Bringing Europe closer to its citizens

A regional approach to achieving a European Renewable Energy Union

In times of rising populism, internal cleavages and climate scepticism across EU Member States, Europe needs to reconnect with its citizens. Uniting the continent and re-gaining people´s trust in the European integration has never been more relevant. In fact, building a European Renewable Energy Union with regions, cities, municipalities and indeed citizens at its core could be the vehicle to realize this goal. The idea of regional cooperation can fill the ambition gap between national energy strategies and a standardized EU-wide approach. For MEP Claude Turmes, rapporteur of EU´s renewable energy governance reform, the direction is clear: “We are stronger together. [..) Can we think of a more positive project than local energy citizens?” And Brendan Devlin from DG Energy in the European Commission adds “We now see that individuals and communities are the actors that can bring us to meet the Paris Agreement goals”.

EU legislation must foster regional cooperation on the sub-national level.

So, what is needed to put words into action? In a policy debate on cross-border cooperation for renewable energy, organized by the Heinrich Boell Foundation EU and the World Future Council, hosted by the European Committee of the Regions, about 50 policy makers and key energy stakeholders concluded that EU legislation must foster regional cooperation on the sub-national level. While the “Clean Energy Package for All Europeans” only supports member states to collaborate on renewable energy development and to interconnect the transmission grid across borders, municipalities and regions lack political support.

Policy Debate on enhancing cross-border renewables cooperation in the EU. Brussels, June 6th 2017.

The project “Smart Energy Union Emmen Haren” (SEREH), which aims at building a regional, decentralized and mostly community-owned cross-border energy system, is a living example of the untapped potential that micro-level cooperation can unlock in accelerating the pace of energy transition in Europe. It is also illustrative of the current regulatory and legal barriers that local and regional pioneers are facing on the ground. “The current regulation is based on centralized systems that work top-down, while we need a distributed system that works bottom-up”, says Melinda Loonstra from the Dutch municipality Emmen. Emmen and its German neighbour Haren want to build a cross-border interconnection between their local renewable energy markets to become carbon neutral. “This link can help to build up a robust, reliable and affordable energy supply based on renewable sources in the Netherlands and Germany.” A direct exchange of electricity between the two regions could be the first step to another type of electricity market – a market where communities and small producers can trade their own energy via a digital platform. This micro-level form of cooperation could bring various advantages for European citizens: community-owned energy sources, keeping revenues in the region, reducing transport costs through local production and use, more affordable energy and the emergence of new businesses. One of the biggest challenges that Emmen and Haren are facing is conflicting national regulation on interconnection. And according to European law, only the Transmission System Operator (TSO) is permitted to transport electricity across border on the high-voltage grid. Also, legislative proposals that are currently discussed in the European parliament do not allow local DSOs to build interconnections on the medium-voltage grid between two countries.

According to Roberto Zangrandi, Secretary General of EDSO for Smart Grids, contradicting and diverse regulatory frameworks are indeed the biggest impediments to a rapid evolution of local networks. Depending on the respective national policies, the autonomy of the DSOs varies from country to country. In addition, the different support schemes, permitting procedures and administrative rules on the two sides of the borders also pose significant obstacles to the cross-border interaction between neighbouring regions or municipalities. Despite the possibilities for European funding of cross-border projects, these funds are in most of the cases considered out of reach for local actors, mostly due to co-financing and the complexity of application and reporting.

It is local actors that catalyse change.

However, it is exactly these local actors that catalyse change. As Jan Carsten Gjerløw from the Akershus County Council, Norway highlighted in the policy debate: “I think citizens and regions are actually the most important drivers. And we will see that governments and law, they will come after, they will follow up.” The City of Oslo has improved air quality standards, which has been the driving force behind the development of new national low carbon solutions in the transport sector. Also Susanne Nies, Corporate Affairs Manager with ENTSO-E underlines that local actors are at the frontline of innovation. “TSOs, regulators and national governments work in a triangle. The local level has to push this triangle.” Meanwhile, Magdalena Jaworska-Dużyńska from the Polish city Karlino highlighted that it is not only the big cities but also the small towns and municipalities that need political support. “People in Karlino want to be green and do more than the national government. But for this, we need Europe´s support.”

