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Energy 4 Impact backs Power Up campaign, Africa’s call for increased funding in the face of climate crisis


Energy 4 Impact has joined Power Up, a new campaign supporting African efforts to seek greater global funding for affordable green energy - essential for adaptation to the climate crisis.  

The campaign is working to unlock more ambitious pledges from wealthy countries, starting with action at November’s COP27 climate talks, and continuing through the ongoing UNFCCC process that guides global climate action.  

Power Up is uniting and amplifying African voices in pursuit of climate justice, including organisations powering up communities most affected by energy poverty.   

The campaign calls for wealthy nations to greatly increase climate adaptation funding, and to ensure a significant share of this funding supports access to green, affordable energy for people facing climate catastrophe.  

More than 25 organisations have already joined Power Up, with its members now calling on iNGOs, businesses, civil society organisations, faith groups and other organisations across society to back the campaign. Anyone can support Power Up by sharing its messages online. 

Dr Sheila Oparaocha, Director of coalition member the ENERGIA Network, said:

At COP27, taking place in Africa, world leaders can deliver climate justice and change the course of history with action to invest in affordable sustainable energy. More finance must flow from nations responsible for the climate crisis to those in greatest danger – and money already promised must be delivered. Crucially, using adaptation funding to widen access to sustainable and affordable energy will ensure African communities are better prepared for the challenges ahead.

Peter Weston, Managing Director of Mercy Corps-Energy 4 Impact, said:

With the climate crisis undermining food security, exacerbating instability, and limiting economic opportunities it is essential that we come together at COP27 to emphasise the vital role that access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy plays in building the resilience of the most vulnerable communities. We’ve joined the Power Up campaign to make sure that clean energy is placed at the front and centre of adaptation interventions and to call for greater climate finance to reach those populations facing the brunt of climate change as a matter of urgency.

Why Power Up 

More than 600 million African people go without access to electricity, and more than 900 million without safe cooking facilities. Affordable green energy is essential for communities facing the growing dangers presented by climate change. But The African Development Bank reports an annual energy finance gap for the continent of 17 to 25 billion USD. 

Solar water pumps can make Africa’s agricultural land more resilient and productive – currently, just 7% is irrigated - while establishing cold chains equivalent to wealthy nations would raise countries’ food supplies by 15%.  

Powering up will help health services respond to health challenges - 60% of Africa’s clinics lack access to electricity - and improve digital connectivity for education and information.  

Renewable energy also boosts incomes and economic growth. Globally, it could create 14 million jobs by 2030. And research from the continent suggests that for every new job in the off-grid energy sector, up to five times more employment is created through gained productivity. 

Locally generated renewable energy brings these benefits cheaper, faster, and reaches more people, than new fossil fuel infrastructure. 

Africa’s trailblazers call for change 

The growing list of frontline organisations backing Power Up includes: 

  • Smiling Through Light – Providing affordable solar lighting to families in Sierra Leone, using a woman-to-woman sales model.  
  • Ignite Power - delivering solar-powered irrigation to Rwanda’s farmers. 
  • Zonke Energy – bringing clean energy to off-grid township communities in South Africa, with mini-grids designed for urban settings.  
  • Kakuma Ventures – bringing solar powered Wi-Fi to one of the world’s largest refugee camps, supporting skills and entrepreneurship.  

Innocent Tshilombo, Kamuma Ventures Co-founder and Managing Director, said:

I know the power of green, affordable energy to change lives. But organisations like mine need much more support to scale up our work. We’re playing our part, in communities where the need is greatest – now politicians and global funders must step up. The more people back Power Up, the louder the call for action. 

How will the campaign work? 

Power Up is amplifying African calls to increase total climate adaptation funding, and to spend a significant proportion on supporting energy access. The campaign will build public support for action and back African policymakers to pursue this goal at COP27 and beyond. 

The campaign will initially focus on five African countries with the potential to be trailblazers in growing energy access - Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Tanzania. But in 2023 the campaign is set to expand its focus to countries around the world affected by energy poverty. 

Find more case studies, data and resources at the Power Up website.