IRENA at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) is the main body for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s HLPF "Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development” was held virtually from Tuesday, 7 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020 under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Discussions at HLPF reaffirmed the 2030 Agenda as the roadmap to achieve a sustainable future and to recover better while emphasising the importance of multilateralism, international cooperation and partnerships to advance Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to respond to COVID-19.

At the high-level session on 8 July, Building back better after COVID-19 and acting where we will have the greatest impact on the SDGs: Sustaining efforts to ensure access to sustainable energy, Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA underlined that renewable energy is key to both the short-term response, in terms of powering essential services such as health and water, as well as the medium to long term response as it brings a range of socio-economic benefits. The crisis caused by the pandemic risks undermining the progress made on SDG 7 targets at the time sustainable energy is so critically needed for a better recovery. He highlighted IRENA’s recently released The Post-COVID Recovery: An agenda for resilience, development and equality which outlines specific policy measures in the short and a mid-term to 2030 to drive the structural shift needed to achieve the SDGs and long-term decarbonisation imperatives. Mr. La Camera reassured, that IRENA will continue to lead the efforts to make the global energy system more inclusive, sustainable and equitable in line with the 2030 Agenda, working closely with its 161 Members and 22 States in accession, as well as with the United Nations.

At this year's Forum, IRENA also co-hosted the following side-events:

Tracking SDG 7: Progress towards achieving universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Following the high-level global launch of the Tracking SDG 7 report on 4 June, this HLPF side-event aimed for a more in-depth discussion on the data and findings of the report to be presented by the five Custodians agencies – IEA, IRENA, UNSD, World Bank and WHO. It further focused on national and international measures needed to safeguard the gains already attained to achieve SDG 7 while accelerating efforts in the post-COVID-19 world. Country representatives commented on the report and presented their plans/response measures and needs in terms of international collaboration and support to achieve SDG 7 during the coming decade of action.

More information on the event can be found here.

Harnessing energy transformation for a sustainable recovery

The side-event, co-hosted by the Governments of Denmark, Germany, Morocco, Spain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as the European Commission, discussed the contribution of energy transformation to better recovery while ensuring an inclusive and just transition in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. Following a presentation of the IRENA’s report, The Post-COVID Recovery: An agenda for resilience, development and equality by the Director-General of IRENA as well as the report of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) The Recover Better with Sustainable Energy Guide for African Countries by Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of SEforALL and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. a number of countries shared their experiences and initiatives on harnessing energy transformation for sustainable recovery.

More information on the event can be found here.

For more information on the IRENA engagements at HLPF, please contact IRENA’s New York Office at