ACCESS Coalition in partnership with Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG), WWF-Kenya, and COMESA organized a side event dubbed, “Incorporating just energy transition into the development and implementation of NDCs and long-term strategies in Africa,” during the Africa Regional Climate Week. The summit was held from 29 August to 2 September 2022 in Libreville, Gabon.
Keriako Tobiko, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in charge of Environment and Forestry, attended the side event and reiterated Africa is facing a climate change crisis. He called on governments and all stakeholders to consolidate efforts for a Just Energy transition.
The event was moderated by Elizabeth Wanja, KCCWG Coordinator, and the panelists were John Kioli – ACCESS and KCCWG Chairman, Grace Ronoh – ACCESS Coalition Programme Officer, Elizabeth Wangeci – Energy Efficiency and Cooling Specialist at SE4ALL and Lwembe Mwale, Project Officer at COMESA Climate Change Program.
Elizabeth Wanja noted that climate change is happening at an alarming rate and all players should advance climate issues.
John Kioli, ACCESS and KCCWG Chairman emphasized electricity energy is the enabler of the growth of economies in any part of the world. It affects, health, education, agriculture, security, and almost every other sector. “800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa still don’t have access to clean energy,” he said. He called on governments and stakeholders to work together in offering reliable solutions.
Speaking on the current status of implementation of SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy, Elizabeth Wangeci of SE4ALL highlighted there has been marginal improvements on energy access in Africa. “Electricity access is growing but the progress is uneven, affecting lack of clean cooking access,” she said. She emphasized every renewable energy potential should consist of electrification, clean cooking and usage in industry, building and transport sector.
Grace Ronoh, indicated although electricity connection is growing steadily in Africa, there is a need to ensure productive uses of energy are scaled down to communities and there is increased financing to enhance clean cooking in the continent.
The COVID-19 pandemic decreased the gains that were achieved on energy access. According to World Bank’s Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report (2022), the pandemic affected the pace of progress toward the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 7) of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030. In 2020, international public financial flow in support of clean energy fell by 24 percent compared to 2019.
Lwembe Mwale, Project Officer at COMESA underscored the need for a more integrated approach to climate change planning, since energy is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and it’s at the core of industrialization and socio-economic development of economies.
The Africa Climate Week was a prelude to the 27th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held from 6-18 November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
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