COP22 Launches Major Global Partnership on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

MARRAKECH–Last night representatives of dozens of developing countries, including Africa, small island states, least developed countries and Central American countries joined COP President Morocco in launching the Marrakech Global Partnership on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.  The Global Partnership is a major outcome on clean energy from a conference aiming to deliver concrete action and implementation, after a year of high momentum following the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

The launch of the Global Partnership is the culmination of a year of collaboration among emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives worldwide. In May of this year at climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, leaders of key negotiating blocs called for for a global partnership. There the Chairs of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, African Group and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)- representing over 90 countries – were joined by leaders from Morocco and Sweden, building off the inspiration of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), launched at COP 21 in Paris last year. The AREI, a program with pledges of USD 10 billion in financial support, aims to accelerate the harnessing of Africa’s huge renewable energy potential in an African-owned and African-led effort to mobilise 300 GW of renewable energy generation capacity in Africa by 2030.

Founders of the Global Partnership include five regional renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives from Africa, small island states and least developed countries as well as collaboration with central American countries.

Mr. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the LDCs, set out the Global Partnership’s vision at the launch, and said: “at this action and implementation COP, the Marrakech Global Partnership is a concrete outcome brightening the futures of the 1.3bn people who currently lack adequate access to energy. The Global Partnership forms a ‘roof’ supported by the sturdy pillars of regional initiatives, including the newly launched LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development. These pillars support a home that is more than the sum of its parts, catalysing transformative global action in the energy sector by growing capacity, sharing knowledge and building synergies.”

Mr. Amjad Abdulla, Chief Negotiator for AOSIS, said: “Island states are increasingly threatened by food insecurity, water shortages and devastating storms. We have recognised the urgency and decided to act now through our Initiative for Renewable Island Energy and the Global Partnership, demonstrating that countries most in need of access to clean energy and ambitious climate action are taking the lead in driving it.”

Ambassador Seyni Nafo, Chair of the African Group, said: “It is gratifying to see this African proposal for a Global Partnership take flight at a conference hosted by Africans on the African continent. Just as Africa is taking a lead through the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, so must the rest of the world move towards low-to-zero carbon energy systems to keep warming below 1.5 degrees C.”

Mr. Ram Prasad Dhital, Executive Director, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Ministry of Population and Environment, Government of Nepal, said: “Only 5% of global energy finance flows into low income countries. The LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative is not trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead, it will fill the cracks LDCs currently fall through by facilitating access to finance flows and building capacity to establish the policies, regulations and project pipelines needed to get local projects off the ground.”

Minister Paul Oquist, of the Republic of Nicaragua, said: “I’ve often wondered why the most solar panels in the world are in the countries with the least sunshine. Many developing countries have enormous untapped renewable energy potential and the Global Partnership will enable communities to harness this. The link between electricity access and poverty is undeniable.Through the Global Partnership, Central American countries and other developing countries are on the path to low-carbon, sustainable development.”

Mr. Diego Pacheco, Head of the Bolivian Delegation at the UNFCCC, said: “The Plurinational State of Bolivia is pleased to associate with the Global Partnership. Policies and actions to facilitate renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries, are essential for moving towards sustainable development in harmony with Mother Earth.”

Mr. Saïd Mouline, Director of public/private partnership COP22, said: “The Global Partnership is a key outcome from COP22 and a shining light for South-South Cooperation. Developing countries are going above and beyond to take ambitious action in the energy sector and steer the world towards a safe and prosperous future for all. Morocco is proud to contribute a strong pillar to the Global Partnership with the International Energy Efficiency Initiative.”

Representatives of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) also attended the event to welcome the new Partnership and expressed their support.  In addition, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which has been working in partnership with small island developing states to develop Initiative for Renewable Island Energy was also recognized as important.     

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