According to Claude Turmes, there should be an obligation to incorporate multi-level governance dialogue in the current legislation. The concrete proposal in the new governance regulation aims at establishing a permanent multi-level energy dialogue platform gathering among others regional and local authorities, civil society actors, business communities and investors to discuss different energy scenarios and shape the development of national energy and climate plans is a step in the right direction. It is now essential that Member States will institutionalize this dialogue in the legislative framework.

“The sky is the limit with this EGTC tool.”

A very concrete and in fact promising tool to support local actors especially in border regions is the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC). This tool has been designed to facilitate cross-border, trans-national or interregional cooperation in any sector. Regarding renewable energy, the EGTC can provide subnational frontrunner regions with regulatory support and flexibility to adopt a specific framework of rules and regulation in a specific cross-border territory. By creating one single legal entity to attract funding for cross-border areas, the tool will not be dependent on political changes at national level and could bring benefits directly to local communities without the need to involve national governments. This could simplify the complex and cumbersome administrative procedures and enable local and regional actors to develop long-term strategies in the context of a more stable regulatory environment. “The sky is the limit with this EGTC tool”, comments Slaven Klobučar from the European Committee of the Regions.

Alexandra Lafont speaking at the Policy Debate in Brussels on June 6th.

Aiming to strengthen territorial cohesion during its Presidency, the Luxembourg government launched further proposals for improving this legal tool that would allow cooperating cross-border regions to set up their own set of fitted legislation for a specific area or project. In this way, two municipal entities on both sides of the border could negotiate a specific regional legislative agreement that could be reviewed and approved by the national states before it becomes binding. While it would not deprive Member States from sovereignty, it will give possibilities to regions to “pull legislation from one side of the border to the other” and become “living laboratories”. The improved tool could also provide legal certainty to bottom-up initiatives, ensure better control of the outcomes, accelerate the adoption of new rules and promote cross-border experimentation zones. The next step in the process is the implementation of this tool. “The ball really lies with the Commission”, explains Frederick Richters from the Government of Luxembourg. In order to bring these concrete suggestions to fruition, the Commission has to turn them into a legislative proposal, for example, through incorporating them into the EU cohesion policy package.

One of Luxembourg´s supporters in this process is Alexandra Lafont from Mission Opérationelle Transfrontalière. “Often people do not even know which people to speak to on the other side of the border. This is why they need platforms and institutions” , she points out in the policy dialogue in Brussels. In fact, in a Europe that is close to its citizens, EU institutions should be seen not only as a regulator but rather as an enabler that brings together various actors at different levels, promotes an interactive exchange through an institutionalized dialogue and facilitates access to financing for small towns and municipalities and community-owned projects. “Europe is more than legislation” , says Brendan Devlin from DG Energy in the European Commission. “Even though it will be difficult to move from a regulator towards an enabler of policy outcomes, this is what we need.” 

– Radostina Primova (Heinrich Boell Foundatin EU Office), Maren Preuss (Heinrich Boell Foundatin EU Office) and Anna Leidreiter (World Future Council) –

 

To watch the recording of the full policy debate that took place on 6 th June 2017 in the Committee of the Regions in Brussels, please click here. You can also find some photos here and more background information about the topic and other activities in this programme here.

‘Alternative Nobel’ and World Future Council Mourn Egypt’s Sustainable Development Trailblazer

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation and the World Future Council are deeply saddened by the passing of their Egyptian Laureate and founding member Dr Ibrahim Abouleish.

Dr Abouleish, founder of SEKEM, received the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ in 2003 for implementing an innovative business model which combines commercial success with social and cultural development.

Dr Monika Griefahn, Chair of the Foundation’s Board, said: “On behalf of the entire Right Livelihood Award family, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the Abouleish family. Dr Abouleish was a true visionary and trailblazer, and the world is only now starting to catch up with his 40-year-old model of environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically viable development. A joyful and warm-hearted person, he will be greatly missed by all of us and his many colleagues and friends around the world.”

Dr Abouleish founded SEKEM in 1977 as a blueprint for the healthy corporation for the 21st century. Taking its name from the hieroglyphic transcription meaning “vitality of the sun”, SEKEM was the first entity to develop biodynamic farming methods in Egypt and has since broadened its scope to address health, educational and cultural issues. Dr Abouleish also founded the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development where students study science, technology, arts, engineering and economics with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Over the years, SEKEM and the Heliopolis University played host to meetings of the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Award Laureates.

