Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organisation working towards the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 7.
SEforALL was launched in 2011 and its objectives include ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
The organisation launched a People-Centred Accelerator in 2018 in collaboration with Landsvirkjun and other partners. Landsvirkjun held a workshop at Krafla in June, 2017 in preparation for the collaboration. The workshop was attended by Rachel Kyte, Director of SEforALL.
The accelerator aims to enhance and extend the provision of sustainable modern energy, incorporate gender equality and help unlock finance for gender equality. Other goals include social inclusion, women’s empowerment in the energy sector and the strengthening of collaboration between stakeholders to achieve the organisation’s goals (www.seeforall.org).
Picture from the workshop at Krafla in 2017. The accelerator launched in 2018.
Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP 24)
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, invited Landsvirkjun‘s Deputy CEO, Ragna Árnadóttir, to take part in the Katowice Climate Change Conference, the 24th United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Poland in December 2018.
Ragna gave a presentation on Iceland’s electricity history and the country‘s initiative of utilising geothermal energy for domestic heating. Other panel members included Poland‘s Minister for the Environment, Henryk Kowalczyk, Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Women and People of Chad. Ragna participated in both the panel discussion and in an event organised by IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency).
Implementation of the Paris Summit Agreement
The United Nations Climate Change Conference is one of the UN‘s largest annual conferences. An estimated 10-20,000 people attended the conference, including the many member states and chosen representatives from various companies and NGO‘s. The main focus of the conference was the implementation of the Paris Summit Agreement, which was approved in 2015.
Member states agreed on a deadline to complete the implementation guidelines in 2018 at COP24. The Katowice Climate Package, agreed at COP24, provides the details needed to make the Paris Agreement operational in preparation for its full implementation at the national level. The conference also encouraged world leaders to increase efforts to decrease emissions before the next conference in 2020.
Ragna Árnadóttir, Deputy CEO of Landsvirkjun, taking part in the panel at COP24 Source: Flickr: © cop24.gov.pl
North-eastern Sustainability Initiative
The first annual meeting of the North-eastern Sustainability Initiative was held in May 2018. The project website was presented and launched at the meeting (www.gaumur.is). The website provides information on the development of key indicators for the community, environment and economy in the area from Vaðlaheiði to Tjörneshreppur. The project's participants include Landsvirkjun, Landsnet, PCC, representatives from various travel agencies and the University of Akureyri Research Centre who work in collaboration with the municipalities of Norðurþing, Skútustaðahreppur and Þingeyjarsveit
The project aims to collect and provide data for the website to support research and multilevel education, public policy formulation and employment opportunities in the area. The website will be kept up to date and new information will be added on a regular basis. Monitoring on sustainability indicators is ongoing and is displayed on the webpage.
The Icelandic Tourism Resaerch Centre (RMF) published a report based on the results of a tourist experience survey conducted in the Krafla area in 2017. The results showed that tourists were pleased with the natural environment in the area and that the effects of the Þeistareykir project were minimal. Manmade structures did not seem to have a negative effect on their experience.
Sustainability Initiative in East Iceland
Alcoa Fjardaál's and Landsvirkjun's Sustainable Project was set up eleven years ago to monitor the impact of construction at the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Station and the Reydarfjordur smelter on the community, environment and economy in East Iceland.
A report was published to show the results of an evaluation of the project's social indicators on the tenth anniversary of the project.
The annual meeting of the Sustainability Initiative in East Iceland was held on the 8th of May 2018 and was well attended. Six interesting papers were presented on issues pertaining to the project such as more effective data collection and subsequent use. Participants were divided into groups to discuss how the Sustainability Initiative could best benefit the East of Iceland.
More information on the annual meeting and other interesting topics on the Sustainability Initiative in East Iceland can be found on the project's website, www.sjalfbaerni.is.
Landsvirkjun used the opportunity to extend its annual support for the Norður-Hérað Municipality’s land improvement for another five years. The fund was established in 2002 for the reclamation of land lost due to the construction of the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Station.