African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina on Monday joined world leaders to discuss the global transition to clean power as part of a green recovery and identify actions that can be taken to support this.
The virtual COP26 Roundtable on Clean Power Transition, under the theme “Achieving a rapid shift to green, affordable and resilient power systems” was held amid growing recognition that climate change remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.
Participants included UN Secretary General António Guterres, COP26 President Alok Sharma, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio, and representatives from governments, multilateral development banks, the private sector and international organisations.
Guterres said the year ahead would be critical “not only in beating the COVID-19 pandemic but in meeting the climate challenge”. He said African countries in particular were vulnerable and renewed his call for developed nations to fulfill their longstanding pledge to provide $100 billion a year for developing countries to support both climate mitigation and adaptation.
“Huge amounts of money have been earmarked for the COVID-19 recovery and stimulus measures. But sustainable investments are still not being prioritized,” Guterres said. “We must invest in the future of affordable renewable energy for all people, everywhere.”
These discussions have gained an added urgency in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strained fiscal resources that are available to cope with global crises. The accelerated transition to green, affordable and resilient power systems has been identified as a top priority for COP26 under the presidency of the United Kingdom, which has established the Energy Transition Council to drive the transformation.
One of the most direct impacts of the pandemic was the disruption it caused to the 2020 edition of the global climate change talks known commonly as COP, hosted annually by the United Nations. The event was postponed to November this year, when it is due to be held in Scotland.