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Evento a margine virtuale - A Just and Inclusive Sustainable Energy Transition in Africa:... - 4 maggio 2022



Evento a margine virtuale - A Just and Inclusive Sustainable Energy Transition in Africa:... - 4 maggio 2022


A Just and Inclusive Sustainable Energy Transition in Africa: Partnerships with Non-State Actors for Technological and Innovative Solutions

4 May 2022, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm (EDT)

Virtual side event

Organizers: The Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations, and the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA)

Contact Person: Carlotta D’Amico (Permanent Mission of Italy to United Nations)

*****  REGISTER HERE: RSVP   *****



Africa is among the world areas that are experiencing the most severe impacts of climate change and among the lowest net contributors to GHG emissions at the global level. Historically, it has the smallest carbon footprint causing climate change. With a large, young and working age population, African countries also need to create quality jobs by diversifying their economies, increasing manufacturing and value addition - all endeavors that require significant energy production and consumption.

African countries are at different stages of implementation of the targets included in SDG7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Africa’s large-scale energy mix is built mainly on hydropower renewable energy and traditional thermal power generation, with some countries investing in other renewables. The acceleration of the clean energy transition requires a careful analysis of the continent’s complexities. This is to ensure the development of appropriate renewable solutions, policies, regulations, governance, and access to financial markets, to guarantee affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy access to all, while advancing sustainable economic growth.

While renewable energy production has become increasingly cost-competitive worldwide, Africa, regrettably, continues to lag behind. This is mainly due to the lack of effective energy policies and regulations; real and perceived risks in attracting private sector financing; technological innovations that may not be affordable at scale; a lack of project preparation and poorly defined business cases, as well as limited infrastructure. These and other issues related to institutional capacities, governance, security risks and competing priorities, contribute to the substantial energy deficit in Africa, especially in electricity access in rural areas. At a larger scale, the high cost and intermittency of electricity represent a major obstacle for Africa’s productive sector, affecting Africa’s growth, development, and competitiveness in the global market.

Africa has, nonetheless, enormous renewable energy potential (wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy), most of which is under-exploited in creating balanced energy mixes. With proper differentiation and appropriate use (domestic electrification versus industrial loads), the continent’s renewable energy potential presents significant opportunities for leapfrogging to energy mixes with the most effective balance between low carbon and clean energy technologies. With adequate financing and capacity building, as well as investments in regional power pools and efficient transmission networks, African countries can be leaders in power generation through solar power both large scale and off-grid, and through both onshore and offshore wind power.

Such a vision is supported by the recent report, ‘Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Africa and its Regions’, by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB). This report shows that an integrated policy framework built around a just, modern, resilient and clean energy transition could bring new sustainable energy investments to Africa, with a projected economic growth of 6.4% by 2050. According to the report, there are less than 3% of global jobs related to renewable energy in Africa. At the same time, the number of jobs in Africa created through the energy transition - aligned with our global climate ambitions - would be four times higher than the number of jobs lost in the fossil fuel industry, offering a significant net gain.

Furthermore, Africa is a continent rich in terrestrial and marine biodiversity that provides ecosystem services that can be instrumental in upholding the economy and reducing the risk of climate change impacts. At present, however, Africa is experiencing a dramatic loss of biodiversity, which can be reversed through a clean energy transition integrated with biodiversity conservation and recovery.

A strong business case must be made for this vision - one that addresses the needs, concerns and realities of various stakeholders (public and private sector) and channels them towards action, for expanding a clean energy transition in Africa. This transition would be able to support development and industrialization, bringing multiple benefits in terms of employment, socio-economic well-being, gender equality, youth engagement and provide adequate energy services without damaging human health and ecosystems (e.g. halting non-sustainable traditional biomass energy use). This is key to making progress in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda in Africa by building actions that pursue interlinkages between SDG5, SDG7, SDG14, SDG15 and SDG17.



This side event aims to bring together international and local non-state-actors, including African stakeholders and business leaders, to understand the nuances involved in Africa’s transition to a clean energy future.

With the COVID-19 pandemic shifting priorities and exacerbating existing challenges, this event aims to reinforce synergies and renew partnerships to support African countries in meeting the needs of their growing populations, prioritizing actions centered on the interlinkages between climate change, energy and gender equality.

The event will also highlight how African countries can base their efforts on a holistic approach, taking into account the important role played by land, forest and biodiversity resources in the achievement of all SDGs.



CONCEPT NOTE (formato pdf)