Damilola Ogunbiyi to co-chair new COP26 Energy Transition Council with UK Secretary of State
By Ikenna Omeje
The former Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) , Damilola Ogunbiyi, will co-chair the new COP26 Energy Transition Council with COP26 President, Alok Sharma, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to bring together leaders from across the power sector to accelerate a transition from coal to renewable energy in developing countries
The launch of the Council comes as the UK Government announces a £50 million investment in a new Clean Energy Innovation Facility (CEIF) under the UK’s International Climate Finance.
This funding will help developing countries more easily access innovative clean energy technologies to foster clean growth, focusing on key sectors such as industry, cooling, smart energy and storage.
Speaking on the launch of the council, Ogunbiyi said: “We cannot achieve the promise of the Paris Agreement or Sustainable Development Goal 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all – without a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind.
“Today, just under 800 million people globally lack access to electricity and we must close these gaps with renewable, efficient and affordable solutions.
“The COP26 Energy Transition Council will play a leading role in supporting countries to move away from fossil fuels and unleash a prosperous, equitable and clean energy transition as they recover better from the pandemic.
“Ahead of COP26, the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy will support this vision, including through Energy Compacts and multi-stakeholder partnerships that aim to accelerate universal energy transition and access.”
On his part Sharma said: “Climate change affects every single one of us and we all have a part to play to champion climate action ahead of COP26.
“Through the Energy Transition Council and the UK’s ambitious climate finance commitments, I hope to drive the transition to cleaner energies, and I urge all businesses, cities and regions to join the Race to Zero coalition.”
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa said: “Those involved in the Race to Zero have made a commitment to build that future and to achieve specific goals and will be held to those promises.
“The world cannot afford to be let down. Nor can this campaign become something that allows nations to defer action until a later date. It’s about needing more climate ambition and climate action now—in 2020.”
The ‘COP26 & the Zero Carbon Growth Agenda’ opening event at Climate Week NYC will bring together global leaders from business and government including: Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP & Bloomberg Philanthropies, Michael Bloomberg
The event will be convened by Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz, UN High Level Climate Champions and leaders of the Race to Zero campaign, in a collaboration with the Climate Group, to showcase how the economic net zero transformation is accelerating and highlight the scale of the opportunity to create good jobs, protect public health and level up society.