Liapeng Raliengoane

KENYA, Nairobi – Numerous analyses show how Africa is the continent with the most favourable conditions for harnessing renewable energy, with potential far outstripping any projected needs.

According to the United Nations, renewable energy is energy derived from natural sources that are replenished at a higher rate than they are consumed. Sunlight and wind, for example, are such sources that are constantly being replenished.

The President of Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity and Associate Professor of Economics, Denison University, Fadhel Kaboub contends that the world has significantly more renewable energy potential than is needed to provide 100% energy access globally by 2050 in ways compatible with keeping warming below 1.5°C, with Africa having the immense renewable energy potential.

This, he said while addressing over 40 journalists from across the continent gathered for the Africa Climate Journalists Training facilitated by Power Shift Africa in partnership with Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA) in Machakos, Kenya this week. He warned that climate crisis, inequality, poverty, exclusion, and injustice call for urgent, bold, and radical transformation.

“The current climate and jobs policies are too weak, slow, expensive, ineffective, and dangerous. A realistic plan for a just transition requires a fundamental restructuring of the global economic architecture. A better system is within reach (a real Wakanda!). It is possible, desirable, and affordable,” Kaboub disclosed.

On the issue of the impacts of climate change, the Founder and Director of Power Shift Africa, Mohamed Adow stressed that Africa is the most vulnerable even though it is responsible for a less percentage of emissions.

“Typical African emissions is about 0.1 ton,” he said. Furthermore, Adow pressed that Africa is water insecure. That many communities specifically in the rural places do not have access to clean water. “We need to secure peoples’ access to water in Africa.”

“Many people in Africa are food insecure yet we have arable land. What we need to do is invest in meteorological predictive capacity. In the developed world, one would be able to check their mobile applications in the morning and have trust in that forecast,” the Director of Power Shift Africa concluded.

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), climate-related disasters are costing African countries $7 billion to $15 billion per year. By 2030, these losses are projected to rise to $50 billion annually.

To adapt to climate change, African countries need to raise $124 billion per year by 2030 but they currently receive only $28 billion per year.

In other news, this year’s Africa Climate Summit will take place from 4-6 September 2023 in Nairobi, hosted by the government of Kenya. This summit will bring together leaders and investors from Africa and beyond to share experiences and solutions for a sustainable, resilient Africa.