by HAZVINEI MWANAKA IN BEIJING CHINA
STAKEHOLDERS in the energy sector have been urged to join forces and support efforts of the least developed countries (LDCs) in scaling up access to sustainable energy.
Addressing a Press conference in Beijing on “Scaling up energy access and finance in Least developed countries”, Fekitamoeloa Katoa Utoikamanu, United Nations under- secretary-general and high representative for the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states, said sustainable development goal (SDG) number seven on sustainable energy was an essential foundation upon which other goals could be achieved.
“Energy is at the heart of most of the major challenges and opportunities the world places, be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production and economic productivity access to energy for all is essential,” she said on Thursday.
“Therefore, it’s critical that all stakeholders, including bilateral donors, international organisations, developmental financing institutions, private sector and civil society, need to join forces to support the efforts of the LDCs in accelerating access to sustainable energy.”
Utoikamanu said for the world’s 47 LDCs, achieving the SDGs was critical for the nearly one billion people living in those countries.
“For those living in the LDCs, having access to modern forms of clean energy means the hospitals can fully function, children will not do their work by candlelight, women do not have to walk for longer distances to collect firewood or cook in smoke-filled communities. Communities are empowered to take charge of their own social economic development,” she said.
She, however, noted that access to finance remained a key challenge for the LDCs and, therefore, an important discussion should take place on how the countries could improve the ability to access funds that would allow them to carry out sustainable energy projects on the ground.