UN calls for transition towards clean energy at Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan


ASTANA (TCA) — At the EXPO 2017 on “Future Energy” in Astana in Kazakhstan, on June 13, the United Nations called on governments, businesses, and cities to increase their efforts to accelerate the transition towards clean energy.

“We are confident that the EXPO will give a new momentum to the ongoing efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. I hope the EXPO will advance dialogues between governments, climate scientists and engineers to find practical solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while generating energy,” said Cihan Sultanoğlu, the UN’s Commissioner-General for the Expo 2017 in Astana.

“Energy is the most critical sector for addressing climate challenges. Energy sector transformation is therefore critical for countries to achieve their climate and development goals and objectives,” stressed Ms Sultanoğlu. “We need to maintain, strengthen and support the transition in all possible ways,” she added.

The energy sector, accounting for more than two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, must be at the heart of any effort to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. To make the next step-change in the energy sector, the world must utilise all available technologies, increase ambition to change and mobilise the funds needed to enable the transition, UNDP in Kazakhstan said.

With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 7 on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy access, the international community set itself a clear roadmap towards a clean and sustainable future.

The Paris Climate Agreement also brought several ambitious goals. Signatories agreed to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the world’s temperature to just 1.5 degrees Celsius above what it was before industrial production took root. Analysts forecast that within a few years renewable energy could become cheaper than fossil fuels.

Cities around the world are playing an increasingly significant role in shaping the evolution of energy markets. The influence of cities ranges from support for smart grid investments in urban infrastructure to the setting of ambitious renewables targets as in cities like San Diego and Copenhagen.
UN organizations have been showcasing at the EXPO the importance of ensuring universal access to energy, global best practices in reduction of carbon emissions, greening the economy, and adaptation of innovative technologies.

At the UN Pavilion, visitors can operate a micro-hydro plant model or dive into Kazakhstan’s solar energy Atlas. A separate installation will show how oasis irrigation works, helping to provide water to arid regions using solar and wind power.

Sergey Kwan