The Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP), together with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and other GGKP partner institutions convened leading experts, practitioners, academics from the energy sector for the Seventh Green Growth Knowledge Partnership (GGKP) Annual Conference in Seoul from 21-22 October 2019, as part of the Global Green Growth Week (GGGW) 2019.
Hosted by GGGI, the two-day conference began with a welcome remark from former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who now serves as the President and Chair of GGGI. In his video address, Ban highlighted that the transition towards renewable energy sources is not only about challenges—it presents new opportunities to modernize our energy systems, create green jobs, increase productivity and competitiveness, and reduce poverty. Following his remarks, a keynote speech was delivered by Arthouros Zervos, the Chair of REN21 – an international policy network dedicated to building a sustainable energy future with renewables – on potentials of energy transformation. Zervos emphasized that achieving the progress both in climate and development requires not only expanding the roles of renewable energy but also curtailing the use of fossil fuel.
Three high level panels exchanged experience and perspectives on successful approaches in achieving national economic growth and energy security objectives by focusing on the role of scaling up clean energy – featuring representatives from the Government of Denmark, the Philippines, Burkina Faso, Papua New Guinea, Colombia, Austria, and the United Arab Emirates. The Annual Conference also featured presentations of the latest research papers on a range of subjects related to sustainable energy. Twenty-eight papers highlighted key challenges, insights, and innovations and solutions for dramatically scaling up sustainable energy.
On the second day, Director-General Francesco La Camera of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) delivered a keynote speech highlighting his insights on the current country states’ outlook—and potential—for renewable energy and other sustainable energy systems to fully replace fossil-based energy systems. “We have to create a market that accelerates renewable energy,” he stated when conveying the message that the renewable energy sector continues to develop.
During the Conference, GGKP Secretariat introduced the recently launched Green Finance Platform and Green Industry Platform, as well as the refreshed policy-focused Green Growth Knowledge Platform. The Head of GGKP Secretariat Benjamin Simmons also shared the idea of launching a new interactive online community space focusing on specific sector and thematic areas in 2020.
GGKP7 concluded with the awards ceremony to acknowledge the best overall paper of the Seventh GGKP Annual Conference. Tim Reber of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) won the Best Paper Award for his submission on Scaling Up Green Mini-Grid Deployment in Sub-Saharan Africa. During the closing ceremony, Simmons emphasized that urgent actions to rapidly transform our energy system to green energy need to be taken by working through the GGKP partnership. Following his message, the Energy and Climate Branch Chief of UN Environment Programme Mark Radka expressed his positive remarks on the conference particularly on the forward looking, optimistic, and insightful nature of the sustainable energy-focused discussion.
Radka also announced that the 8th GGKP Annual Conference will be hosted by UN Environment Programme will take place in Dubai, UAE, in March 2021 alongside the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Ministerial Conference.
Established in January 2012, the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) is dedicated to advancing the green growth agenda around the world by offering practitioners and policymakers the policy guidance, good practices, tools, and data necessary to support the transition to a green economy. Under the leadership of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the World Bank, the GGKP has now included more than 60 partner organizations from around the world.
The GGKP Annual Conference serves as the GGKP partners’ main global knowledge exchange activity, bringing researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and the private sector together to discuss, debate, and disseminate research and promote expanded knowledge-sharing and learning. The main objective of the GGKP Annual Conference 2019 is to advance global thought leadership, discussion, and debate on green energy transformation, and to present key strategies and innovations to promote and accelerate the scale-up of renewable energy and related measures. Participants of the events had the opportunity to learn from the latest research and findings on renewable energy transitions, identify strategies, innovations, priorities, and recommendations for policy action, and network to build stronger partnerships, relationships, and communities of practice among GGKP partners and supporters.