The first in-person High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in three years took place in New York this July. It is the annual update on the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and this year's theme was Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Across the two weeks of plenary discussions and side-events, delegates also reviewed the progress of five SDGs in particular: SDG4 (quality education), SDG5 (gender equality), SDG14 (life below water), SDG15 (life on land) and SDG17 (partnerships for the Goals). Forty-four countries also presented their Voluntary National Reviews, facilitating discussion around successes, failures and lessons learned.
Isabel Miranda, Ipieca Director for Sustainability and Social Performance attended on behalf of Ipieca. The event brought together representatives from UN Member States, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and other stakeholders.
Key takeaways relevant to the oil, gas and alternative energy industry:
- Delegates were called to prioritize action to tackle the energy crisis and to 'keep 1.5°C alive' by investing in renewable energy
- The need to ensure energy access for woman was highlighted in a panel discussion on SDG 5 (gender equality)
- Least developed countries and land-locked developing countries called for a transition to renewable energy as part of their recovery from COVID-19
In a discussion on the 2030 SDG Summit, which will provide an opportunity to review progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, it was declared by delegates that topics should include addressing carbon inequality and involve Indigenous Peoples.
More detailed summaries from the full event, including the 142-paragraph Ministerial Declaration that was adopted on the final day, can be found on the UN website and IISD website.