Published by the United NationsCopyright United Nations, 2021All rights reservedFor further information, please contact:Secretariat of the High-level Dialogue on Energy 2021Division for Sustainable Development GoalsDepartment of Economic and Social AffairsUnited 1/aboutEmail: [email protected]

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThis report was prepared in support of the High-level Dialogue on Energy that will be convened by the UNSecretary-General under the auspices of the UN General Assembly in September 2021, in response toresolution 74/225. The preparation for the Dialogue has been coordinated under the leadership of the DialogueSecretary-General, LIU Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and the Co-Chairs ofthe Dialogue and UN-Energy, Achim Steiner, Administrator of UNDP and Damilola Ogunbiyi, Special Representativeof the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. The views expressed in this publication are those ofthe experts who contributed to it and do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or the organizationsmentioned in this document. The report is a product of a multi-stakeholder Technical Working Group (TWG)which was formed in preparation of the High-level Dialogue. UN-Energy provided substantive support to the TWGthroughout the development of this report.The outstanding commitment and dedication of the Co-lead organizations under the leadership of Francesco LaCamera, Director-General of IRENA; Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP; and Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana,Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP, in guiding the process that led to this report was truly remarkable. Special thanksare due to the experts from the Co-Lead organizations who spearheaded the development of this report, namely,Elizabeth Press, Anastasia Kefalidou, Claire Kiss (IRENA); Mark Radka, John Christensen, Miriam Hinostroza, GiuliaFerrini (UNEP); Hongpeng Liu and Sergey Tulinov (UN ESCAP). Without their knowledge, drafting skills and adeptsteering of the deliberations, this report would have been impossible.THE TWG ON ENERGY TRANSITION CONSISTED OF:Co-Lead organizationsInternational Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)TWG MembersFaye AlhershMASDARAda ÁmonCity of BudapestBjörn AndresenAarhus UniversityDaniele AgostiniEnelJaviera AldunateMinistry of Energy of ChileSafiatou AlzoumaAfrica Renewable Energy InitiativeTOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 7 AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONSI

Jaff Epse BimeMarilyn BongmoMinistry of Water Resources and Energy of CameroonNoam BoussidanWorld Economic ForumXiangkun (Elvis) CaoCornell UniversitySören DenggFederal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of GermanyGabriela Prata DiasCopenhagen Centre on Energy EfficiencyTasneem EssopClimate Action NetworkJudith FrancoArgentinian Association of Renewable Energy and the EnvironmentMonica GullbergGreen Climate FundLucy HeintzActisDitte Juul JørgensenDirectorate General for Energy, European CommissionVladislav KaimUN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate ChangeNgụy Thị KhanhGreen Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) in VietnamAmélie LougsamiMinistry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of FranceMadalena Callé LucasEDP - Energias De Portugal SAGrammenos MastrojeniUnion for the MediterraneanWanjira MathaiWRI AfricaLaura Martín MurilloJust Transition Institute, Ministry for Ecological Transition andDemographic Challenge of SpainTosi Mpanu-MpanuMinistry of Environment of the Democratic Republic of CongoHaiyan QinChinese Wind Energy AssociationRicardo Raineri BernainPontificia Universidad Católica de ChilePablo SalasEconomics of Energy Innovation and Systems Transition ProjectYouba SokonaInternational Panel on Climate ChangeRobert StonerMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyFrank Qiankun WangGEIDCOSheila WatsonFiA FoundationAli ZeroualiMoroccan Agency for SustainableTechnical representatives of UN-Energy member organizations provided substantiveinputs and support throughout the development of this report. The member organizationsof UN-Energy are: FAO, IAEA, IFAD, UNCDF, UNCTAD, UN DESA, UNDP, UN ECA, UN ECE,UN ECLAC, UN ESCAP, UN ESCWA, UNESCO, UNEP, UNFCCC, UNFPA, UN-Habitat,UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UN-OHRLLS, UN Women, World Bank, WHO, WMO, and partnerorganizations IRENA and SEforAll.IITHEME REPORT ON ENERGY TRANSITION

