My name is Tatiana Lanshina.
I speak on behalf of the Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism.
On SDG7, the military actions in Ukraine and related energy crisis have shown how dangerous the dependence on fossil fuels is. It means that fossil fuels should be gradually phased out and not replaced or complemented by false climate solutions, such as nuclear energy, carbon capture and storage and others. And natural gas is just a fossil fuel as well and not some special bridge on the way from coal to renewables.
We need to switch to renewable energy without such “bridges” and delays and without dangerous and expensive nuclear power plants, which take over 10 years to build, and have no permanent nuclear waste repositories. Many countries of UNECE region are still very slow in developing renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency and are completely out of track to achieve SDG7 by 2030.
We note the following obstacles.
- First of all, the lack of political will. We are told that renewable energy is too expensive, but it is not. We are told that renewable energy is not reliable, but it is not. What it is, is that in many cases no one wants to change the usual order of things.
- Second, people in many countries lack information on modern renewable energy solutions and as a consequence these countries lack civil participation in the energy transition.
- Third, prices for conventional energy in many countries are too low because they are subsidized and costs for old power plants are fully amortized.
- Fourth, we see a widespread promotion of false climate solutions, such as nuclear.
We call on all UNECE states to set much more ambitious but realistic goals in the spheres of renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate poverty eradication.
We call on them to stop promoting and implementing false climate solutions.
We call on them to diversify energy markets and make them more distributed.
And we need them to promote community and prosumer renewable energy generation. Because not all energy decisions should be delegated to the state and large corporations. People and small enterprises must have an opportunity to be part of the energy transition and to benefit from it. And they should be educated on energy transition through participation.
- We need clear and ambitious energy targets in line with the Paris Agreement and the Agenda 2030, have a long term perspective and pushing also the infrastructure for a 100% renewable decentralized energy system.
- Implement Just Transition policies based on social dialogue in renewable energy sectors
- Promote the creation of decent and climate-friendly jobs in renewable energies
- Adequate state regulation in the energy sector for labour rights, environmental rights and social rights and fight energy privatization
- Promote skills development and social protection for workers transitioning from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy
- Promote gender-responsive energy policies that respect and promote human and labour rights.
- Adopt minimum living wages and equal pay for work of equal value as key elements to tackle energy poverty
- Promote the mainstreaming of SDGs in the training and university curricula (eg. Engineering, IT..)