Energy Transition Special Focus: 2022

The recent IPCC report on the impacts of climate change paints a devastating picture of the consequences of inaction. Over the last year, politicians, responding to public sentiment, have shown greater recognition of the urgency and been vocal in their commitments to act. And yet, constructive action still lags far behind what is required to avert catastrophe.
Decarbonising our energy systems is the most critical step to getting back on a sustainable path. This special focus examines the obstacles and offers solutions to unlock progress.
Photo of solar photovoltaic panels on a floating community in Cambodia by UNDP Cambodia.

  1. Developing the infrastructure to distribute low-carbon energy

    Conversations on energy transition tend to focus on renewable generation or the end-user. However, too often, the complex systems that are required to connect the two are neglected. Relying on ‘the market’ to develop solutions risks being too slow and inequitable. Governments need to get their heads round the radical changes that must be made to create resilient, sustainable energy networks – it is down to governments to drive the energy transition forward

    Keith Bell
  1. Solving energy poverty: power beyond the grid

    Off-grid and mini-grid electricity generation can bring immediate benefits across the SDGs. They offer a least-cost approach to electrification, yet investment in them remains limited. What needs to happen to ensure these technologies play their full part in tackling energy poverty?

    Damilola Ogunbiyi
  2. Renewables siting must take the path of least conflict

    In most developed countries, renewable energy siting has been plagued with delays, contract extensions, and “NIMBY” protests. Project developers and government planning agencies must be transparent and inclusive in their decision-making to gain public support and reduce the environmental and social negative spillover effects of energy expansion projects

    Grace Wu
  3. Accelerating change for 1.5°C

    Leaders across government, civil society, and the private sector must support the rapid, exponential growth of low and zero-emissions technologies if the world is to achieve the Paris goals

    Sophie Boehm, Joel Jaeger, Hanna Fekete, Ryan Wilson, Katie Lebling, Kelly Levin