10 December 2018

#SDGsinAcademia: SDG Hub for Goal 7

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) carried out by the United Nations, the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) series #SDGSinAcademia profiles the new SDG Hubs for each one of the Goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

10 December 2018 - This week our #SDGsinAcademia series features the Energy Policy and Development Centre, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), a member institution of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), that has been chosen as the SDG Hub for Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 

About the Hub: 

The Energy Policy and Development Centre is an academic entity within the institutional framework of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The creation of the Energy Policy (EPG) in 1990 and subsequently, the Energy Policy and Development Centre (KEPA) in 1996, aimed to study issues related to the geopolitics of energy in areas of Southeast Europe, the Black Sea and Central Asia. With emphasis on the development of regional energy markets, the construction of transcontinental and regional energy interconnections and on climate change policies, KEPA promotes a stable, scientific and economic cooperation on these issues in the region.

What is this Hub doing about Goal 7? 

The Centre organizes the annual international conference on “Energy and Climate Change”, publishes a bimonthly newsletter disseminated to 27,000 recipients (mostly scientists, policy makers and engineers) in 170 countries, as well as the scientific Euro-Asian Journal of Sustainable Energy Development Policy. For more than 10 years the Centre has promoted regional cooperation among scientific institutions, policymakers and market stakeholders on issues related to SDG 7 by transferring knowledge, training and elaborating energy efficiency policies.

The Centre recently concluded a 3-year project concerning consumer behavior in switching to more energy efficient policies and is now working on a project to mitigate energy poverty and reduce CO2 emissions in energy-poor households in the regions of Southeast Europe, Black and Central Asia. This initiative is based on the combination of securing smart financing for "smart buildings" and will allow the scientific community to contribute actively in the promotion and implementation of the overall 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The building where the Centre is located was funded by the Greek region of Attica, aimed to demonstrate bioclimatic features in public buildings. It is one of the few public buildings that was designed in bioclimatic terms, including a “green roof”, a location selected for optimal energy use, an internal atrium for insolation and natural lighting, the use of solar energy for passive heating and electricity generation, the use of biofuel energy source, sun protection in the summer with canopies, protrusions etc., and thermal protection (thermal and cooling benefit).

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The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 reviews progress in the third year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has an overview that presents highlights of progress and remaining gaps for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on the latest available data, and examines some of the interconnections across Goals and targets.

This is the overview provided in the Report about Goal 7:

Ensuring access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all has come one step closer due to recent progress in electrification, particularly in LDCs, and improvements in industrial energy efficiency. However, national priorities and policy ambitions still need to be strengthened to put the world on track to meet the energy targets for 2030.

  • From 2000 to 2016, the proportion of the global population with access to electricity increased from 78 per cent to 87 per cent, with the absolute number of people living without electricity dipping to just below 1 billion.
  • In the least developed countries, the proportion of the people with access to electricity more than doubled between 2000 and 2016.
  • In 2016, 3 billion people (41 per cent of the world’s population) were still cooking with polluting fuel and stove combinations.
  • The share of renewables in final energy consumption increased modestly, from 17.3 per cent in 2014 to 17.5 per cent in 2015. Yet only 55 per cent of the renewable share was derived from modern forms of renewable energy.
  • Global energy intensity decreased by 2.8 per cent from 2014 to 2015, double the rate of improvement seen between 1990 and 2010.

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The following resources provide general information about the SDGs:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide from the UN Library in Geneva listing resources about each one of the Goals, including books and articles (some of which are fully available on line free of charge), UN documents such as resolutions and reports, and additional resources.
  • The SDG Fund has created this online library featuring over 1,000 online publications. The publications are categorized by the Goals they represent, geographical regions and by authors, to facilitate searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.
  • This selection of tools is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.
  • This guide, entitled “Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals”, is intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.
  • SDSN also developed this guide, entitled “Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities”, to help universities, institutions of higher education and the academic sector in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs by providing practical guidance and examples to inspire further action.

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You can learn more about the SDG Hubs at the UNAI website.  

Is your institution a member of UNAI and conducting activities and initiatives around Goal 7? Contact us at academicimpact@un.org to tell us about your work and let us connect your university with the SDG Hub! Working together we can make the 2030 Agenda a reality!