Financing SDG7: Solidarity, Equity and Ambition – side event at HLPF2023

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations co-organised the roundtable on Financing SDG7: Solidarity, Equity and Ambition at the 2023 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). The event was held in Room B, UN Conference Building, New York, USA.

While global investment in renewable energy reached a record high in 2022 – at USD 0.5 trillion – investments are not flowing at the pace or scale needed to accelerate progress toward achieving SDG 7 along with the improvements in livelihoods and welfare called for under the 2030 Agenda. Investments in off-grid renewable energy solutions in 2021 – at USD 0.5 billion – fell far short of the USD 15 billion needed annually to accelerate progress towards universal energy access. Meanwhile, 675 million people had no access to electricity and nearly 2.3 billion people relied on traditional fuels and technologies for cooking at the end of 2021.

Furthermore, more than half of the world’s population received only 15% of global investments in 2022. The disparity in renewable energy financing received by developed versus developing countries keeps increasing and has more than doubled over the past six years.

The roundtable seeked to gather countries, international organizations, multilateral and regional development banks as well as other stakeholders to assess current obstacles, showcase success stories and identify priorities and initiatives to scale up to ensure affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.

The roundtable discussion was guided by the following questions:

  • What are the biggest challenges to attracting finance for realizing SDG7 and how is the current macroeconomic environment impacting flows of investment towards renewables?
  • How can collaboration between developed and developing countries be strengthened to accelerate the realization of SDG7 globally?
  • How can existing proposals and visions such as the UN Secretary General’s Climate Solidarity Pact, the Bridgetown Initiative, the World Bank’s Evolution Roadmap, the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust help bring change?