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Countries announce multi-billion dollar funding for renewables, clean cooking

Some countries have announced new multi-billion-dollar commitments to increase renewables and access to electricity and clean cooking technologies at the critical UN energy summit aimed to boost efforts increasing access to electricity and cutting emissions.

About 35 countries ranging from smalls islands and developing countries are committing over $400billion to financing clean cooking projects around the world.

Under the pact, Nigeria committed to electrifying 25 million people across 5 million homes by 2023 using solar technologies and creating 250,000 jobs, and also to giving 30 million homes access to clean cooking and energizing agriculture, textile production, cold storage etc. using gas as a transition fuel.

Announced at the just concluded UN energy summit, the objective is to unlock electricity access for some 800 million people living in energy poverty and set the world on course to meeting net-zero emissions target by 2050.

”Additionally, several new partnership initiatives were announced, aiming to provide and improve access to reliable electricity to over a billion people,” the UNI said in a release.

“Access to clean, renewable energy is, quite simply, the difference between life and death,” said António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations. “We must solve these challenges this decade. And we must start today. Without deep and rapid decarbonization of our energy systems over the next 10 years, we will not reach the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. This will be fatal to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“So we have a double imperative,” the Secretary-General said. “To end energy poverty and to limit climate change. And we have an answer that will fulfil both imperatives. Affordable, renewable and sustainable energy for all.”

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The UN believes that the new commitments would result in large increases in the installed capacity of renewable energy and significant improvements in energy efficiency around the world — leading to hundreds of new renewable energy facilities and the creation of millions of new green jobs.

The commitments under the Energy Compacts could also give a huge boost to renewable energy worldwide. National governments committed to install an additional 698 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy from solar, wind, geothermal, hydro and renewables-based hydrogen, and businesses, notably power utilities, pledged to install an additional 823 GW, all by 2030. Several partnerships and industry associations promised to mobilize an additional 3500 GW of renewables by 2030.

One gigawatt is roughly equivalent to the output of 500 onshore wind turbines. The Energy Compacts also include commitments to save energy equivalent to more than 7000 GW by implementing efficiency measures.

The production and use of energy is also the main cause of the climate crisis, accounting for about 75 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions and making decarbonization of the energy system essential.

The world is grappling to keep the 1.5 degrees temperature target of the Paris Agreement within reach, and cut emissions by 45 percent by 2030, while closing the energy access gap and providing more than one billion people who currently rely on harmful fuels with clean cooking solutions.

The new commitments showcase the bold actions needed to meet the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7), the organisation said.

In addition to the announcements of commitments, a global roadmap for action and timelines needed through 2030 to meet the targets for clean, affordable energy for all set out in Sustainable Development Goal 7, towards net-zero emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change will be developed.

The roadmap draws on inputs from expert working groups and was discussed at Ministerial-level forums in June.

Recent reports from the IPCC and UNFCCC have shown that countries are not moving fast enough on climate action to avert disastrous consequences, and that even if countries met all their NDC commitments under the Paris Agreement, the collective impact would be only a fraction of what is needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In addition to mobilizing voluntary commitments, the Energy Compacts can help by encouraging countries to outline the detailed set of energy actions that they have planned to meet their targets and providing an avenue to build partnerships and resources.

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