“Ibrahim Abouleish’s remarkable initiative SEKEM has brought the desert alive. His Heliopolis University broadens the human mind, challenging modern monocultural thinking. Both show how much more humans can achieve when their work is based on cooperation, solidarity, mutual respect and the common good. His life achievements SEKEM and Heliopolis University are pioneering projects healing people and planet,” said Right Livelihood Award and World Future Council Founder Jakob von Uexkull.

A tireless advocate for sustainable development over five decades, Dr Abouleish has received numerous awards and recognitions in addition to the Right Livelihood Award, including the German Federal Cross of Merit and the United Nations ‘Land for Life’ Award. He was also named a distinguished social entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation.

According to Islamic traditions, Dr Abouleish will be buried tomorrow, Friday, 16 June at 12:00.

 

More information:

http://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/laureates/ibrahim-abouleish-sekem

https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/councillors/

 

 

Climate Action – even without the US!

The F20 Platform is looking back to a successful event in Hamburg

The F20 Foundations Platform is an alliance of more than 45 foundations and philanthropic organizations from twelve countries that have joined forces in order to further shape the political discourse on future sustainability measures.

Ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, representatives from participating foundations got together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. In a joint statement, they called upon the G20 states to confirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement.

 

 

During the event in the prestigious Hamburg Town Hall, which was mainly organised by the World Future Council, WFC-Councillor Dr. Auma Obama and Honorary Councillor Dr. Michael Otto took part in the press conference. Dr. Otto emphasised the importance of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and urged for more ambitious climate action, also in Germany: He pressed for a German withdrawal from fossile fuel and the promotion of renewable energies and carbon-neutral traffic.

During her speech at the event, Dr. Obama stressed that African people must be included when talking about climate action: They should not be doing the same mistakes as the industrialised countries, and would be able to leapfrog developments. Other speakers included Laurence Tubiana, the architect behind the Paris Agreement, the US-american physicist and environmentalist Amory B. Lovins, as well as the British economist Lord Nicholas Stern. Around 400 people attended the event; the side-events before and after the main event included an energy transition tour through Hamburg and other workshops organised by F20 foundations.

Dr. Michael Otto and Dr. Auma Obama during the F20 press conference. Photo Credits: Jochen Quast | www.jochenquast.de | www.con-text.de

 

At the end of the main event in Hamburg, the German minister for the environment, Barbara Hendricks, received the F20 publication. Climate action and sustainable development must become core duties of the leading industrialised and threshold countries. The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is “short sighted and irresponsible”, as the F20 members state. We are positive that the event on the 4th of July here in Hamburg was just the start of a success story for common and transnational action towards a zero carbon economy and a successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

For more information on the F20 Platform, please visit www.foundations-20.org

 

100% RE and SDGs

Sustainable development can only be reached by transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy (RE). In fact, 100% RE is more than just replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources in today’s energy system. It can serve as a mean for socioeconomic development and help create a just society for today’s and future generations. Hereby, it supports the implementation of each sustainable development goal. You want to know how? Let´s have a look.

Illustration: Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

To end poverty in all its forms everywhere (SDG1), reduce vulnerabilities and ensure equal opportunities to economic resources, the access to energy is a prerequisite. Access to modern energy services is regarded as a prerequisite for a life of dignity. This applies to substantive human rights such as access to clean water (SDG6), good nutrition (SDG2), health (SGD3), safe shelter (SDG11) and education (SDG4).

This is why SDG 7 urges us to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. This means nothing less than implementing 100% Renewable Energy. It embraces the necessary paradigm shift and is the fastest, cheapest and indeed only way to “leave no one behind”.

Producing energy from natural powers such as sun and wind is possible everywhere. Their modular and decentralized nature allows for great flexibility. Even the smallest communities can have a small solar system installed or an off-grid mini-grid and gain control over their own energy supply, without the need to abide to large corporations in charge of large, centralized energy distribution. In big cities, renewables can provide basic services such as reliable electricity for vulnerable people living in slums and clean fuel to reduce air pollution (SDG11 & 3). Hereby renewable energies reduce inequalities (SDG 10), especially between urban and rural population. They allow paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations, especially women and children who suffer most from insufficient basic service in their homes (SDG5). A 100% RE approach enables all countries to depend only on the most equitably distributed energy of all: abundant and clean renewable energy, distributed within their own borders, close to their communities and accessible by everyone.

