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ECOSOC Fourth Forum on Finacing for Development – Evento a Margine

Considerazioni introduttive pronunciate dall’Ambasciatore Stefano Stefanile, Vice Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, all’Evento a Margine su “Unlocking private finance to close the energy gap” dell’ECOSOC Forum sul Finanziamento allo Sviluppo —

Good afternoon to all of you and thank you very much for joining us for this Side Event on “Unlocking private finance to close the energy gap” in the framework of the 4^ Financing for Development Forum.

Allow me also to thank the Government of Zambia here represented by the Assistant Director for International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Eliphas Chinyonga, for co-hosting this event with us together with the International Finance Corporation and ENEL Green Power. We are also grateful to UNCTAD and the Office of the High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS for having graciously accepted the invitation to contribute to our discussion.

Side events are about issues that are closely related to the discussion theme of the bigger underlying event and about positive stories that can serve as examples of successful cooperation and ca be replicated, elsewhere and in different situations.

In this case the discussion theme of the main event is clear to all of us: “how to ensure a timely and effective implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development.”

The specific issue we would like to focus on is how to encourage the financing of impacted initiatives in the energy field through the active involvement of the private sector and in close cooperation with the relevant International financial institutions.
And within this framework, the specific story that I would like to present you is the story of possible cooperation between Italy and Zambia, which is inscribed in the scaling solar programme elaborated for Zambia by the World Bank Group, through of the work of the IFC and which sees a very significant investments by the Italian energy group ENEL, through the specific expertise of ENEL green power

I do not need to recall how important access to sustainable and affordable energy is for sustainable development.

The latest UN Sustainable Development Report shows that, despite recent advances in sustainable energy, progress in SDG 7 remains too slow to meet the global energy targets set for 2030.
Investments in the power generation, transmission and distribution are simply not moving fast enough to reach the SDG goal of universal electricity access by 2030. We need to increase the level and accelerate the pace of financial investments in sustainable energy, by focusing on the most vulnerable areas of our planet, especially Sub-Saharan Africa.

The energy gap represents a major challenge not only for achieving SDG7, but for the whole 2030 Agenda, considering the interlinkages between the access to affordable and sustainable energy with practically all the other SDGs, especially those related on poverty reduction, social and economic development, human development as well and last but not least, the fight against climate change.

Engaging the private sector is essential to close the energy gap. This is indeed one of the sectors where Governments and Private Sector can most effectively work together with concrete e positive results.

Let me also say that Italy is particularly aware of the challenges posed by energy needs. We are a country with limited energy raw materials and with high-energy demand, for both industrial and private use, being one of the main manufacturing economies.

To cope with this structural situation, to ensure full alignments to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, in line with the EU targets, and to reduce our reliance on energy imports, we adopted in 2017 an updated National Energy Strategy in 2017 which sets the ambitious but achievable goal, of increasing our quota of renewable energy, currently 17.5% of our overall energy mix to 28% in 2030.

In order to reach this ambitious goal, the Government relies a lot on the innovative and dynamic role of the relevant Italian groups and companies, which are at forefront of the international business community in this fundamental sector. And we specifically rely on the leading role of ENEL Green Power, which, in its first 10 years, has given a great boost to the production of renewable energy in Italy, while developing also an impressive network for renewable energies in 29 Countries, becoming the first Renewable Energy Sources private operator in Africa for installed and under construction capacity