The report was prepared based on a series of interactive meetings of the TWG, which were chaired by theCo-leads, to discuss draft versions in the period of February to May 2021. This was complemented by multiplerounds of written feedback on the drafts.Additional input was received from representatives of some of the Member State Global Champions for EnergyTransition: the Global Champions for Energy Transition are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India,Nigeria, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarilyreflect those of the Member State Global Champions.The Dialogue Co-Chairs’ teams from the United Nations Development Programme and the SpecialRepresentative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All provided coordination supportand dedicated technical expertise throughout the entire processes of the TWG. Their tireless efforts,commitment to results and outstanding partnership were key to the success of the TWG. Special thanksare due to Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Marcel Alers, Sophie Guibert, Christelle Odongo, Scott Williams, MateoSalomon, Milou Beerepoot, Riad Meddeb, Anne Marx Lorenzen, Sabina Blanco Vecchi (UNDP); Yangyang(Nora) Li, Maame Boateng, Kanika Chawla, George Hampton, Ben Hartley, Ruba Ishak, Amir Bahr, OliviaColdrey, Christine Eibs-Singer and Hannah Girardeau (SEforAll) for their dedication to making this processa success.As the Secretariat of the High-level Dialogue on Energy, the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG)at UN DESA designed, coordinated and facilitated the meetings, discussions and interactions of the TechnicalWorking Group, in close collaboration with the Co-lead organizations. Martin Niemetz from the Secretariatprovided coordination support to the Technical Working Group, under the leadership of Minoru Takada and theoverall guidance of Alexander Trepelkov, Officer-In-Charge of DSDG and Shantanu Mukherjee, Chief, IntegratedPolicy Analysis Branch of DSDG at DESA. The Secretariat staff consisted of: Bahareh Seyedi, Nadine Salame,David Koranyi, Isabel Raya, Avrielle Darcy Miller, Dylan Grant, Pragati Pascale, Daniella Sussman, Merve Kosesoy,Xiaoyi Wang, Guangtao Zhang, Anna Bessin, Jeffrey Strew and Bo Fu. The Capacity Development Office atUNDESA provided overall operational support during the process.Special thanks are extended to Kathryn Platzer who provided invaluable copyediting to ensure accuracy,consistency and readability, and also to Camilo Salomon for the excellent work on the graphic design andproduction of the report.Generous support was provided by Norway, the Netherlands, China through the United Nations sub-trust fundfor the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as ENERGIA and HIVOS.For further information, please contact:Secretariat of the High-level Dialogue on Energy 2021Division for Sustainable Development GoalsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs United 1/aboutEmail: [email protected] THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 7 AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONSIII

PREFACEEnergy can create transformational opportunities. For the 759 million people in the world who lackaccess to electricity, the introduction of clean energy solutions can bring vital services such asimproved healthcare, better education and affordable broadband, creating new jobs, livelihoods andsustainable economic value to reduce poverty. In regions such as sub-Saharan Africa where half ofsecondary schools and a quarter of health facilities have no power, clean energy access will help savelives, and offer opportunities for prosperity at a transformative scale.An energy revolution based on renewables and energy efficiency is urgently needed not just to accelerateeconomic progress and development, but also to slash emissions that are rapidly warming ourplanet. The energy sector today, dominated by fossil fuels, accounts for 73 per cent of human-causedgreenhouse gas emissions. Global CO2e emissions must be halved by 2030 to avoid an increasingfrequency and severity of dangerous and unprecedented weather extremes, including heatwaves,devastating floods and droughts, risks to food and water security, population displacement, and lossof lives and livelihoods.As governments start to define a pathway out of the COVID-19 crisis, we must now ensure that allcountries have the chance to be part of an energy transition that seizes the opportunity to significantlyimprove the wellbeing of people, and planet.This will not be an easy task. To ensure a just transition, we must support countries and communitiesto adapt to a green economy through social protection and new skills, ensuring all who need to be areequipped to take advantage of the 30 million new green jobs expected by 2030.To generate the vital momentum needed for this transition, the UN Secretary-General is convening theHigh-Level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021, the first such meeting in 40 years. The landmarkevent will offer a global stage for countries to attract new investments and forge new impact focusedpartnerships to drive forward this energy revolution.As a foundation for informed deliberations, five Technical Working Groups were established on thefive key themes of the High-level Dialogue: (1) Energy Access, (2) Energy Transitions, (3) EnablingSDGs through Inclusive, Just Energy Transitions, (4) Innovation, Technology and Data, and (5) Financeand Investment. These Technical Working Groups brought together leading experts on these subjectsfrom across the world to identify key recommendations for a global roadmap towards the achievementof SDG7 and the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement.IVTHEME REPORT ON ENERGY TRANSITION

