On May 30-31, Director-General Frank Rijsberman participated in the Global Conference on Scaling-up Energy Access and Finance in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Beijing. The event was co-organized by UN-OHRLLS and the Global Energy Interconnection Development Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO). Participants of the event included LDC representatives, development partners, investment and energy private sector partners, and relevant civil societies and foundations.
The key discussions of the conference were centered around raising awareness for how LDCs can increase their access to sustainable energy and build strong partnerships. Participants of the event collaborated on ideas for securing investment for LDCs, shared best practices and lessons learned on financing, and strengthened cooperation on strategies for green energy.
GGGI Director-General, Frank Rijsberman, was one of the panelists in the 1st session of the event titled “Initiatives and Financing Models to Accelerate Energy Transition Across LDCs”. During this session, discussants assessed successful financial models in bringing transformation in the energy sector of LDCs and other developing nations and explored ways to achieve rapid energy transition. During the session, Frank Rijsberman stressed the importance of having effective government policies to facilitate the development of renewable energy, by stating, “while renewable energy has become commercially attractive, it is not being adopted in developing countries because government policies hinder renewable investments”.
During the event, GGGI also hosted the break-out session, “Models for Scaling-up Energy Access and Finance in LDCs and SIDS,” to share successful projects in GGGI’s partner LDCs and SIDS. The panel was made up of experts from countries involved in GGGI’s recent energy sector initiatives, including China, Cambodia, Burkina Faso, and Vanuatu. GGGI had opportunities to enhance South-South collaboration, particularly with China’s Belt and Road Initiative to scale up renewable energy in LDCs with focus on Laos PDR, Myanmar, Vanuatu and Burkina Faso. During the session, Dr. Frank Rijsberman showcased successful examples and models of GGGI’s energy sector engagements in its partner LDC countries.
Drawing on its track-record of policy reform and investment facilitation in the energy sector, GGGI has been engaged by the EU to formulate recommendations on EU-China-Mekong triangular cooperation in the energy sector. GGGI is implementing the EU–China Mekong Climate Cooperation Project to identify existing gaps and opportunities to enhance EU’s and China’s current South–South Cooperation actions and finance in the renewable energy sector. GGGI’s work will provide Chinese officials and EU delegates, managing South-South Climate Cooperation, with policy recommendations to support and scale-up climate action in the energy sector in three developing countries in Asia: Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar.
GGGI has been supporting the country’s development strategy (Program for National Economic and Social Development – PNDES) with a focus on the Eco-village component as well as the national financing vehicle to accelerate access to climate finance. To address the energy gap in rural areas, GGGI supported the Government of Burkina Faso (GoBF) to develop a US$10m initiative on Rural entrepreneurship in renewable energy and energy efficiency that will benefit 40,000 people.
Vanuatu, consisting of more than 80 remote islands, is highly vulnerable to climate change. While Vanuatu’s economic performance has improved in recent years, its remoteness, small market size, and limited institutional capacity remain key barriers to green growth. Access to energy is also a key challenge as approximately 73% of Vanuatu’s population does not have access to electricity, with the majority living in rural areas. To address this challenge Vanuatu with GGGI support developed the National Energy Road Map and the National Green Energy Fund to bridge the estimated $20 million gap identified to achieve national energy access targets. Improving access to renewable energy will have a significant impact on poverty reduction and social inclusion, given its contribution to green growth in other sectors, including tourism, agriculture, and water.
A lack of sustainable energy access has devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – from limited economic and social benefits to slower national GDP growth and increases in GHG emissions and air pollution. Generating sustainable energy, meanwhile, contributes to GHG emissions reductions, reduces dependence on imported fossil fuels, and improves reach and reliability of services in LDCs. Realizing these positives benefits these vulnerable countries, however, must overcome the challenge of accessing the finance required to implement sustainable energy at scale.
Participants of the Global Conference were able to collaborate and discuss financing models for accelerating energy transition across LDCs, as well as share their experiences in preparing studies for national energy investment. The attendees of the event benefitted through increased collaboration on initiatives to develop sustainable energy and greater knowledge on preparing plans for energy finance and access in LDCs.
For more information about the overall event, please visit: http://unohrlls.org/scaling-energy-access-finance-least-developed-countries-30-31-may-2019-beijing-china/