To ensure access to water and sanitation for all (SDG6), “water-friendly” technologies from a life-cycle perspective are essential. Solar PV or wind could withdraw up to 200 times less water than a coal power plant to produce the same amount of electricity. Further, renewables are the most resilient and low cost option to access, treat and pump water especially in hot, dry regions. And here, we haven’t even touched upon the impact of fossil fuel extraction and transportation on the quality of water resources, the health of aquatic ecosystems and climate change. Clean water is also essential to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition as well as promote sustainable agriculture (SDG2).

Transforming our energy system to 100% RE allows the reduction of air pollution and brings down harmful emissions that cause diseases and climate change (SDG 13). Renewables therefore enhance health and well-being for millions of people (SDG3) who need treatment and cooled medication in hospitals and rural health centres, suffer from air pollution caused by the transport sector or coal-fired plants or those women and children who cook on charcoal and suffer from indoor smoke (SDG5). With fossil fuels being a major driver of global warming, reaching 100% RE as soon as possible is a prerequisite to limit it to 1.5C degrees (SDG13).

Illustration: Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

Already today, renewables are the cheapest option for electricity production in many regions across the world, especially in isolated places. Thanks to falling prices for the equipment, the fact that wind and sun is for free and therefore renewables have practically zero marginal costs but also thanks to fact that renewables have no external costs, renewables are the most competitive source to produce energy. This is crucial to provide energy to all (SDG7), eradicate poverty (SDG1), achieve decent work for all (SDG8) as well as build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation (SDG9).

Renewable Energies can be installed, managed and owned by everybody. Hereby, 100% RE is also an opportunity to enhance procedural rights such as inclusive participation and access to information for of all (SDG1, 4, 5, 10). Further this means that, with the right finance mechanism, every citizen and community can not only benefit from energy services (for SDG 3,4,6 and 7) but also from becoming an energy producer and hereby drive innovative business models (SDG8&9). Implementing 100% RE can therefore unleash opportunities especially for entrepreneurs and build up new industries (SDG9). Thanks to their decentralised character, renewables create diverse and good quality job and income opportunities in every country in urban as well as in rural areas. Therefore they “leave no one behind”. In fact, renewables create more jobs per unit of energy than any other energy source (SDG 8).

As renewables technologies produce energy from abundantly available resources used in efficient and often smart infrastructures, a 100% RE approach ensures sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG12). Using renewable electricity also for cooking, we could decrease the ecological burden on our ecosystem caused by unsustainable use of biomass. Also expanding use of biogas from organic waste helps achieving the reduction of waste, in particular food waste.

By transitioning to 100% RE, we could mitigate ocean acidification and conserve marine ecosystems as they are heavily impacted by oil and gas exploration and nuclear energy production (SDG14). The same is true for life on land (SDG15). A major and rapid uptake of RE is the only sustainable solution to limit the increasing effects of climate change on the ecosystems and biodiversity, whose delicate equilibrium is greatly disrupted even by the smallest changes in average temperature. Further, ecosystem disturbance and degradation resulting from direct or indirect effects of extraction can be stopped by adopting a 100% RE approach. Renewables have the least life-cycle ecological impact per kWh of energy produced.

Finally, a world powered with 100% RE would be a more peaceful, secure and fair place for all (SDG16). While there are certainly diverse causes for the existence of conflicts, many of them are connected to access to fossil fuel resources and infrastructure. By transitioning to 100% RE, countries, islands cities and communities can improve their energy autonomy and break free from oil, gas, coal and uranium imports which often cause geopolitical tensions or armed conflicts. As many communities across the world show, transitioning to 100% RE can also support better institutions and governance structures through what is known as energy democracy. Renewables provide the chance for all people to engage and benefit from energy as a common good (SDG10). They hereby help to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions and broaden and strengthen participation (SDG16).

Illustration: Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

RE development requires strong cross-sectoral, transregional and transnational partnerships as well as a continuous exchange of solutions, best practises and lesson learnt. In fact, the effective and rapid implementation of a 100% RE target depends on a strong collaboration between local actors and other regional, national and international stakeholders and governments. Therefore, strengthening renewable energy partnerships (SDG17) goes hand in hand with improving the partnerships necessary for the implementation of the SDGs.

