Power People Planet : Seizing Africa's Energy and Climate opportunities

Africa Progress Panel
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Leapfrogging towards sustainable energy: Kofi Annan calls for African leadership in creating sustainable sources of energy. The African Progress panel, led by Annan, states that the current efforts undertaken to keep global warming below an increase of 2 degrees Celcius are not enough. Africa can be a leader in introducing clean energy.

At the moment, energy shortages cost the region 2-4 per cent of GDP annually. An estimated 600.000 Africans, among which 300.000 children, die each year because of polluted air in houses due to cooking fires. Furthermore, African energy is very expensive: Africa’s poorest people are paying among the world’s highest prices for energy: "a woman living in a village in northern Nigeria spends around 60 to 80 times per unit more for her energy than a resident of New York City or London".

The panel calls for African governments to set a higher level of ambition. Urbanization, population growth and economic growth are driving an increase in energy demand, and therefore policies should aim at a 10-fold increase in power generation and universal access to energy by 2030. In some countries in Asia, this growth was indeed realised. An important source for this growth needs to be hydropower. This is one more reasons why it is important to reduce the possible impact of climate change: these sources of energy are both vulnerable to droughts and floods.

For more information about the relation between energy and water, we recommend the report of the World Bank on 'Thirsty Energy', to be downloaded from: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2013/01/17932041/thirsty-energy