Statement of Mr Alberic Kacou, the UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative on Post 2015 thematic consultation on energy

19 Mar 2013

Thematic Consultation on Energy, Mlimani City Dar-es-Salaam

Distinguished Guest of Honor, Hon. Minister of Energy and Minerals Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, Hon. Minister of International Development Cooperation, Norway, Heikki Holmås, Director of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, African Development Bank, Hela Cheikhrouhou.

Honorable Government Representatives, Excellencies, Ambassadors, High Commissioners,Heads of International Organisations,

Distinguished guests, Civil Society representatives, Members of the Media,

Dear Colleagues,Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is indeed an honor to speak at this important thematic consultative meeting on the post-2015 development agenda. Let me first express my appreciation to the Ministry of Energy and Minerals for organizing this important event within a very short timeframe. Thank you, as well, for the invitation to address you today. The focus of the consultations on energy makes it even more exciting as the subject has gathered momentum recently, not only here in Tanzania, but also in Africa and around the globe. The UN is pleased to be associated in this post-2015 energy consultations and I particularly wish to acknowledge the support from UNIDO and UNDP together with the government of Norway, for their financial and technical contributions.

As you are aware, since their endorsement by the UN General Assembly in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have defined a common development framework of priorities for all stakeholders, including UN Member States and the development community at large. In September 2010, a High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly called on the UN System to lead the international discussion on a post-2015 development agenda that could feed into the inter-governmental process and positions of Member States.

Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Defining a global agenda needs global consensus. It is, therefore, critical to have a substantive and inclusive process that will lead to the definition of a post-2015 development agenda owned by all players. While the UN is taking the lead at the global level in a more open and inclusive dialogue, the countries themselves must lead in a bottom up approach.

In line with this process, the Government of Tanzania, in collaboration with the UN system, launched, on the 17th October 2012, its National Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Of course, energy and extractives industries were among the subjects covered in national dialogue. Consultations on a critical theme such as energy would only enhance this process.

Energy needs were silent in the MDGs. It is a critical component of our lives. Without energy we can’t even dream of economic growth. It is also a vital element for health service delivery, education, and transport, to name a few. Yet despite its central role, not everyone has access to modern energy services such as electricity. Let me highlight few energy-related indicators that give you a glimpse of energy use in Tanzania:

Electricity accounts for only 1.2 per cent of energy use. Only 5.5 per cent of the rural population – who constitute the majority of Tanzanians – have access to electricity.

• The primary source of energy is biomass, which makes up about 90 per cent of Tanzania’s energy use. Biomass in the form of charcoal and woody biomass is almost universally used for cooking.

• Only 8 per cent of the energy needs are met by oil based liquid fuels

Of course, with the recent findings of natural gas and the Tanzanian government’s desire to promote the domestic use of liquefied natural gas, the mix of energy use is likely to change. But the fact remains that, around the world, less developed countries face different energy challenges than more advanced economies.

Fossil fuel based energy is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. In line with the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, universal access to electricity should be our target after 2015. Issues of affordability and its impact on greenhouse gas emissions essentially compel us to be innovative in increasing energy efficiency. Renewable energy needs to be the norm rather than an option. All these point to the need for integrated solutions for harnessing the nexus between energy-sustainable development for our own progress and survival.

Diverse needs and objectives mean that we have to strike a delicate balance between the use of energy in economic growth and sustainable development.

The focus of consultations on specific areas such as access to energy, energy efficiency, the energy-sustainable development nexus, and renewable energy, could indeed shed light on how to accomplish this equilibrium. On this topic, allow me to highlight three key issues from a developing country perspective.

For countries like Tanzania, issues such as how to improve access to modern sources of energy become more fundamental than others.

• High transmission and distribution losses – around 25 per cent in Tanzania - add to the cost of energy prices. Given the high cost of energy, are there technological advances that would increase energy efficiency significantly and reduce the burden on the poor?

• While developing countries such as Tanzania are not the main sources of global greenhouse gas emissions, they are of course concerned by the inefficient use of energy. How can they be helped in adopting sustainable energy use, including renewable energy sources, without burdening their daily budgets?

These are critical questions common to many developing countries that perhaps could be addressed post-2015.

The consultations, while feeding into the global agenda, would also be beneficial to Tanzania’s own policies towards energy. The country’s energy policy is being revised, the Biomass Energy Strategy is under examination and the Power Sector Master Plan is at an advanced stage of development. A bio-fuels policy is also being developed. The issues being discussed and approaches proposed could reinforce Tanzania’s energy policy with a proactive and forward-looking approach

Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen

Before I conclude, let me identify a few opportunities and challenges, among many, that are specific to countries such as Tanzania, particularly from the point of view of the SE4ALL agenda.

• First, transformation of the energy economy to include broad affordable access to energy services requires good policy, skills and effective institutions built around effective policy delivery.

• Second, balancing cost recovery with equity (i.e. access and affordability).

• And third, much of Africa is not locked into technologies to access energy services for domestic, livelihoods and productive uses. Opportunities exist for new technologies that are low-carbon, efficient and appropriately sized.

Finally, the outcomes of these consultations will feed into the Secretary General’s report, “The Future We Want”, that itself will provide a basis for discussions on a post-2015 agenda. Therefore, every effort needs to be taken to exploit the opportunities to give national as well as regional perspectives on energy.

Let me conclude my remarks by wishing you very fruitful deliberations during today’s consultations.

Thank you and Asanteni Sana!