This proposed roadmap illuminates a way forward for how the world can achieve a sustainable energy futurethat leaves no one behind. We hope that it will help to inspire the actions needed to get there.Mr. Liu ZhenminMr. Achim SteinerUnder-Secretary-General forUNDP Administrator and Co-chairEconomic and Social Affairs andof the Dialogue and UN-EnergyDialogue Secretary-GeneralMs. Damilola OgunbiyiSpecial Representative of theUN Secretary-General for SustainableSustainable Energy for All andCo-Chair of Dialogue and UN-EnergyTOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 7 AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONSV

FOREWORDAs co-leads of the Technical Working Group on the Energy Transition theme, the InternationalRenewable Energy Agency (IRENA), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UnitedNations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) jointly prepared theTheme Report to provide an insight into the global energy landscape and highlight opportunities andchallenges in navigating the energy transition. Drawing from the knowledge and expertise of IRENA,UNEP, and UN ESCAP, and with input from Champion Countries and a diverse group of experts of theTechnical Working Group, we have outlined the collective action necessary in the coming decade thatwould make a lasting difference for people, planet and prosperity.It has been long recognised that the global energy system needs to change. But if there ever wasany doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has cemented that resolve. The Covid crisis has demonstratedthe weaknesses of the existing energy system, and exposed the consequences of energy povertyexperienced by billions of people worldwide. Achieving SDG7 can fundamentally change thisreality. The energy transition is a crucial enabler of sustainable development and climate resilience.Forward-looking actions will create new jobs, stimulate growth and harvest social and health benefits.The energy transition is not a uniform, one-size-fits-all process. It reflects diverse priorities and entailsa combination of abilities, technologies, policies, finance and resources. While the specific path to theend goal depends on individual circumstances, the destination is common. The process must be just,inclusive and systemic to ensure that no one is left behind. International and regional cooperation isessential to facilitate the sharing of experiences and good practices.The preparation of this report has been an exciting and insightful journey - a stellar example ofinter-Agency cooperation that has further cemented our relationship and established new ways ofcommunication and collaboration. The transition path we propose is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive.Each country will shape its energy future. It is our hope that this report, along with those developedby other Technical Working Groups, will help navigate the challenging road ahead. Collectively, we areconvinced that the United Nations High-level Dialogue on Energy in September 2021 will be a turningpoint, re-igniting ambitions and boosting collaborative actions for a better future for all.Francesco La CameraDirector-GeneralIRENAVITHEME REPORT ON ENERGY TRANSITIONInger AndersenExecutive DirectorUNEPArmida Salsiah AlisjahbanaExecutive SecretaryUN ESCAP

CONTENTS1. Priority Recommendations12. Results and Actions Matrix43. Goal: The rationale for energy-sector transition84. Context125. Challenges and Actions175.1 Policy framing175.1.1 Challenges175.1.2 Actions185.2 Infrastructure including power systems and integration215.2.1 Challenges215.2.2 Action215.3 Supply: Renewable energy and other options (nuclear, gas, CCS) and finance235.3.1 Challenges235.3.2 Action245.4 Demand, energy efficiency, and finance265.4.1 Challenges265.4.2 Action285.5 Transport295.5.1 Challenges295.5.2 Action30TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 7 AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONSVII

VIII5.6 Hard-to-Abate Sectors335.6.1 Challenges335.6.2 Actions336. Recommendations377. Existing initiatives and possible compacts407.1 Climate Action Pathways for Energy: Existing Initiatives407.2 Broader SDG7 & 13 initiatives458. Impacts47Endnotes48THEME REPORT ON ENERGY TRANSITION

