The world is already heating up quickly as a result of human activities, and we need to limit the global temperature increase to under 1.5 degrees to avoid the worst consequences of a changing climate. COP26’s main discussions were about how and who will do this, and who should pay for it.
The new climate reality emphasizes the need to not just consider emission reductions, but also boost resilience and enhance adaptive capacity, embracing green growth and climate-smart approaches going forward. However, the sad reality is that too many across the globe remain behind in poverty. A pathway is needed to realize economic development for many developing countries, in line with the climate goals.
Energy access for the people without electricity was brought up on the main stage by a number of heads of state and the “fair and just transition” was a key theme at the event, acknowledging that the world’s most vulnerable need to be at the forefront of the green energy transition.
Off-grid solar has a pivotal role to play to ensure we leave no one behind while enhancing resilience and adaptive capacity for the people we serve, who are amongst the most climate-vulnerable on the planet.
Increased presence of energy access at COP26
At this COP, energy access has been positioned for the first time as an important part of the climate agenda. Previously, the sector lacked a clear champion and coordinator. This year, SEforALL, supported by the newly formed Global Energy Alliance, rose to the challenge and sought to be that champion. The SDG7 pavilion, the first of its kind, had a busy and diverse schedule with a number of high-profile guests.
The pavilion offered GOGLA and many of our partners the opportunity to present our messages on stage on multiple occasions: putting a spotlight on our Energy Compact, highlighting the off-grid solar sector’s investment needs, showcasing the industry’s links to agriculture, deep-diving into new climate finance instruments and local entrepreneurship and jobs.
Adaptation and ‘loss and damage’: future themes for off-grid solar
Adaptation and ‘loss and damage‘ are emerging as relevant themes to off-grid solar, with a high potential to open up new funding for the industry. Out of the annual $100 billion of climate finance that developed nations make available for developing nations, at least 50% should be for adaptation. While pressure to act has been building up for developed countries to increase their climate financing towards developing countries, no concrete new commitments were made.
The energy access sector has all the right arguments to play a big role in these themes, so it needs to position itself in the minds of the right institutions (developing and developed country governments and the right intermediaries) with an appropriate understanding of the technical procedures through which these funds get disbursed. If and when such commitments materialize, the off-grid solar industry needs to be well-positioned in order to benefit from them.