WISIONS hosted a side-event at the COP23 in Bonn:

From Paris to Action at Local Level in the Global South – What Role Can Local Energy Practitioners and Existing Knowledge Networks Play? 

Following the adoption of the Paris agreement and the SDG Agenda 2030, the focus of debate is shifting towards (a) how to connect the implementation of both agendas and find synergies; and (b) how to involve and strengthen activities of non-state actors at local level.

The people who are active in the implementation of energy and development solutions in the global south – the energy practitioners – could become important advocates. They are key actors on the frontline of efforts to provide energy services to unelectrified and under-served areas, thereby contributing to several SDGs simultaneously. They draw on their several years of expertise and offer a direct link to communities. 

For the fair, just and sustainable implementation of climate-friendly technologies, mutual trust and strong links with the target communities is a prerequisite. At the same time, energy practitioner knowledge networks – such as the UN Energy practitioner network and regional networks – have proven to be successful in strengthening capacities and exchange of know-how. 

Despite this background, the role of energy practitioners as change agents is often not recognised by themselves, nor reflected in the debates on the SDGs and climate action. 

In this panel discussion we would like to discuss these aspects with experts from different fields in the climate, energy and development contexts and with practitioners from Latin America and Asia. Key questions tackled will be: 

  • Where is the synergy between local initiatives implemented by energy practitioners and the diverse climate actions implemented on other levels? 
  • How can energy practitioners and their networks effectively contribute to advancing both the climate and sustainable development agendas? 
  • How can climate and sustainable development action instruments and platforms support and strengthen the role played by energy practitioners?