(The Southern African Times) – Rocky Mountain Institute has released a new report highlighting six key measures governments in Sub-Saharan Africa can address the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change.
The report Sub-Saharan Africa Stimulus Strategy: A Springboard for Increased Local Resilience and Economic Growth is Rocky Mountain Institute’s paper in a series of seven reports outlining how targeted stimulus and recovery investments by countries around the globe can address both climate change and COVID-19 in stimulus packages.
Rocky Mountain Institute calls for governments in the region to align stimulus packages with existing and emerging priorities in the energy sector.
The region has been urged to provide sufficient investments and incentives to support resilient clean energy pathways. By so doing, governments will be able to transform economies and move toward carbon neutrality while generating positive spillover benefits for other sectors.
The six core principles for a green stimulus and recovery in sub-Saharan Africa presented in the paper are:
- Power critical facilities to reignite the economic engine: Develop national and/or regional programs to deploy distributed energy resources (DERs) for hospitals and other essential facilities that are critical to rural communities (e.g., schools, water treatment units).
- Accelerate electrification efforts: Invest in DER developers that prioritize standardized and modular designs—creating a larger, more reliable pipeline of clean energy projects that drive cost reduction.
- Electrify local economies: Increase investments in DERs through patient capital or low interest loans to minigrid developers to enable the rapid scaling of rural DERs.
- Electrify transportation: Expand impact funds support to include sustainable mobility: DFIs, philanthropic organizations, and impact investing can play a critical role by supporting mobility initiatives.
- Unlock energy efficiency: Provide matching contributions to revolving funds dedicated to energy efficiency to complement initial financial streams such as savings from reducing subsidies or local capital.
- Accelerate utilities’ transition toward modern, clean technology: Provide a green guarantee mechanism to incentivize private sector investment in resilient clean energy projects to accelerate a green recovery.
Francis Elisha, principal at RMI and co-author of the paper, said: “It’s exciting to see a myriad of organizations reporting about Africa stimulus packages—however, an aligned and coordinated effort is crucial to unlock and deploy rapidly stimulus funding to provide jobs, improve health and address climate concerns.
Read the full Sub-Saharan Africa Stimulus Strategy.