Liapeng Raliengoane

DUBAI – The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from Africa today at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, issued a hard-hitting five-bullet statement on energy demands for Africa to the Africa Group of Negotiators on Climate Change.

Power Shift Africa, Just Transitions, Lead Amos Wemanya delivered the statement to the Chair of Africa Group of Negotiators on Climate Change, Ephraim Shitima who received the targets.

One of the priorities for Africa at COP28 was to secure deals that would triple investments in renewable energy on the continent after the Africa Climate Summit failed to deliver ambitious outcomes on renewable energy.

The organisations argue that the climate crisis is both a development and energy issue in Africa and that establishing a decision on energy access within the just transition workstream is not an option.

Additionally, the CSOs emphasise that support for Africa to transition to renewable energy must be centred in the decision of the just transition if this is to guarantee justice for Africans.

In the statement, the CSOs are demanding: Equity and historical responsibility from developed countries for the climate crisis. Adherence to human rights and protection of workers, communities and ecosystems. Fair and transparent processes that provide opportunities for African countries to be at the centre of energy development decision-making on energy development.

They demand: Accountability, transparency and involvement of stakeholders in all processes must be prioritised. An immediate phase-out of the fossil fuel era in all sectors, especially in developed countries that have benefitted from historical emissions.

The CSOs are also calling for the scale-up of renewable energy to more than 15,000 GW in 2030 or an average of 1500 GW annually to keep the 1.5°C temperature target within reach.

Power Shift Africa, Lead, Amos Wemanya highlighted that renewable energy today offers a viable, cost-effective pathway for meeting Africa’s energy needs.

Accelerating the swift and scaled deployment of renewables is not an aspiration but a necessity in Africa. COP28 must catalyse increased renewable energy investments on the continent for energy access.

“There is no climate justice without human rights. Renewable energy deployment and fossil fuel phase-out in Africa must respect fundamental human rights and rights of Indigenous Peoples. The fossil industry needs to be made to pay for the harms they have and continue to cause in African communities. This COP has the opportunity to facilitate course correction. This must be demonstrated by its ability to compel rich countries to support developing countries to meet transition and leapfrogging costs,” he said.

Global Platform of Action, Senior Officer, Janet Milongo added, “COP28 must be the forum that finally delivers for Africa. It must be the catalyst that finally changes the course of the region from a dark, retrogressive fossil fuel-driven energy system that goes against Africa’s interests. It must be our bridge to a bright, autonomous, empowering and abundantly African renewable energy system.”