1PRIORITYRECOMMENDATIONSINTRODUCTIONOver the next decade, every aspect of national energy systems will be affected by changes inclimate and energy policy, and financing, continuous technological advancement, and shifts inenergy supply and demand. The rapidly falling costs of renewable technologies have opened uppreviously unimagined possibilities across the globe. Ongoing developments in many countriesoffer a promising outlook for the security, inclusiveness, and sustainability inherent in a transformedenergy sector. However, the transition needs to speed up significantly and broaden its scope toachieve SDG 7 and align with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, while at the sametime achieving implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.The energy transition can thus no longer be limited to incremental steps. It must become atransformational effort, a system overhaul, based on the rapid upscaling and implementation of allavailable technologies to innovate for the future. This is the right moment to reassess long-standingassumptions, perceived barriers, and default decisions. The emerging energy system must promoteresilient economies and societies for a more inclusive and equitable world. Ambitious and targetedactions are needed now and throughout the coming decades to ensure the goals of SDG7 are fulfilledand a decarbonized energy system achieved by 2050.RECOMMENDATION 1Rapidly scale-up deployment of available energy transition solutions to reach 8000 GW1 ofrenewables by 2030 with due consideration to different contributions by individual countries. Theabundance of cost-effective renewable potentials worldwide makes them a scalable option thatis essential to the decarbonization of the entire economy across all sectors. For many countries,this translates a technical and economic challenge into a set of investment, regulatory and societalopportunities.RECOMMENDATION 2Increase the average annual rate of energy efficiency improvement from the current 0.8% to 3%through the implementation of all available technologies while supporting further innovation.Energy efficiency opportunities are readily available and have positive effects on employment;however, they often need policy support to be implemented. Efficiency measures and strategies mustaddress the main barriers to the adoption of energy efficiency measures and promote structural andTOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 7 AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONS1

behavioural change. Further, they must be considered across different sectors and areas, for instance,standards and norms for buildings and appliances, transport, industrial uses, and heating and cooling,among others.RECOMMENDATION 3Invest in physical infrastructure to enable the energy transition. Updating ailing infrastructure orinvesting in expansion is an integral part of the energy transition and an enabler of modern technologies.Public finance can be used to attract private investment in the infrastructure needed, which will helpcreate jobs. Investments in infrastructure must be aligned with long-term plans and be reflective ofbroader strategies, including regional market integration.RECOMMENDATION 4Countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) should phase outcoal by 2030 and redirect international energy financing towards the transition. Non-OECD countriesshould phase out coal by 2040, noting that many will require support for this process. Coal phase-outwill reduce the risk of stranded assets, improve energy independence, and bring about significant healthand fiscal benefits. Countries should enact time-bound strategies to manage the social and economicaspects of the coal phase-out.RECOMMENDATION 5Mainstream energy policies into economic, industrial, labour, educational, and social strategies. Policymeasures and investments for recovery from COVID-19 must drive a broader structural shift alignedwith plans for long-term energy sector transformation. To deliver on energy ambitions and avoid, reduce,or anticipate challenges, coherent, cross-ministerial policymaking is required.RECOMMENDATION 6Establish medium and long-term integrated energy planning strategies, define decarbonization targets,and adapt policies and regulations to shape energy systems that boost sustainable development.Long-term energy scenarios, including net-zero mid-century scenarios, can be used to facilitate thedialogue needed to help reach consensus among all relevant stakeholders. When preparing energytransition, the ambitions of the nationally determined contributions (NDC) should be raised andshort-term challenges identified. Engaging sub-national and city-level decision-makers in transitionplanning and implementation will be essential, given rapid urbanization and the decentralized nature ofthe modern energy system.RECOMMENDATION 7 (INTERLINKAGES WITH SDG 9)Create regional energy markets to facilitate the integration of renewables, promote cross-borderpower grid connectivity and trade, and further reduce costs through economies of scale. Regionalapproaches to energy transition can reduce costs and enhance access to reliable and affordableelectricity supply through expanded and smarter grid infrastructure; security of supply should beachieved through resource diversification. Regional integration can also enhance the resilience ofenergy systems to extreme weather patterns, climate variability and climate change, and the reductionof carbon emissions, and generally foster green economic development and employment.2THEME REPORT ON ENERGY TRANSITION

