Health and Energy Platform of Action in collaboration with relevant governments and multi-stakeholders, and called upon leaders from Governments and other stakeholders to join and support the coalition in time for its anticipated launch in conjunction with the African Union Summit in January 2020;
- Called upon Governments, UN entities and other stakeholders to continue convening regular high-level dialogues on clean cooking to ensure political momentum, mobilise actions, share experiences and track progress, leveraging existing global milestones, such as the High-Level Political Forum, the UN Decade on Sustainable Energy for All 2014–2024, the Clean Cooking Forum and other relevant fora.
Text Credits: Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella.
Honourable Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella has been asked to leverage his leadership and experience serving as the Lead Coordinator of a High-Level Coalition of Leaders for Clean Cooking, Energy and Health. The Coalition, established by Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, WHO, UNDESA, Hivos and ENERGIA, aims to create and intensify political momentum, increase awareness on the drive for affordable, reliable, safe and sustainable clean-cooking solutions.