HLPF 2023: The ITUC calls for a just energy transition to ensure access to clean and affordable energy for all

The ITUC delegate at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), Jordi Musoni (CESTRAR, Rwanda), addressed the HLPF plenary during the session dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

The session took place on July 12 from 10:00 to 13:00 New York time. Its objective was to assess the impact of the ongoing multiple crises on access to affordable and clean energy and to identify ways to accelerate progress towards just energy transitions.

This was the second review of progress on Goal 7 since its first review in 2018. Despite the significant progress that has been made since then, the world is clearly not on track to achieve SDG 7. The facts speak for themselves: in 2021, 675 million people lacked access to electricity and 2.3 billion people did not have access to clean cooking fuels and technology.

In his address, Jordi Musoni underlined the ITUC’s demand to recognise universal access to energy as a human right. He stressed the importance of establishing just transition industrial and sectoral policies and setting up investment plans based on key workers’ demands, such as timely social dialogue, skills development, social protection, labour rights, and the creation of decent and climate-friendly jobs across all economic sectors.

Musoni also highlighted the negative role that states are playing by continuing to subsidise fossil fuel companies: “Fossil fuel companies are endangering the environment and contributing to the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few. We need to put an end to wasteful government subsidies to fossil fuel companies and act to prevent their profiteering while ensuring the protection of households against energy poverty,” he said.

In conclusion, Musoni emphasised that the scale of the challenge that the world is facing urgently requires an upscaling of international climate finance to support renewable energy production in developing countries.