27 February 2019

UNAI SDG Hub appeals for increased global action on clean, affordable and modern energy

27 February 2019 - In October 2018, the Energy Policy and Development Centre (KEPA) of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) was designated by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) as the SDG Hub for Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy

KEPA actively promotes regional cooperation and knowledge transfer on climate change and green energy issues among the Member States of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC). It coordinates the PROMITHEASnet that facilitates the collaboration among academic institutions from countries in the European Union and the Black Sea and Central Asia. It also coordinates the BSEC Green Energy Network (GEN) to explore methods to promote green energy investments and innovative projects through regional cooperation.

Through PROMITHEASnet and BSEC – GEN, KEPA has contributed to the BSEC regional cooperation on climate change and green energy with more than a €2.5 million increase from its Framework Programmes such as FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020.

Furthermore, KEPA has organized workshops seminars, webinars, and conferences in all BSEC Member States, including the Annual Scientific Conference and the BSEC - Green Energy Investment Forum. It produces and circulates the BSEC Energy View, the Newsletter, the Euro-Asian Journal of Sustainable Energy Development Policy, and the proceedings of its conferences and forums.

According to KEPA, short-term economic interests and prejudices of policymakers and ordinary people undermine the development and implementation of green energy measures, even though “we possess the knowledge, the technology and the funds for a prosperous future”.

In this context, KEPA proposes a few initiatives that target real action: i) Confronting energy poverty through a structured policy dialogue that transforms energy poor consumers into sustainable prosumers, by triggering smart finance for zero energy building (ZEB) retrofits; ii) the establishment of a Regional Centre for Excellence for Smart ZEBs;  iii) switching to the use of fuels with fewer emissions  (Energy Efficiency, Biofuels, RES and Natural Gas); iv) engage youth in clean energy promotion and implementation actions nationally, regionally and globally; v) increase the level of cooperation among policymakers and actors from market forces, academia, and public policy; vi) increase the green funding flow to local societies.

In addition, to promote green energy and boost partnerships, KEPA will participate in the Green Energy Investment Forum (Bulgaria, 2019), the 12th International Scientific Conference on Energy and Climate Change (Greece, 2019), the BSEC – GEN 4th International Green Energy Investment Forum (Greece, 2019), and a Meeting of the 17 UNAI – SDG Hubs (Greece, TBC).

Clean, affordable and modern energy is the absolute prerequisite to confront climate change and a substantial contributor to the achievement of the other SDGs. The Energy Policy and Development Centre emphasizes its appeal for worldwide cooperation to take real action and urges for the mobilization of private funding targeting underprivileged social groups in developing and underdeveloped economies.