Climate Change, Poverty and Energy – Is renewable energy the solution for Africa?

Parliaments have a vital role to play in both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change in Africa

Press release – for immediate release

Johannesburg / Hamburg, August 16 – Approximately 1.4 billion people globally don’t have access to electricity, yet virtually all countries in the global south and emerging economies have huge, mainly untapped potential in solar, wind, hydro, geothermal or biomass energy. Less-industrialised nations now have the opportunity to leapfrog conventional electricity production and to pursue a clean energy development path in which future emissions of greenhouse gases can be significantly reduced. Energy plays a vital role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and from 2015 onwards the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Pan-African Parliament, based in Midrand, South Africa, plays a key role in promoting democratisation, good governance and the harmonisation of laws on the continent. It is in the light of this mandate that the World Future Council, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Climate Parliament have convened a capacity building workshop with the legislators. Strengthening the knowledge and ability of the Pan-African Parliament on the climate change, poverty and energy nexus will help to enable a social just energy transition on the African continent.

Ansgar Kiene, Director of the WFC Africa Office: “The enabling environment for renewable energy production needs to stay the focus of policy makers. Only on the basis of attractive RE frameworks and properly implemented legislation will we be able to generate the electricity our societies and businesses need to thrive. As the majority of renewable energy technologies are capital intensive, a long-term view and strategy needs to be followed. Any governmental plans towards favouring the fossil or nuclear industry instead of renewables will deter potential investments that are necessary for a socially just and ecologically beneficial energy transition.”

A recent pan-African study by the World Future Council and the Heinrich Böll Foundation shows that Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff policies (REFiT) are a promising mechanism to unlock renewable energy development in Africa. Moreover, the decentralised nature of renewable energy sources provides the opportunity to empower communities and to revitalise local democracy and self-governance by allowing for alternative models of ownership and governance.

Dr. Gertrude Mongella, Founding President of the Pan-African Parliament and Hon. Councillor of the World Future Council emphasises the importance of gender in climate and energy solutions: “A nation will not industrialise as long as women and girls carry water and fire wood on their backs to sustain their families.”

Since its foundation in 2007 the World Future Council has been actively engaging with Parliaments, Regulators and Ministries across the African continent in policy workshops focussing on renewable energy legislation. Our capacity building programme further offers policy makers an online library on a variety of future just policies at www.futurepolicy.org

Media Contact

World Future Council
Director Africa Office
Ansgar Kiene
Johannesburg, South Africa
Phone: +27 11 72 61 113
Mobile: +27 71 67 09 505
Email: ansgar.kiene@worldfuturecouncil.org

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.

Heinrich Böll Foundation
The Heinrich Böll Foundation is part of the Green political movement that has developed worldwide as a response to the traditional politics of socialism, liberalism, and conservatism. Our main tenets are ecology and sustainability, democracy and human rights, self-determination and justice. We place particular emphasis on gender democracy, meaning social emancipation and equal rights for women and men. We are also committed to equal rights for cultural and ethnic minorities and to the societal and political participation of immigrants. Finally, we promote non-violence and proactive peace policies. To achieve our goals, we seek strategic partnerships with others who share our values. We are an independent organisation, that is, we determine our own priorities and policies.
www.za.boell.org

Climate Parliament
The UN’s consensus negotiating method is limited, as it can be blocked by any major nation or small group of nations. While diplomats and governments continue to negotiate, the Climate Parliament Council believes that legislators should also pursue a parallel track: to build our way out of the climate problem. We have all the technologies we need to enable a rapid transition to renewable energy. We also have the knowledge that we need to preserve the rainforests. What we need now is new legislation and financial incentives to get the appropriate technologies and systems deployed.
www.climateparl.net