Energy Action Day will be held in the lead up to the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy, and will serve as an important milestone on the road to COP26 in Glasgow. It is hosted by Denmark, as Global Theme Champion of the Energy Transition track of the High Level Dialogue, in collaboration with IRENA, UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and the World Economic Forum. In line with SDG7, Energy Action Day will convene high-level stakeholders, to demonstrate a leap in collective ambition to accelerate action towards sustainable energy systems in order to secure sufficient and sustainable energy to support economic growth and reduce GHG emissions.
As highlighted in the Sixth IPCC Assessment report, modern society’s continued dependence on fossil fuels is warming the world at a pace that is unprecedented, with such consequences as the record droughts, wildfires and floods that are devastating communities worldwide.
Energy is a key enabler to power our lives, the economy and provide opportunities for development as SDG7 on access to sustainable energy for all underscores. But with energy production and consumption representing around 70 percent of global GHG emissions today, we can only meet the existential threat of climate change through a fundamental transformation of our energy systems, reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 while ensuring affordability, global access to energy and a just transition.
As highlighted by IRENA’s World Energy Transitions outlook 2021 and IEA’s Net Zero 2050 Pathway, achieving this target is possible but difficult. It will require phasing out fossil fuels, and urgent and decisive policy action and investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, underpinned by much greater international cooperation and partnerships between governments and the private sector. Countries, cities, communities, industry and the financial sector are already taking on the challenge of energy system transformation – developing new projects, enacting policies, experimenting with new business models and financing structures, and innovating.
Energy Action Day will demonstrate how these best practices and innovations can be rapidly scaled-up to become the new norm. It will highlight and mobilize support for transformative, action-oriented coalitions that are gearing up to accelerate the energy transition in the race to net-zero. It will also showcase the importance of integration and a systems approach to delivering a resilient, net-zero energy system faster and more cost-effectively.
As part of Energy Action Day, the UNEP United for Efficiency (U4E) initiative is organizing the dedicated session on energy efficiency, in association with the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, the SEAD Initiative and the Cool Coalition.