The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative: Opportunities for Austrian NGOs

The Global Forum on Sustainable Energy organised the event  „The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative: Opportunities for Austrian NGOs“ as part of its activities to support the SE4ALL intiative. In line with the approach of the SE4ALL initiative, the stakeholder event aimed at fostering the involvement of civil society representatives in making universal access to sustainable energy a reality.

Ms. Susan McDade, country action team leader of the SE4ALL Global Facilitation Team (GFT) in Vienna, gave an overview of the current status of the initiative, its governance structure and next steps. A high-level Advisory Board co-chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has been set up, and national, regional and global governance structures are currently being put in place. After opting-in, countries undertake a stock-taking and gap analysis and develop national action plans and programmes. Thereafter, implementation of activities and their monitoring can commence. The GFT aims, among others, at establishing a global network on sustainable energy and at improving information exchange among stakeholders such that synergies can be exploited and duplication of efforts avoided.

Participants at the event discussed possibilities for an active engagement of NGOs in the SE4ALL initiative. The key role civil society can play in bringing SE4ALL to concrete results and keeping it close to the needs on the people, was strongly emphasized. NGOs can play an important part in advancing policy reform and monitoring the performance of implementation. NGOs are often very experienced in implementing concrete projects in the areas of energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Capacity building and training measures are often core competencies of NGOs, and they contribute to the development, demonstratation and dissemination of community-based business models. In doing so, NGOs can support the development of local value chains involving the local work force, and the sustainability of energy-related projects in the long run. This can also help the SE4ALL initiative scale up existing solutions and rely on hands-on experience.

Given the magnitude of the SE4ALL challenge, scaling-up and replication of sustainable energy solutions as well as the creation and expansion of markets for sustainable energy technologies are crucial aspects for its success. The experience of all involved stakeholders as well as innovative solutions involving all possible players are greatly needed for delivering sustainable energy services to all.

The presentation of Ms. Susan McDade (SE4ALL GFT) can be downloaded here.

The reports dealing with ways to integrate energy into the Sustainable Development Goals can be downloaded here:

The Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on the post-2015 Development Agenda

UN-Energy: Draft Summary of Recommendations, Post-2015 Thematic Consultation on Energy

Sustainable Energy for All: Objectives