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Fiona Skinner
Programme Administrator, Energy Systems and Infrastructure Division, United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Ilina Stefanova
Programme Coordinator, Energy Systems and Infrastructure Division, United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Recognizing the enormous potential of energy efficiency in delivering the emissions reductions required to achieve the Paris Agreement targets, a number of leading organizations, including the International Energy Agency and Sustainable Energy for All, founded a transformational initiative at the 2019 Climate Action Summit: the Three Percent Club.

The Three Percent Club aims at advancing partnerships between organizations, government, academia and private sector to work towards a sustained %3 annual improvement in energy efficiency necessary to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7).

As a partner of the Three Percent Club initiative, UNIDO is leveraging its experience with the Industrial Energy Accelerator to support four priority countries, Morocco, South Africa, India, and Indonesia, in mapping key policy, resource, and implementation gaps preventing progress on energy efficiency. As you read this, UNIDO is finalizing diagnostic assessments for Morocco and India, which identify key actions to unlock economy-wide energy efficiency potential. Similar diagnostic assessments for South Africa and Indonesia will be finalized in early 2022.

Across these countries, extensive research and stakeholder interviews have underscored the importance of data- based decision making, strong monitoring, reporting and verification frameworks, and central institutions with clear mandates for energy efficiency strategy implementation.

In parallel to the ongoing country diagnostic assessments, UNIDO is working with Sustainable Energy for All and other Three Percent Club partners on the development of an enhanced toolkit for identifying energy efficiency opportunities across various end use sectors. By enabling countries to pinpoint sectors requiring priority interventions and matching the identified sectors with existing tools and qualified partners, the toolkit operationalizes the Three Percent Club’s vision of promoting partnerships between organizations, government, academia and the private sector to advance accelerated ambition in countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and drive progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Increasing ambition on energy efficiency now is crucial to ensuring just, equitable and low carbon energy transitions that support the economic recovery and leave no one behind. While countries are increasingly recognizing the importance of energy efficiency as a pillar of economic growth, strategic partnerships with suitable solution providers are a key next step to promoting innovation and to supporting the delivery of energy efficiency on the ground. Cross-sectoral collaboration and integrated approaches across the public and private sector are vital to realizing the scale of transformation required for achieving SDG 7 on the road to net-zero.