The wide-range of co-benefits linked to RE development reveal once again the strong interdependency among all aspects of sustainable development. In light of the vast benefits related to RE development and its instrumental role in supporting sustainable development, it becomes essential that policy makers and development organizations embrace the 100% RE message and integrate a 100% strategy into their development plans. The key policy recommendations to achieve this are:

  1. Set a 100% RE target and embed it across policy areas and in SDG processes
  2. Set a “leave no one behind” approach to energy policy
  3. Ensure adequate civil society participation and capacity building
  4. Enhance renewable energy in the cooking sector
  5. Prioritize energy efficiency
  6. Use fossil subsidies for funding
  7. Strengthen change agents and pioneers

 

“100 % Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development “:

a film by Christoph J Kellner / studio animanova

The climate cost of 100% renewable energy

At the COP 21 in Paris, the international community agreed on an agenda to cut greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will limit the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5°C. On 5 October 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved. For a likely chance to stay below a rise of 1.5C, we have to reach zero emissions by 2050.

SHAPING THE FUTURE FOR 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

114 renewable energy experts from around the world share their views on achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050

More than 70% of the experts interviewed for the new REN21 Global Future Report consider a global transition to 100% renewable energy to be both feasible and realistic. Especially European and Australian experts most strongly support this view. There is an overwhelming consensus that renewable power will dominate in the future, with many noting that even large international corporations are increasingly choosing renewable energy products either from utilities or through direct investment in their own generating capacity. In fact, the report highlights as well that numerous companies, regions, islands and cities have set 100% renewable energy targets already, proving that it is a matter of political will. Nearly 70% of those interviewed expect the cost of renewables to continue to fall, beating all fossil fuels within 10 years’ time. Wind and solar photovoltaic are in fact already cost-competitive with new conventional generation in most OECD countries. Countries as diverse as China and Denmark are demonstrating that GDP growth can be decoupled from increasing energy consumption. Read more

After COP22, Morocco to implement 100% RE

Last Friday, 48 countries committed to “strive to meet 100% domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible while working to end energy poverty, protect water and food security, taking into consideration national circumstances”. These 48 countries are among the most vulnerable countries and are united as the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). With their declaration, these countries prove unique leadership at the end of COP22, keeping up to their promise to take action. This is probably the most important outcome of the Climate Conference in Marrakesh.

In 2009, Morocco announced its goal to raise the share of renewable energies to 42% of its total installed capacity by 2020. And during the COP21, the government increased this to 52% by 2030: 20% using solar energy, 20% wind and 12% hydro.

Morocco, the host country of COP22, is one of them. Over the past months and years, the World Future Council has worked with several stakeholders in the country, developing a policy roadmap to transition to 100% Renewable Energy. With last week´s declaration, this roadmap can now serve as a guidance for the new government to go faster and further and walk the talk.

A quick look back

In 2009, Morocco announced its goal to raise the share of renewable energies to 42% of its total installed capacity by 2020. And during the COP21, the government increased this to 52% by 2030: 20 % using solar energy, 20 % wind and 12 % hydro. To reach this goal, the country will develop additional electricity production capacity between 2016 and 2030 of around 10,000MW in renewable energies of which 4,560MW solar, 4,200MW wind and 1,330MW hydro.

These targets are anchored in a three-pronged strategy developed by the government to liberalise and boost the renewable energy sector in Morocco:

  • Legal framework: Renewable Energy is subject of a diversified portfolio of solar, wind and hydro anchored in a legislative framework, notably Law nº 13-09, promulgated in 2010 to liberalise and develop the RE sector in Morocco.
  • Institutional building: the progressive liberalisation of the energy sector has been accompanied by the establishment of institutions to take up the challenges of the energy transition, amongst which: MASEN, ADEREE, SIE, IRESEN.
  • Subsidies reform: in 2013, the government of Morocco announced the reform of fossil fuel subsidies. Since 1st December 2015, the prices of fuels obey the free play of supply and demand. Only the price of butane continues to be subsidised.

cop2_infogr_enPolicy changes resulted in success

The remodelling of the legal, institutional and financial framework has noticeably helped achieved impressive results in the diversified portfolio of renewable energy projects taking place in Morocco. A well-known example is Noor Ouarzazate, the first solar mega-project launched by the Moroccan solar energy agency (MASEN), will reach a total capacity of 580MW by 2018 and will bring power to 1.1 million people (learn more about it here). Or the Tarfaya’s wind park, with a production potential of 1,084GWh/year, is already supplying 1.5 million households and has become Africa’s largest wind energy project. The park has contributed to the creation of new road installations and equipment, and it has become a source of additional income for local communities by means of the business tax, apart from the development of local skills and capacities relating to wind energy.

