In September 2015, the leaders of 193 UN member-states agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that became effective in January 2016. They will lay the basis for the policy of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) during the next 15 years.
Ukraine adapted the global goals and in September 2017, presented a national report “Sustainable Development Goals: Ukraine”. On September 30, 2019, the President of Ukraine issued a Decree “On the Sustainable Development Goals for Ukraine until 2030“, aimed to achieve the SDGs and implement an effective system for monitoring their fulfillment.
The SDGs are an inclusive agenda covering a range of diverse matters, so it is not surprising that one or another activity is often checked against the Goals.
There are seventeen SDGs (and, correspondingly, their Ukrainian adaptation):
- End poverty (End poverty)
- End hunger (End hunger, promote sustainable agriculture)
- Healthy lives (Healthy lives and well-being)
- Quality education (Quality education)
- Gender equality (Gender equality)
- Clean water and sanitation (Clean water and sanitation)
- Renewable energy (Affordable and clean energy)
- Decent work and economic growth (Decent work and economic growth)
- Innovation and infrastructure (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure)
- Reduce inequality (Reduce inequality)
- Sustainable development of cities and communities (Sustainable development of cities and communities)
- Sustainable consumption (Sustainable consumption and production)
- Mitigate climate change impact (Mitigate climate change impact)
- Conserve marine resources (Conserve marine resources)
- Preserve terrestrial ecosystems (Protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems)
- Peace and justice (Peace, justice, and strong institutions)
- Partnership for sustainable development (Partnership for sustainable development)
Looking at this list in search of a goal that the work of the USAID Energy Security Project contributes to, anyone will probably stop at #7 first as renewable energy is one of the direct activities of the USAID ESP. This response is logical and correct but not complete. The whole point is that all the goals are interlinked. Success in achieving one of them affects the success of the whole set of goals covering three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental.
Fighting climate change affects the way we use natural resources that are being depleted and endangered while achieving gender equality or healthy lives helps to wipe out poverty. In return, building peace and shaping an inclusive society reduces inequality and promotes economic prosperity.
Therefore, it would be a mistake to reduce USAID ESP’s activities to Goal 7. For example, whilst affordable, reliable, resilient, and modern energy supply, significant renewables, and enhanced energy efficiency are among the priorities of our work, these activities also combat energy poverty and therefore are linked to Goal 1.
Have you heard about our support of curricula at Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas, Pryazov Technical University? Have you heard that the electrical measuring laboratory at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine was equiped with USAID ESP support? They promote development and access to quality higher energy education, i.e. Goal 4.
For sure, you know about our contribution to gender equality. Supporting the development of an Ethics Code and Gender Principles for the Ukrainian energy sector, setting up gender committees in energy companies, numerous trainings, and grants in supporting gender equality – all these relate to Goal 5 and build a bridge to Goal 8.
A huge part of our work aims to promote the modernization of energy infrastructure through innovation relates to Goal 9. This includes the development of new heat supply schemes for several Ukrainian towns and the preparation for the launch of a geo-informational system to control the capital’s heat supply, the installation of a condensing economizer at CHP-5 and heat storage tanks at CHP-6 in Kyiv, the preparation for large-scale installation of individual heat supply stations, measures to promote integration into ENTSO-E, and our contribution to the development of a National hydrogen strategy and many other analytical tasks.
Well, everything related to district heating in towns is also a contribution to Goal 11.
Needless to say, all the work that promotes renewable energy development, emission reduction, and energy efficiency improvement is a contribution to Goal 13.
Finally, the USAID Energy Security Project’s support to the Voda Donbasu utility company and the Luhansk Energy Association – what is this but work to achieve two goals at once – Goal 6 and Goal 16? It is a rhetorical question. If we forgot about something, please remind us!