day 1 plenary

SEforALL Forum Kicks Off with Rwandan President Kagame and Global Leaders to Advance the Energy Transition

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On opening day, President Kagame addresses more than 1,000 attendees, followed by major clean energy investment announcements

Today, May 17, prominent global leaders from government, business, development institutions, civil society, and more convened at the Kigali Convention Centre for the opening day of the 2022 SEforALL Forum, the landmark international gathering on sustainable energy. The Forum is a moment for enabling commitments and partnerships for energy, climate and development progress.

The Forum opened with remarks from Rwandan President Paul Kagame where he stated:

“Over the past decade, significant progress has been achieved toward the 7th Sustainable Development Goal on affordable and clean energy for all…This energy crisis coincides with the threat of climate change, to which our continent is especially vulnerable. Switching to renewable energy is crucial. That is why creating an enabling environment to attract investment in sustainable energy is so important.

“There needs to be increased financing to developing countries to support climate adaptation, in line with international agreements. Africa cannot carry the burden alone, especially given that its emissions did not create the climate emergency. However, Africa will be part of the solution.”

President Kagame’s full remarks are available here. Forum attendees were also welcomed with remarks from António Guterres, UN Secretary-General; Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy; Hon. Ernest Nsabimana, Rwanda Minister of Infrastructure; and Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions Founder, Bloomberg LP & Bloomberg Philanthropies, among others.

Damilola Ogunbiyi said, “Through the Forum, SEforALL, with all of you here today, aims to shape what a just and equitable energy transition would look like across economies at distinct stages of development. We recognize that low-emitting, energy-poor countries must provide for the growth, development, and aspirations of their populations while also achieving their net-zero targets. Countries in Africa and Asia have unique challenges that must be considered and addressed to get them from where they are today to a clean energy future that leaves no one behind.”

Damilola plenary

The Forum also seeks to spur investments in universal energy access, efficiency and transition, and to inform and inspire participants into action. Along these lines, key moments and announcements emerging from Day 1 included:

  • Bloomberg Philanthropies committed USD 242 million to accelerate the clean energy transition in 10 developing countries. Making the announcement Michael R. Bloomberg said, “We’ve seen that it’s possible to increase access to affordable power, improve public health, and fight climate change all at the same time – and to make progress quickly in each area. We have to spread that success around the world, especially in developing countries that have contributed the least to the climate crisis but are facing the most severe effects. This support will help ten countries with enormous clean energy potential seize the opportunity and avoid building new coal plants.”
     
  • Ministers from African countries participated in a private Ministerial roundtable, with the aim of building a narrative for what constitutes a just and equitable energy transition in Africa, and to help guide commitments and actions on energy access and transition on the road to COP27. The outcomes of this Ministerial will be shared in the coming days.
     
  • SEforALL launched the Chilling Prospects research report that identified 1 in 7 people globally are at high risk due to lack of access to cooling and numbers will continue to rise by 2030 without action to achieve universal electrification and end extreme poverty.

Day 2 of the Forum, 18 May, will begin with a conversation about the importance of bold climate action in advance of COP27 moderated by Nigel Topping, UN High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP26; Dr. Sherien Fekry, Assistant Minister of Environment for Coordination and Implementation of Environmental Policies, Egypt; Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation; and Ghislain Irakoze, Rwanda PreCOP26 Youth Representative participating.

There will also be country-specific sessions mapping out the path for the clean energy transition in Rwanda, Nigeria, and India, as well as the announcement of new Energy Compact commitments and discussions on the importance of finance for the energy transition.

Full Forum programme here

Register to watch virtually here