Climate Parliament roundtables result in action ideas for advancing climate action and renewable energy

EEG has co-funded and contributed to several roundtables that aim to advance discussions on grid interconnections in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa – and some of the more recent events have resulted in the publication of action ideas. Programme director Simon Trace explains more.

We have been actively involved with a number of roundtables that focus on overcoming barriers and increasing opportunities for cross-border electricity interconnections and the trading of renewable energy. The discussions have been organised by Climate Parliament, a global network of legislators promoting renewable energy. Three of the most recent events covered interconnections between India and the Arabian Peninsula, large-scale renewable energy and using renewable energy auctions to deliver the cheapest energy in the world (focusing on the Ethiopian model), and were held virtually due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and social distancing rules.

Parliamentarians from many different countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa – including Bangladesh, the Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe – attended the roundtables, helping ideas around the advancement of renewable energy to be shared between countries.

Following the recent discussions, Climate Parliament has published some action ideas to assist members of parliament who are keen to take climate action and accelerate the use of renewable energy. The ideas, separated into the areas of climate threats, large-scale renewables, green grids, rural electrification and energy efficiency, will arm them with the information, policy documents, case studies, and best practice examples they need to engage heads of government, ministers and officials.

 While the ideas, information and documents, available from Climate Parliament’s website, are primarily aimed at legislators, they can also be used by members of the public who want to write to their parliamentary representatives about climate change and renewable energy. Many of the documents include global information/examples, and others are more country-specific.

The section on climate threats includes reports and documents on climate impacts, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) commitments, and the risk of stranded fossil fuel assets. For large-scale renewables, there are examples of well-designed auction programmes, renewable energy targets, and policy instruments for facilitating large-scale renewable energy, such as feed-in-tariffs and green bonds.

Under the green grids section, there are details about India’s ambitious green grids project (One Sun, One World, One Grid), clean energy corridors and the cross-border trade of clean electricity in specific regions, and regional electricity markets.

The section on rural electrification includes documents on mini-grids, electrifying health clinics in rural areas and productive use of energy. For energy efficiency, Climate Parliament has provided information on sustainable space cooling and household air conditioning, energy efficiency in buildings and energy efficient appliance standards.

In addition to discussing green grids and large-scale renewables, the roundtables have also covered sustainable transport – and further action ideas in relation to this area have been provided, covering, for example, the electrification of cars and public transport.

For more information on our involvement with the Climate Parliament roundtables, please visit our project page. We are also funding a research project on the implications of the declining costs of solar, wind and storage technologies on regional power trade in South Asia, being led by the Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe) in New Delhi – find out more here.

By Simon Trace