Global network of energy centres calls upon COP27 to support regional cooperation as a cornerstone of the climate transition
The 5th Steering Committee of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC) was convened by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) with support of the Governents of Austria, Norway and Spain, between 5th and 8th September 2022 at the Vienna International Centre.
In the meeting the heads of ten centres, representing various economic communities and more than 108 developing countries from the Africa Arab region, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean, concluded with a clear message: “In times of fossil fuel price and climate escalations, more than ever, regional cooperation is needed to accelerate the transition towards renewables and energy efficiency”.
However, all delegates highlighted the difficulties to access climate financing for regional programs and related opportunity costs. Regional cooperation can contribute to economies of scale by facilitating equal progress and joint learning, harmonisation of policies and market standards, shared resources and intelligence, replication of best practice, as as well as bundling of projects and financing. The centres agreed to jointly advocate for a better recognition of the “missing regional link” at COP27.
During the meeting, the Steering Committee members reviewed the annual work plan of the GN-SEC platform, which facilitates south-south and triangular cooperation on common energy issues and solutions. The meeting also identified priority themes for joint approaches and implementation, including industrial energy efficiency, renewable energy for productive uses, green entrepreneurship and innovation, gender and youth, electric mobility, innovative financing instruments and business models, clean cooking, digitalisation, green hydrogen and ocean energy.
The GN-SEC Steering Committee members invited UNIDO and the Secretariat of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) to co-host the next meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, during the inauguration of the Clean Energy Centre of ECO (CECECO)
The GN-SEC program was launched in 2010. Under a common platform, UNIDO assists regional economic communities in developing countries in the creation of sustainable energy centres, which drive the energy transition “from the region for the region”. Today, the network comprises ten centres in the Arab and African region (ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, Arab League, ECCAS), Asia and Pacific (SPC, ICIMOD, ECO), as well as Latin America (CARICOM, SICA).
The GN-SEC centres serve thirty-eight of fourty-six least developed countries (LDCs) and thirty-two of thirty-six small island developing states (SIDS). The global GN-SEC platform, hosted by UNIDO in Vienna, Austria, facilitates joint coordination, learning, programs, events and initiatives between the centres and various regions. It provides a "virtual" maker-space for south-south and triangular cooperation, activities and joint project proposals.
The program receives support from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMeiA), the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development (AECID). Further information is available at: www.gn-sec.net
Mr. Martin Lugmayr,
Energy Systems and Infrastructure Division,