The COP21 held in Paris last December led to the signing of an agreement on climate, but henceforth, the time has come to wait seeing its actual realization. In Africa, many sustainable development stakeholders are getting impatient. And now, as the COP21 new president Ségolène Royal has finished her tour this late February, the aim was to ensure the agreement is ratified by partner heads of state.
Ségolène Royal who has replaced Laurent Fabius at the head of COP21 since recently, has visited five countries: Ethiopia, Ivory coast, Egypt, Guinea and Senegal; covering 16,500 Kilometers in five days. And to offset the 9.4 tons of CO2 emitted throughout this journey; the equivalent of a typical European citizen yearly carbon footprint, she even pledged to fund subsidies for replanting associations.
The agreement signed in Paris on December 12th, 2015 has been approved by 195 countries. For Mrs Royal, the aim is to “translate the agreement into action.” According to the agreement, until 2020, the atmosphere average temperature rise must be kept below 1.5oC. To achieve this, the COP21 has raised 10 billion dollars on a four-year period for renewable energies in Africa, despite the fact that 600 million Africans still don’t have access to electricity.
The Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi and the Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn have received her. Ségolène Royal has also met the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Mrs Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, and has emphasised that the AU has to join the selection and the funding of projects. “We will be able to measure the success of the COP21 from what we would have achieved for the continent” confirmed Royal during her press interview on Wednesday 24th February, while in the Ethiopian capital.
“The continent which is mostly affected by climate change is yet the less guilty”, claimed Ségolène Royal to the media during her visit in Addis Abeba. “Some territories have been waiting for access to electricity for years, and they shouldn’t get disappointed.”
On his side, in Guinea, the president Alpha Condé has reminded his will to harness the country energy potentials to support access to energy for the whole Guinean population. “If we get energy, it would be an opportunity for us African countries, because we can transform the raw materials locally”, president Condé affirming to the press. For him, the Western Africa makes an important market for hydropower marketing with its 300 million inhabitants, and which is expected to reach 600 million inhabitants around 2050.
Emphasizing on the African continent renewable energies potential, e.g. solar energy, hydropower, geothermal, underground resources, biomass, marine and wind energy among the others, Ségolène Royal concluded that the continent is facing “an amazing challenge, which is indeed in reach” given “the virtuous circle sparked by the access to electricity: education, health care, employment, etc. It is a great hope that has to be realized.” According to her, the promised 10 billion Euros will be released without delay. “There is a great hope here that I cannot afford to disappoint”, affirming Mrs Ségolène.