COP 25: Global Renewables Congress Parliamentary Breakfast, Madrid - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Friday, December 13, 2019

COP 25: Global Renewables Congress Parliamentary Breakfast, Madrid

Report by Hon. Dr Tapiwa Mashakada
Hon. Dr. Tapiwa Mashakada 
The Global Renewables Congress (GRC) is a cross country, cross party platform for ongoing dialogue between and with legislators for the rapid and large-scale deployment of renewable energy solutions. The organizations focuses on a renewable energy trajectory which emphasizes the transition to renewables.
According to the International Energy Agency, global greenhouse gas emmissions from the energy sector grew by 1.4% in 2017 to a historic high of 32.5 Gt. This has disastrous consequences for life on Earth if mankind exceeds the 1.5 degrees celcius temperature increase limit. About 1 billion people do not have access to electricity. Out of this figure, 600 million people are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Developing countries must be given an option  away from coal, which is renewable energy. In Germany 45% of energy is now coming from renewables. Unlike India and China, Germany is phasing out coal and nuclear.
There is need to decarbonize economies. The energy sector is responsible for two-thirds of emmissions. Among the 156 submitted NDCs about 140 or 90% mention renewables in their commitments and the need to move beyond the power sector to other sectors such as bio-gas, liquid bio-fuels, solar heaters as part of a broader energy transition roadmap with socio-economic footprint
Renewable energy is therefore on the top agenda of the Global Renewables Forum. The organization advocates for technologies for renewable power generation, heating and cooling and transport.
There is a myth or rather deep seated fear that the transition from fossils to renewables will lead to loss of jobs but quite to the contrary the transition could bring more benefits such as jobs, economic growth, emmission reduction and curbing local pollution.
Just transition requires an integrated policy framework that pays greater attention to the transformative impacts on the socio-economic structures the energy sector is built upon. When transition happens obviously there will be shocks such as job losses and other misalignments. The transition must be fair and just.
SDG Goal number 7: Sustainable and Clean Energy means that the vast najority who live in rural areas must get access to renewables at affordable prices. 90% of social infrastructure in rural areas (Schools and hospitals) are not on the electricity grid. Around 3 billion people in rural areas rely on inefficient stoves. Therefore renewables should be used as an initiative to overcome poverty.
Legislators must push for model laws on energy efficiency e.g. Chile has an Energy Efficiency Bill and German has banned Coal plants.
The goal of the Global Renewables Congress is the institutionalization of an international, non-partisan platform for legislators to exchange knowledge and experiences to accelerate large scale deployment of renewable energy solutions.

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