A group of industrialised countries has committed some 10 billion US dollars for renewable energy in Africa. The African initiative, which was taken up by the G7 at their summit in Elmau, was today presented at the World Climate Summit. The aim is to install additional renewable capacity of 10 gigawatts by 2020.
With a contribution of 3 billion euros, Germany is providing the largest contribution to the initiative. The other donors are France, the USA, the UK, the EU Commission, Canada, Japan, Italy and Sweden. "There is great renewable energy potential in Africa. Some 600 million people there have no access to electricity. With this initiative, Africa can take a major step towards becoming a green continent in terms of power generation. We are strongly supporting our African partners in this endeavour – not only financially but also by offering the knowledge and skills of German business," commented Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. "As an industrialised country, we need to take the lead and help our partner countries to avoid making the mistakes that we have made and break the link between development and greenhouse gas emissions."
German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said, "This initiative is vitally important for global action on climate change. Africa has a great hunger for energy. We now need to ensure that it does not satisfy that hunger with coal, oil and gas. Renewables are the better option."
The German government is, in this way, putting into action the initiative launched by the heads of state and government of the leading industrialised nations together with their African partners last summer in Elmau. Over the longer term, the aim is to install 300 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
The initiative builds on both new and existing multilateral and bilateral programmes and will today be presented in Paris by Egypt's Minister of Environment Fahmy, who is the president of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment. Following the Climate Conference in Paris, the initiative will remain open for other donors to join.