22 of November 2016

European Union and Mozambique sign joint declaration on renewable energy

The European Union signed a joint declaration with Mozambique on November 16 at the 22nd UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, pledging to support the development of the renewable energy sector in the country.

The signing took place at the European Union Pavilion on the day COP22 devoted its activities to the African continent.

“We need to transform the commitments of the Paris Agreement and increase access to energy in a context of lower carbon emissions. We are making a concerted effort to ensure access to clean and renewable energy and to combat climate change,” European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development  Neven Mimica said.

According to the National Environment Director, Ivete Maibaze, present at the signing of the joint declaration, Mozambique’s Ministry of Energy is leading the survey of renewable potential in the country.

“However, unfortunately we do not have sufficient resources to invest in [the survey]. These initiatives are helping to build capacity to identify potential. It will be a very ambitious budget considering that Mozambique is among the least developed countries and we need to electrify rural areas that are currently without access to power,” Maibaze told.

In addition to the EU, representatives from 13 European countries – Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway, also signed the joint declaration.

The objective will be to support Mozambique in the elaboration and review of policies, to exchange technical knowledge, to help identify and design projects in the energy sector and to promote the mobilisation of the private sector in the use of renewable technologies.

According to the Portuguese Secretary of State for Energy, Jorge Seguro Sanches, Portugal is “one of the best examples worldwide in the field of renewable energies”.

“At the moment we are discussing climate change, which has to do with how we manage our relationship with energy. Portugal, due to its technical experts and knowledge, has much to share with other countries. Mozambique will have Portugal’s full support,” Sanches told.

Sanches said Mozambique should draw on the Portuguese example to develop a variety of renewable sources incorporating hydroelectric, wind and solar energy. “The balance between these three large clean renewable sources is the secret we can share with the rest of the world,” he said.

The conference came one year after the Paris Agreement, where 195 United Nations member states approved an agreement to limit global warming, holding the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The challenge facing COP22 was to reach consensus on how to implement the Paris Agreement. COP22 brought together heads of state, heads of government and delegations from 197 countries, who adopted by acclamation the Marrakech Action Proclamation for Our Climate and Sustainable Development where is reaffirmed the "irreversibility of climate dynamics" and “the highest political commitment" in such a way that climate action can support the achievement of sustainable development goals for the benefit of the people and the planet.

The next climate change conference, COP 23, will be held by Fiji islands, particularly exposed to climate change, whose representatives announced that they would be the organizers of COP23 at the end of 2017. However, for logistical reasons, the summit will be held exceptionally in Bonn (Germany), which houses the headquarters of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP24 will take place in Poland.