Explanation of Position on a Second Committee Resolution on Energy for All

Jenni Kennedy
U.S. Adviser to the Second Committee
New York, New York
November 22, 2022


Thank you, Madam Chair.

On behalf of the United States, I would like to extend our thanks to the facilitator for the successful shepherding of this resolution.

The United States strongly supports the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” We are pleased to join consensus on this resolution. As the world confronts the increasingly severe effects of the climate crisis, the United States believes that achieving SDG 7 cannot be separate from meeting our climate commitments in the context of achieving the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The energy sector accounts for over two thirds of global emissions, and achieving access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all must therefore take into account the need for a just transition to net zero energy systems as soon as possible.

In this context, we are disappointed by the references to natural gas and other fossil fuel energy sources without “abated” or “without lock-in effects” as qualifiers. We do not favor a blanket exception for all-natural gas as a viable long-term energy solution. We also reaffirm the call, adopted by consensus at COP26 in Glasgow, for all countries to accelerate efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while providing targeted support to the poorest and most vulnerable in line with national circumstances and recognizing the need for support towards a just transition.

We note that the decline in financial flows mentioned in the text refers to data from 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic, while other sources show an increase of as much as 70% in financial flows for development to developing countries in 2021, the overwhelming majority of which were investments in renewable energy. We also do not support language in the text that highlights target SDG 7.a over all other targets.

Finally, we are disappointed that this resolution fails to mention that Russia’s deliberate attacks on civilian and energy infrastructure have undermined access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Further prolongation of Russia’s war against Ukraine will only lead to further backsliding on achievement of SDG7 and all other SDGs.

Regarding references to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the transfer of technology, we refer you to our General Statement delivered on November 21.

Thank you.