UN symposium trying to build global network to offer sustainable energy for all


UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- A high-level symposium was held here Wednesday at the UN' s headquarters in New York aimed to find out ways for affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all.

The symposium, with the theme of "Building Global Energy Interconnection, Promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," was co-hosted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO).

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that "We want to make sure that we move into a situation in which energy becomes the key factor of stainability and obviously with a global interconnection effectively working we can produce energy where it can be done in a more friendly way to the environment and to the risk of climate change."

"When we discuss global interconnection in relation to energy we are at the centre of the two key words that express our global concerns - stainability and inclusivity," the UN chief said.

Liu Zhenya, GEIDCO chairman, said that the world is facing major challenges such as resources shortage, environmental pollution and climate change, which pose serious threat to the survival and development of humankind, adding that accelerating energy transformation is the key to achieving the 2030 Agenda targets.

Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) is a modern energy system that is dominated by clean energy, centers on electricity and features connectivity, joint contribution and benefit sharing. It is, in essence, a combination of smart grids, Ultra High Voltage (UHV) grids and clean energy.

The building of GEI will be in alignment with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda to accelerate the world's green and low-carbon development, protect the ecological environment of the earth, facilitate infrastructure connectivity and sustained economic growth.

The aim of the system, Liu said, is to make sustainable energy accessible to everyone, eradicate poverty and hunger, reduce regional gap, facilitate South-South and North-South cooperation, so as to usher in a new global development landscape marked by green and low carbon development, peace and harmony, and common prosperity.

"Building GEI is an important strategic action concerning the future of mankind. We must go through a development process from achieving consensus to forming synergy and taking joint actions," Liu said.

GEIDCO has been committed to promoting the coordinated and sustainable development of the world energy along with economy, society and environment.

In order to implement the 2030 Agenda, GEIDCO formulated the "Global Energy Interconnection Action Plan for promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" (or the "Action Plan"), which was released at the high-level symposium.

GEI proposed to establish specialized agency under the UN to accelerate the formulation of international conventions and regulations, coordinate power grid planning for countries, regions, continents and the whole world.

The energy organization also suggested creation of special funds and bringing in all parties' effort to build GEI for sustainable development.

The action plan specified Ten Actions and Five Mechanisms corresponding to the 17 SDGs of the agenda, which includes the concept promotion, clean development, universal access to electricity, power grid interconnection, electricity replacement, smart grid, innovation-driven development, capacity building and policy support.

The Five Mechanisms include global electricity planning, transnational project construction, global electricity trade, interconnected power grid coordination and collaboration in technical standards.

Experts believe the GEI Action Plan provides the world's sustainable development with a global solution and a guide on action.

As an affiliated entity to the UN Secretariat,the UNDESA is in charge of the economic, social and environmental issues. It is committed to implementing the 2030 Agenda, helping countries tackle economic, social and environmental challenges, and supporting the international cooperation in sustainable development.

A cooperation agreement was signed this May between the UNDESA and GEIDCO to carry out joint research and projects.

In March 2016, GEIDCO was established in Beijing with the aim to build a cooperation platform featuring "extensive consultation, joint contribution, shared and win-win development."

The platform will promote the world energy transition to green and low-carbon development and contribute to innovative, coordinated and sustainable development of human society.

Since its founding, GEIDCO has rallied all parties' efforts to promote the concepts, conduct research and planning, carry out international cooperation and implement projects to advance the GEI development to a new stage marked by joint action.