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ECOSOC Fourth Forum on Finacing for Development - Side Event



ECOSOC Fourth Forum on Finacing for Development - Side Event

Introductory remarks delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the ECOSOC Fourth Financing for Development Forum – Side Event on “Unlocking private finance to close the energy gap” ---

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 can be replicated, elsewhere and in different situations.

In this case the discussion theme of the main event is: “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 investment 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 investments in the power generation, transmission and distribution are 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, 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 as and last but not least, the fight against climate change.

Engaging the private sector is essential to close the energy gap.

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 alignment to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, in line with the EU targets, 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 the 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