Business is booming.

German climate envoy extols Africa’s potential on renewable energy

German State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action, Jennifer Morgan, has stated that 60 per cent of the best spots for solar panels in the world are in Africa.

Morgan regretted that this huge potential was yet to be fully harnessed. The German envoy noted the need for Africa to take opportunity of its natural potentials to fight climate change impacts.

According to Morgan, currently, only one per cent of the world’s installed solar capacity is on the African continent, which is a challenge that needs to be addressed urgently.

She stated that Nigeria remains a central player in the global energy transition efforts.

“It’s worth it because the potential here in Africa for a massive further expansion of renewable energy is just huge.

“Every country needs to find its own way of transformation and I think we have to cooperate internationally through climate finance. That is key,” she said.

Morgan spoke while delivering a public lecture with the theme, “The Climate Crisis & the Global Energy Transition: Challenges & Opportunities,” organised by the University of Lagos in collaboration with the German Consulate in Lagos, recently.

She said the 2023 Africa climate summit was a powerful demonstration of the political will of leaders in Africa to realise the continent’s potential.

The envoy pointed out that Africa is a powerhouse of untapped potential, eager to engage and fairly compete in the global markets.

Morgan noted that a double approach needed to be taken to tackle the climate crisis, stressing the need to invest in adaptation, and in resilience build infrastructure that’s resilient to climate impacts, including the energy sector.

According to her, the climate crisis has risks, costs, and causes damage to the economy while also destroying livelihoods.

“For Africa, renewable energy is an asset that enables it to play a truly global role. In order to do that, we all have to work together and the industrialised countries have a responsibility to provide support and collaboration.

“The longer we wait to change things, the worse it’s going to get. So the sooner we act, the better because we know that rising global temperatures are leading to more extreme weather events.

“This climate crisis is deeply unjust and it impacts the citizens of the poorest countries the most,” she said.

Continuing, Morgan posited that the green transition could be the chance for a better life for more social justice and equitable development, adding that in years to come, transformative change would be just imperative for sustainable growth.

She noted that Germany was in the middle of its energy transition and must diversify its economy away from fossil fuels, greenhouse gas intensive production, consumption and export to keep a stable and prosperous economy.

Morgan pointed out that 56% of Germany’s electricity came from renewable energy sources in 2023.

She added: “So, we have a fully reliable electricity supply for everyday life and for business. And we’re phasing out coal which is our major fossil fuel, ideally by 2030.

“That is in a country where our solar radiation is the same as Alaska. Imagine what we could do with your solar radiation here in Nigeria.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Morgan is on an official trip to Nigeria, after which she will visit Ethiopia and Kenya to discuss topics including climate change, renewables and a just energy transition.


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