RECOMMENDATION 8(INTERLINKAGES WITH SDG 10)Intensify international co-operation on energy transition to meet the 2030 Agenda for SustainableDevelopment and avoid future catastrophic climate change impacts. A common learning curve willbe accelerated through cooperative action and exchange of experiences and best practices acrossthe power and end-use sectors. Underpinned by global solidarity, an overriding priority is to strengthenpublic resolve and to ensure that no one is left behind.RECOMMENDATION 9 (INTERLINKAGES WITH SDG 9 AND SDG 11)Develop sustainable transport roadmaps. Based on an “avoid–shift–improve” approach. Country-specificplans that include urban strategies should include time-bound roadmaps for all modes of transport, withfull consideration of mobility needs, efficiency, and renewable options. Across all regions, plans mustinclude solutions such as electrification, sustainable bioenergy or green hydrogen, enhanced publictransport and shared mobility, and promotion of regional and international cooperation and action.RECOMMENDATION 10(INTERLINKAGES WITH SDG 4 AND SDG 8)Tailor labour and social protection policies to the specific needs of each region and country. Althoughclear global gains in job creation will be made, the structural and labour-market impacts of energytransition will vary among locations, job types, and sectors. In cooperation with all involved stakeholders,countries should enact strategies for a just transition, maximizing opportunities, and minimizinghardship for individuals and communities.RECOMMENDATION 11(INTERLINKAGES WITH SDG 7)Make the energy transition a participatory enterprise. Participatory approaches that meaningfullyengage all actors, multi-stakeholder coalitions, and public–private partnerships will help shape thedesired energy futures and also manage expectations. The private sector must play a significant rolein the implementation of the energy transition. Equally important is the empowerment of citizens,youth, local governments, research institutions, and indigenous communities to become part of theenergy system.TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 7 AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONS3

2RESULTS AND ACTIONS MATRIXSTAKEHOLDER ACTIONSPRIORITYRESULTSPRIORITYACTION AREASCreate comprehensiveand holistic plans/strategies andregulatory frameworksConsult all stakeholdersacross government, theprivate sector, academia,and local communitiesRelease strategies withclear, time-bound targetsand budgetsStrategize to promotea circular economyPromote regionalenergy markets combinedwith ambitious cleanenergy targetsSet out roadmaps fora just transition4THEME REPORT ON ENERGY TRANSITIONPublicSet holistic,cross-sectoral policy,regulatory, and legalframeworks, alignedwith NDC targetsHold timely, wideranging consultationsto ensure link-up acrossgovernment entitiesat all levelsConduct gridmaster-planning basedon least-cost socialoptionsPrivateCivil Societyand CommunitiesFeed into governmentconsultationsFeed into governmentconsultationsSet branch strategieson climate actionand decarboniz-ationtargetsPromote publicawareness andactivismAlign investmentwith SDG7 anddecarboniz-ationprioritiesSupport ambitionraisingMILESTONESInternational andRegional InstitutionsCompile data andprovide analysesof trendsAssist with strategydevelopmentLink up across sectorsDevise globaland regionalroadmaps/pathwaysEnsure sharing of dataand best practicesScale up capacitybuilding and technicalassistance efforts20252030Towards2050All countries havea compre-hensiveenergy- transitionstrategy in place100 countries haveachieved an annualenergy efficiencyincrease of 3%All countries haveimplementeddecarbonizationenergy strategies100 countries havetargets for 100%clean power100 countries havetargets for 100%renewable energy(power, transport,building, and industry)Education and labourpolicies support a cleanenergy workforceThere are 100 millionjobs in the energysector (comparedwith 58 million today).These include 60 millionjobs in renewablesand efficiency(22.5 million today)Coal has been phasedout of the powersystemTOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 7 AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONS5

