G7, EU pledge 10 bln U.S. dollars to aid Africa’s renewables plan

Group of Seven industrial nations and the European Union back Africa’s renewables plan with 10 billion U.S. dollars.

LE BOURGET, FRANCE (LE BOURGET, FRANCE) (REUTERS) – The group of seven most advanced economies (G7) and the 28-member European Union bloc on Monday (December 7) backed a plan to generate 300 gigawatts of an electricity from renewable sources in Africa by 2030 with a 10 billion United States dollar promise.

The funds will be in the form of grants and loans.

African nations led by the continent’s development bank last week launched the African Renewable Energy Initiative which could boost electricity output in the continent where two-thirds of people lack access to power.

“The idea was put forward, and France and other countries offered their support, that we could move very substantially forward on renewable energy which means that we can change the lives of lots of people because if you have electricity you can start a business and have a better daily life,” French Foreign Minister and climate summit president Laurent Fabius said after the signing ceremony during the United Nations climate summit in Paris.

Fabius said the funds will be managed by the African Development Bank which will choose priority projects, and an African Union ministerial committee.

“We’ve already raised 10 billion. Egypt, as the leader of the AMCEN (the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment) and the African Development Bank, will make sure that the most important projects are financed. But it’s a very, very important piece of news because it’s going to bring a lot of positive things for development in Africa,” he said.

Later in the day, Fabius met British entrepreneur and Virgin founder Richard Branson.

Branson is among a group of high-profile CEOs calling on world leaders to agree to bring the balance of greenhouse gas emissions to zero by mid-century.