Indeed, in Morocco renewable energy is not only a very important factor for the environment and the production of goods and services, but a key development vector as the following figures show:

  • Wind projects can save $750 million and 5.6 million tons in emissions a year.
  • Solar projects will save $500 million and 3.7 million tons in emissions a year.
  • The 850MW wind energy project foresees a 70% industrial integration.
  • 13,300 jobs can be created by 2020.

And a closer look to Morocco’s wind and solar projects’ prices highlights the attractiveness of the country’s renewable energy plan. For instance, the country secured bid of Dh 0.72 (US$0.07 cents/Kwh) for the Tarfaya project and in 2016 set a new low for the Integrated Wind Project, securing a price of Dh 0.31 (US$ 0.03 cents/Kwh). This is well below the fuel fossils import price of 0.97 Dh (US$ 0.09 / Kwh) paid during the last ten years. Even for solar projects the price was also much lower than expected by MASEN, at Dh 1,5 (US$ 0.15 cents/KWh) for the first phase of the projects (NoorO I) and at Dh 1.4 (US$ 0.14 / KWh) for NoorO II and NoorO III.

Nevertheless, Morocco must go further and faster

If Morocco wants to solve the following challenges, it needs to go beyond current efforts:

  • Morocco will have to cope with a growing electricity demand that has been increasing at an annual rate of 6.6% in the last 10 years.
  • Climate change will increase its temperatures by 0.5- 1ºC by 2020 and by 1-1.5ºC by 2050 and 2080.
  • The country is currently dependent on fossil fuel. 95% of its consumption is imported, taking 10-12% of its GDP from the national budget.
  • Morocco has to capitalise its renewable energy potential: solar resources are equivalent to 20,000MW and wind potential to 25,000MW.

Because despite the avant-garde energy policy, a number of challenges remain in the way for unleashing Morocco’s incredible renewable energy potential. During round tables and interactive dialogues facilitated by the World Future Council, Moroccan policy-makers, experts and practitioners have identified numerous actions to set Morocco on a path to 100% Renewable Energy, foremost to prioritise renewable sources in the energy system and enable new actors to enter the market – both from a legislative as well as from a capacity perspective. This can only be achieved with a comprehensive approach (see infographic above).

The World Future Council congratulates Morocco for its leadership during COP22 and is committed to support the country in walking the talk.

To learn more about Morocco’s energy situation and potential pathways as well as to explore the proposed actions, read the following report:



A roadmap for 100% RE in Morocco

Morocco, COP22 host country, has since 2009 prioritised renewable energies and energy efficiency. Aware of the nature of the opportunities and stakes confronting its energy landscape, the nation has mobilised to share the message about the urgency and advisability of changing the pathway.

In order to address the complexity, challenges and opportunities of the energy challenge, the World Future Council organised a process of reflection for Moroccan actors playing a leading role in this transition: parliamentarians, political actors, academics and civil society. The round tables and conversations we organised between 2014 and 2016 are reflected in this report. We also highlight solutions for putting into place a coherent political framework which allows the materialisation of a 100% renewable energy Morocco.

48 most vulnerable countries lead the 100% Renewables movement

The energy revolution is happening. The World Future Council applauds the 48 most vulnerable countries who today adopted the strongest declaration for Climate Action to this day. The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) – a coalition of 48 countries from Asia, Africa, Caribbean, the Pacific and South America – declared in Marrakesh that they “strive to meet 100% domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible while working to end energy poverty, protect water and food security, taking into consideration national circumstances”.

Cities, communities, citizens and islands have proven that the 100% RE vision is feasible and beneficial. Policy solutions are out there. The next step is an inclusive policy dialogue to a system change.

The Climate Conference in Marrakesh was announced by the Moroccan presidency as “a COP of Action”. And indeed, it is the most vulnerable countries of this planet who keep this promise, making the urgently needed step to go beyond current pathways.

