Renewable energy delegates declare to work on global access

CAPE TOWN, October 6, 2015 - At the end of the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC), 3 600 delegates from 82 countries adopted a declaration expressing their conviction that the increased deployment of renewable energy will have a direct impact on improved global energy access, improved energy security, on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and on climate change and sustainable economic development.
SAIREC was the sixth meeting in the series of International Renewable Energy Conferences (IRECs) building upon successful outcomes in Abu Dhabi in 2013 (ADIREC), New Delhi in 2010 (DIREC), Washington in 2008 (WIREC), Beijing in 2005 (BIREC), and in Bonn in 2004 (Renewables 2004). SAIREC 2015 was hosted by the South African Department of Energy and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) supported by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st century (REN21).
The delegates, including cabinet ministers, government delegations, representatives from the private sector, non-governmental organisations, academia, business, industry and international organisations, who participated in the SAIREC 2015  (October 4 – 7) in Cape Town, declared to upscale and mainstream renewables in order to achieve a global energy transition.
“As of today 2.9 billion people lack access to clean forms of cooking which needs to be addressed in order to achieve the universal access target. We note that to make universal access a reality by 2030, 1.3 billion people, out of which 621 million live in the sub-Saharan region, should be provided access to electricity,” the delegates said in the declaration.
“The scale of the challenge requires that all approaches, including grid and off-grid solutions are taken into account and adopted based on an efficiency principle. Rural and urban demands can best be met with a diverse technology mix that takes full advantage of sub-Saharan Africa’s exceptional and sustainable solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower resources,” the declaration said.
The delegates declared that in order to make the global transition to renewable energy happen rapidly, the following elements are crucial: promoting transparent and effective procurement processes; advancing renewable energy globally; promoting skills transfer and development; securing financial resources; conducting research and development; prioritising regulatory frameworks, localising supply chains and local investment; emphasising integrated planning;  regionalising trade and energy resource development;  conducting programmes for infrastructural development in Africa; embarking on clean energy corridor initiatives and focusing on the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI); regional cooperation and international cooperation.
SAIREC was the first international conference dedicated to renewable energy following on the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development September 2015 by the UN-General Assembly, which includes for the first time a dedicated goal on sustainable energy for all as 1 of the 17 global sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Participants of SAIREC considered sustainable development goals on sustainable and modern energy for all, with its three targets on access, renewables and energy efficiency, to constitute a solid guiding framework for their deliberations and future cooperation with special focus on RE-energising Africa.
Participants also recognised the importance of renewable energy in global endeavours to mitigate climate change and the contribution renewables can make in keeping human-induced, global warming beneath the agreed two degree Celsius ceiling.          
Countries will be emphasising the growing role of renewables in their national efforts to reduce emissions at the 21st Conference of the Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris in December. 

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