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Least Developed Countries group launches energy initiative, REEEI

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Group on Thursday, November 17 2016 at the UN climate change talks in Marrakech, Morocco announced the launch of its new Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development. The initiative appears to have emerged as one of the key, concrete outcomes of the Marrakech climate conference.

Mr. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group and Head of delegation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo at COP22

Mr. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group and Head of delegation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo at COP22

According to the LDCs Group, the REEEI will scale up the provision of renewable energy to LDCs while promoting energy efficiency; recognising the crucial role that energy plays in rural development, industrialisation and the provision of services. REEEI was welcomed by LDC ministers and heads of delegation, representing the world’s 48 poorest countries, at a meeting of LDC negotiators in Kinshasa in September. REEEI, will be a key element of the Global Partnership on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, has now been launched in Marrakech.

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Representatives of the LDC group promoting the initiative include: Mr. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group and Head of delegation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Mr. Gebru Jember Endalew, Incoming Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group and head of delegation of Ethiopia; and Mr. Ram Prasad Dhital, Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Ministry of Population and Environment, Nepal.

Mr. Mpanu-Mpanu said: “The LDC REEEI demonstrates the continued commitment of the LDC Group to real solutions that benefit real people on the ground. The initiative will enable LDCs to leapfrog fossil fuel based energy and light up the lives of millions of energy-starved people through modern, clean and resilient energy systems.

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“The adoption of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals are flicking the switch on a new phase of global action and implementation. The LDC REEEI is an important part of this process emerging from the Marrakech climate conference, providing concrete action to address climate change while empowering the world’s most vulnerable communities to build a path to sustainable development.”

Mr. Jember said: “The LDC REEEI is a key success for the LDC Group here in Marrakech. Going forward the initiative will empower our poorest communities and put the LDCs ahead of the curve in taking ambitious mitigation action.

“The initiative will ensure no LDC is left behind by strengthening the capacity of LDCs to tap into existing initiatives, including the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, and providing support to those who fall within the cracks between current frameworks.”

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Mr. Dhital said: “Most of the world’s 1.3bn people who lack adequate access to energy live in LDCs. Yet we face many economic, social and institutional obstacles on the path to energy growth, and grapple with a lack of capacity to overcome them.

“Just 8% of climate finance committed to date has been disbursed. And of the largest flow – energy finance – low income countries have received only 5%. This initiative would support LDCs to develop the capacity to put in place the policies, regulations and project pipelines needed for greater flows of energy finance.”

Mr. Mpanu-Mpanu added: “The LDC REEEI will stimulate decentralised energy, which can have the fastest impacts in rural communities and deliver local-ownership over energy supply, putting power into the hands of the people.”

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