The pledge to help developing country governments provide electricity access to 500 million citizens by 2030 was made by EU President José Manuel Barroso in front of African and European Ministers, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and ONE’s very own Tom Wallace who was in the audience.
Germany also used the event to confirm their commitment to increase their overseas renewable energy funding. And as part of the 500 million pledge Germany announced through its own development assistance it will help support developing country government to increase electricity access to 100 million people.
A lack of modern energy access traps millions in poverty. Electricity provision is crucial for poverty alleviation as it is integral to the provision of decent health and education services, job creation and provision of other basic services such as lighting. However the International Energy Agency finds that prior commitments to address energy poverty would result in a situation where by 2030 nearly 50% of African still do not have access to electricity. This would seriously limit poverty alleviation on the continent thus the above pledges from the EU President and Germany are both timely and very welcome.
The European Commission also used the event to announce a new EU Technical Assistance Facility that will spend in excess of €50 million over the next two years to assist African governments help create the governance structure and technical capacity to make this electrical provision possible. Further announcements clarifying some of the specifics of implementing these pledges are expected in the run up to the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in June.
ONE would like to official congratulate the European President Barroso, German Government and European Commission on their ambitious pledges and commitments.
The prioritisation of energy access will be crucial for poverty alleviation and ONE hopes that at the Clean Energy Ministerial next week in London other nations will provide similar support to this crucial issue.
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