LESS industrialized nations have the opportunity to abandon the conventional electricity production and to pursue a cleaner energy development path in which future emissions of greenhouse gases can be significantly reduced.
In a statement issued by the World Future Council (WFC) made available to the ‘Daily News,’ energy plays a vital role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and from 2015 onwards the Sustainable Development Goals.
“A nation will not industrialize as long as women and girls carry water and firewood on their backs to sustain their families,” the Founding President of the Pan-African Parliament and Honourary Councillor of the World Future Council, Dr Gertrude Mongella said.
Dr Mongella emphasizes the importance of gender in climate and energy solutions saying that parliaments have a vital role to play in both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change in Africa. 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.
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 (RE) development in Africa. Moreover, the decentralized nature of renewable energy sources provides the opportunity to empower communities and to revitalize local democracy and self-governance by allowing for alternative models of ownership and governance.
“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,” the WFC Africa Office Director, Mr Ansgar Kiene, said in that statement.
Mr Kiene said that as the majority of renewable energy technologies are capital intensive, a longterm view and strategy needs to be followed.
He said that 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. “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 rain forests. What we need now is new legislation and financial incentives to get the appropriate technologies and systems deployed,” the statement read in part.