“I hope EXPO 2017 will advance dialogues between governments, climate scientists and engineers to find practical solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while generating energy,” said Cihan Sultanoðlu, the UN Commissioner-General for the Organization's participation at the EXPO, currently underway in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
“We need to maintain, strengthen and support the transition in all possible ways,” she added.
At the EXPO, which kicked off on 10 June, UN entities have been highlighting the importance of ensuring universal access to energy, global best practices in reduction of carbon emissions, greening the economy, and adaptation of innovative technologies. They have also setup interactive models of energy and irrigation systems that are powered by hydro-, solar and the wind power for visitors to get a first-hand experience on how these work.
The energy sector, accounting for more than two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions is at the heart of efforts to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, as envisioned in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Furthermore, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by all UN Member States in September 2015 also calls including a specific goal (Goal 7) on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
These are the bases for a clear roadmap, drawn by the international community towards a clean and sustainable future, noted a news release issued by the UN team at EXPO 2017.
The release also highlighted the role that cities around the world are playing 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 in cities like San Diego and Copenhagen,” it added.
This is all the more important given that experts have forecasted that renewable energy could become cheaper than fossil fuels within a few years, freeing resources for use in other initiatives.