The High-Level Forum on Financing Energy Transition in Africa organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) deliberated on critical energy issues facing Africa and ways to mobilise adequate finance to accelerate energy access and energy security on the Continent, as well expanding innovative mechanisms to increasing climate finance flows to Africa in the context of ‘energy transition’.
African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid said Africa expects concrete outcomes from COP27, especially with regard to translating commitments and accords reached in previous climate summits into action. The Commissioner laid out Africa’s ambitions to rapidly address energy access challenges by exploring diversified energy resources underlining the need to unleash adequate financing to speed up the process.
While the long-term goal of Africa is to transition towards clean and sustainable energy systems, the current level of energy access on the continent call for the utilisation of both renewable and non-renewable energy sources to meet its development goals.
Dr Amani Abou-Zeid reiterated that it is crucial to secure meaningful financial commitments and investments for Africa’s renewable energy and low-carbon programmes at scale to enhance energy access and support the social and equity dimensions of the just transition pathways. “There remains a huge financing gap from the US$120 billion required per year, especially in the development of new energy infrastructure. The commitments made by the global community must be fulfilled without any conditions or any further delay.”
‘‘Africa’s circumstances must be understood, and its strides must be supported highlighting that Africa is the lowest GHG emitting region globally with its emissions will grow to only 3.4 per cent by 2050 if Africa utilises all its available resources’’, Executive Director Birol-IEA.
Climate finance needs for adaptation in Africa range from US$259 – 407 billion between 2020 and 2030, with the energy sector adaptation needs ranging from US$4.5 – 7 billion. The current progress in the implementation of adaptation is not sufficient for African countries to stay ahead of the projected climate change risks and address the adaptation gap, as expenditures on adaptation are already accounting for approximately 10% of African countries’ GDP.
Commissioner Abou-Zeid further retold that African Common Position on Energy Access and Just Transition identifies financing as a critical pillar to achieving Africa’s targets of developing its energy sector along a low-carbon and climate-resilient pathway. “Despite its enormous energy needs and opportunities, Africa is only accessing 3% of climate finance leaving an annual financing gap of US$ 90 billion for its energy access and transition goals. This status quo has to change, and all stakeholders should demonstrate the willingness to make the required policy adjustments that will unlock the flow of financing necessary for energy access and energy transition in Africa.”
The event benefited from the presence and enriched views from Ministers, Director Generals and High-level Representatives of the African Union Members States and Member Countries of the IEA including Energy Ministers of Egypt, Kenya and Uganda.
“While Africa is already committed to developing its renewable energy resources, the continent must be given adequate space to exploit its vastly untapped natural resources without compromising the continental and global climate goals,” said H.E. Tarek El-Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The Ministers of Kenya and Uganda shared their countries’ experiences in increasing the supply of electricity generated from renewable sources including hydro, geothermal, solar and wind projects to diversify their energy mix.