STAKEHOLDER ACTIONSPRIORITYRESULTSPRIORITYACTION AREASAccelerate deploymentof available solutionsacross the renewables,efficiency, andauxiliary sectors, whileinnovating for the futureIdentify and mapavailable resourcesRemove barriersto investment forthe private sectorProvide stabilityand continuity throughtargets/strategiesIdentify gaps whereinnovation is needed,including the use ofdigital technologiesIdentify where cleanenergy will be utilizedin the end-use sectorPromote internationalcooperation andsupport, includingknowledge-sharingCommit to energytransition strategiesfor all operations.Channel public fundstowards sustainableinfrastructureSupport nascentsustainabletechnologies.Support strategydevelopmentSupport regionaldevelopmentSupport transition ofworkers to future skillsShare best practicesTHEME REPORT ON ENERGY TRANSITIONCivil Societyand CommunitiesInternational andRegional InstitutionsAdvocate for cleanenergyShare timely data andanalysesInvest in R&DSupport nature-basedsolutionsStop investmentin and use ofnon-sustainableenergyOpt for public transport,energy-efficientbuildings, vehicles, andappliancesProvide tailor-madefinancial derisking tocatalyze investmentsImplement theinternational standardon smart energy andenergy efficiencyEngage internationallyAcknowledge climateadaptation needsPrivateSet enabling policiesfor public–privatepartnershipsCollate and share dataHighlight inequalities andinjustices6PublicMILESTONESBuild coalitions,and identify sharedknowledge /needsShare best practicesSupport globalindustrial developmentLink public and privateinvestorsto opportunitiesParticipate Individuallyin the sphere of energysupply /demandProvide technicalsupport and capacitybuildingDevelop internationalstandard for improvingenergy efficiencyacross sectorsPropose and implementregional and nationalprojectsExert pressurefor global actionand governmentaccountabilityProvide platforms forglobal and regionalactionsPush for clear labellingon productsPromote stakeholderparticipationFormulate andadvocate for thevalue of nature-basedsolutionsEnhance observationand monitoring systemsConvene governmentsand stakeholders20252030Sustainable energyinvestmen-ts are atleast doubledReduce fossil fuelshare to 30% fromcurrent 60%Zero new coal plantsare in the pipeline8000 GW installed REcapacityAll all major emittercountries haveadopted a minimumof 50% of govern-mentpurchasing/procure-ment targetsfor higher perfor-manceappliances, vehicles/transport fleets, andbuildingsAlternatives to rareearth metals arecommercializedNDCs that raiseenergy- transitionambition havebeen enhancedEnergy ambitionhas been raised inNDCs aligned withdecarboniz-ationof the energysystem by 2050There is targeted useof sustainably sourcedbiomass, particularly asa replacement for high-energy-density fuelsAll countries haveadopted minimumAll major oil and gascompanies have verified international appliance,net-zero commit-ments transport and buildingsstandards and relatednational programmesTowards205092% of power in2050 comes fromrenewable technologies(33% in 2018)Energy demand hasstabilized due toincreased energyefficiency and thecircular economyElectricity is akey energy carrierexceeding 50% of finalenergy use by 2050There is expandedproduction and useof green hydrogenand synthetic fuelsand feedstocks, inpursuance of indirectelectrificationProvide empirical andanalytical inputAssist in tracking andpriority-setting aimed atleaving no one behindTOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SDG 7 AND NET-ZERO EMISSIONS7

3GOAL: THE RATIONALEFOR ENERGY-SECTORTRANSITIONWithin the overall structure of the preparations for the High-level Dialogue on Energy, the energytransition theme focuses on why a major transformation of the energy sector is required and how itcan be implemented in a just manner that reflects different national circumstances and opportunities.Energy access issues are addressed in a separate thematic paper, as are links to other SDGs andcross-cutting issues such as technology, innovation, and finance. These aspects are thus referencedhere, but not addressed in depth manner.A transformation of the energy sector offers opportunities for sustained economic development,social inclusion, energy security, improved health, job creation, and other societal benefits. Suchopportunities will be achieved only if the transformation is implemented in a just and inclusivemanner. Although governments need to take the lead on goalsetting and process, involvement ofthe private sector, cities, and wider civil society, including youth, is essential for the design of abalanced and just transition process that is aligned with SDG7 and meets multiple economic andsocial priorities.The need to address climate change is the major driver for a transition from an energy sectordominated by fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy sources. The energy sector is currentlythe main emitter of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,GHG emissions from that sector need to be reduced quickly and eliminated by mid-century.Fundamental technology changes and rapid reductions in technology costs are providing afoundation for emerging energy-sector transitions in many countries. This process is supportedby market-driven growth of renewable energy installations and increased focus on energyefficiency, including in end-use sectors like industry, agriculture, buildings, appliances, andtransport. Digital technology solutions provide new opportunities for integrating supply anddemand, thereby accelerating the shift towards electrification of more end uses, including parts ofthe transport sector.The energy sector is facing a series of interlinked challenges: Rising populations and economic growth are increasing demand for energy services. Providing access to modern energy for the roughly 700 million peo

access to electricity, the introduction of clean energy solutions can bring vital services such as improved healthcare, better education and affordable broadband, creating new jobs, livelihoods and