Denmark, Ethiopia to Host Global Meeting Tackling Climate Change in New York

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia and Denmark are set to lead the energy transition track at the UN Climate Action Summit by hosting a global meeting in New York.

The meeting will be held on 23 September at a personal request by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

At the UN Climate Action Summit, governments, private companies, multilateral development banks, investors and civil society will join forces to boost ambition and to accelerate global climate action.

The UN Secretary-General has divided the work leading up to the summit into nine different tracks, each focusing on a specific area where action is needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The global shift away from fossil fuels towards green energy such as wind, hydro and solar power is urgent, according to the organizers.

It is estimated that by 2050, the transition to renewable energy, improved energy efficiency and electrification could contribute up to 90 % of the needed CO2-emission reductions, making energy transition a vital priority for the planet.

Denmark, Ethiopia and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) have been requested to lead the discussions on sustainable energy transition.

“Denmark has through several years, as a valued partner, supported Ethiopia’s ambition to develop a climate-resilient green economy,” said Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia.

He said the two nations share “a strong appreciation that renewable energy will be vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity for all”.

“Our leadership of the Energy Transition track of the United Nations Climate Action Summit demonstrates our commitment to mobilize global action; in particular for the peoples in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. We have an obligation to leave no one behind,” the minister said.

As an integral part of the Energy Transition Track, Ethiopia, Denmark and SEforALL are hosting the “Energy Action Forum” leading up to the summit in New York on 22 September.

At this event, 200 high-level stakeholders from governments, businesses, financial institutions, and international organizations will gather to accelerate action, among others.

The mobilization of private investments is crucial in the transition towards green energy, according to the Danish embassy in Addis Ababa.

Therefore, creating investment-friendly regulatory frameworks is one of the key objectives of the Energy Action Forum, it said.

Denmark is currently supporting Ethiopia’s Climate-resilient Green Economy Strategy through the Danish Energy Partnership Program by promoting wind power.

“But governments cannot do it alone. Partnerships are needed to engage private sector investors and technology providers of wind turbines and solar panels,” said Rasmus Prehn, Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark.

“Governments need to set ambitious targets; introduce the right framework conditions; and to ensure capacity to develop projects and to attract private investments: It is doable in both developing countries and growth economies,” Prehn said. “Based on our experience, Denmark collaborates with Ethiopia and other partner countries on applying different models to increase access to wind energy.”

Photo Caption: While his visit to Ethiopia in August, Prehn and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed planted a tree in Addis Abeba as a symbol on the Ethiopian government’s focus on climate and sustainable development.