Climate Vulnerable Former-Forum Chair, H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that climate action and decarbonisation is set to boost CVF countries’ economies by creating jobs in the renewable energy sector. With this, developing countries lead the way from talking to action, showing that climate action does not limit development but it strengthens it. Ministers and heads of delegations of member countries convened today for the Forum’s 2016 High Level Meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference at Marrakesh (UNFCCC COP22). The Forum adopted the Marrakech Communique and the Marrakech Vision. The Communique called for greater ambition emphasising that any country with an NDC not yet compliant with its fair share consistent with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal must update contributions by 2020 at the latest. It also called on honouring commitments, investing in climate finance and the need to transform market place.

“Today’s declaration of 48 national governments to go 100% Renewable Energy signals the urgently needed political leadership. Industrialised countries must follow this example to put the world on track for a just and sustainable energy system for all.” says Stefan Schurig, Director Climate Energy, World Future Council. “The good news is that cities, communities, citizens and islands have proven that the 100% RE vision is feasible and beneficial. Policy solutions are out there. The next step is an inclusive policy dialogue to a system change.”

The World Future Council has been working with several countries of the CVF, including Morocco and Tanzania in the past years in supporting their transition to 100% Renewable Energy.

“We are pioneering the transformation towards 100% renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts.” H.E. Mr. Mattlan Zackhras, Hon. Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands.

Dipal C. Barua, WFC Councilor from Bangladesh adds: “Bangladesh has shown how renewable energy tackles energy poverty. With today’s commitment to move to 100% Renewable Energy domestically, the government, in coalition with the most vulnerable countries, builds on this success and allows future generations a decent life on this planet.”

Doto Biteko, Chair for Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Minerals, Tanzania “With today’s declaration, Tanzania proves leadership in bringing electricity to all citizens. By visiting other countries, I have learnt in the past months that renewable energy can overcome poverty and improve people’s livelihoods. I therefore welcome Tanzania’s commitment to join the other most vulnerable countries in going to 100% Renewable Energy to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.”

H.E. Mr. Mattlan Zackhras, Hon. Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands said that this is a turning point in climate leadership and transformation that is bound to secure a safer future for vulnerable communities. Minister Zackhras added: “We are pioneering the transformation towards 100% renewable energy, but we want other countries to follow in our footsteps in order to evade catastrophic impacts we are experiencing through hurricanes, flooding and droughts.”

“We don’t know what countries are still waiting for to move towards net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy, all parties should start the transition, otherwise we will all suffer.” adds H.E. Mr. Edgar Gutierrez, Hon. Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, highlighting that meeting the 1.5C target requires an immediate sense of urgency from all parties.

International leaders incl. the UNFCCC Secretary General Patricia Espinosa, Former US Vice President Al Gore and European Union Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, welcome the CVF declaration.

“The announcement today by 48 national governments to use renewables to meet all their energy needs demonstrates true commitment to the 1.5 degree target. This commitment can only accelerate the developments we are already seeing both in the market and investment sectors. Renewables are unstoppable!”, says Laura Williamson from REN21.

Beyond Fire: New Report Suggests a Complete Rethink of the Future Path towards Sustainable Cooking in the Global South

Press release – for immediate release

Hamburg/Marrakech, Nov 15th, 2016: The role of renewable electricity for the cooking sector in the Global South has been widely underestimated. As the costs of Renewable Energy technologies continue to decline, cleaner and more modern technologies represent an entirely new pathway towards sustainable cooking in developing countries. These are the findings of the new report ‘Beyond Fire’ launched today by the international foundations World Future Council and Hivos at the UNFCCC climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

Read more

100% Renewable Energy a must for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees

Press release – for immediate release

Marrakech 14th November: With the UN Climate Summit in Marrakech starting its final week, all major non-state actor groups join forces, urging national governments to implement policies towards 100% Renewable Energy. United under the umbrella of the Global 100% Renewable Energy Campaign, cities, NGOs, Renewable Energy Industry Associations and academics from across the world highlight that implementing the Paris Agreement means phasing out fossil fuels and investing in a 100% Renewable Energy infrastructure immediately. At a High-Level Event tomorrow in Marrakech, leaders from this global 100% RE movement demonstrate the benefits, moral imperative, technical and financial feasibility of the just transition to a world fully powered by renewables.

Read more