NEW YORK - How can the world come together to radically change the way it produces and uses energy, as part of efforts to hold back climate change and to ultimately give humanity a more secure future on planet earth? That’s the question that over one hundred countries, organizations and businesses will be discussing at the United Nations on Friday at the High-level Dialogue on Energy, the first meeting of its kind in 40 years.

Several world leaders announced new energy commitments.

Denmark committed to reduce 70 per cent of CO2 emissions by 2030 (compared to 1990), and produce all of its electricity from renewable energy by 2028. Oil and gas extraction will end by 2050 and, by 2030, the country will spend at least $500 million on climate finance every year.

Malawi is targeting universal access to cleaner cooking for households and institutions, and plans to phase out open fires by 2030, with two million cleaner cookstoves reached by 2025, and an investment of more than $596 million.

In the private sector, energy company Enel said it would reach 5.6 million new electricity connections by 2030, speed up its coal phase-out to 2027, triple renewable energy generation to 145GW by 2030 and provide more than 4 million EV charging points and 10,000 electric buses by 2030.

There is more to come this morning, including a highly anticipated statement from John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate for the United States, one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters.

The Indonesian government is putting some of these ideas into practice, and has begun bringing clean electricity to rural communities, thanks to a project backed by the UN. The programme involves the installation of off-grid solar- power plants, which will provide electricity for around 20,000 people in remote villages.

It’s being overseen by a group of Indonesians dubbed “energy patriots”, who have been tasked with boosting the use of clean energy resources, with the goal of improving access to healthcare, education, and economic development in rural villages.

Although the project is only meeting a fraction of Indonesia’s total unmet needs, with millions still to be reached, the programme serves as a blueprint for rural development that goes beyond basic socio-economic support.

Of course, the transition to clean energy is not going to be cheap and the President of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, in his address to the meeting said: “A substantial increase in clean energy finance is essential for all countries, but particularly [those] where energy poverty equates to poverty”.

He added that 2.6 billion people are still relying on harmful fuels for cooking and that of the estimated $4.4 billion needed to achieve universal access to clean cooking, “only $32 million has been made available”.