Media

26th March 2020,
Rome

Covid-19 should not, and will not, stop us

We are living in a challenging time. The lockdown introduced in Italy about three weeks ago has now spread across much of the globe and, like everyone else, had to adjust to the new scenario. A number of Foundation events have been postponed, and the entire team is at home. Nevertheless, we are working remotely and relentlessly towards our mission to advance European commitment to create a favourable framework for renewable energy investments in Africa.

More than ever before, the COVID-19 crisis is highlighting the paramount significance that electricity has in maintaining the stability of global economies. Electricity allows us to work from home, to benefit from all those commodities that make quarantine more livable, and more importantly to ensure that hospitals can continue their precious work, saving lives. However, not so far from us, hundreds of millions of Africans are not granted this luxury. As the last contaminated case of the Ebola was healed just a few weeks ago, the resurgence of a new pandemic in Africa could engender a problematic situation to overcome.

Not having adequate electricity access is leaving a large chunk of the African continent exposed to a sharper spread of the disease now, and to a larger economic damage in the near future, than would have been the case in which full energy access were available.

The renewAfrica Initiative thus encourages the European Commission to continue its relentless pursuit of green ambitions. The long-term visions laid out in the Green Deal and the new Strategy with Africa must not be put on hold: as it has been pointed out before, the Covid-19 situation, albeit extremely serious, will be of temporary nature, while the threat posed by climate change is still undergoing and will remain with us even once this crisis is over. Responding to this pandemic that deeply affects societies and economies in Europe and in Africa can be turned into an opportunity to make possible the sustainable future we aim to build.

Investing in sustainable, renewable energy is more urgent today than ever. Electricity supplied by renewable technologies stands the best chance at decarbonizing our economies, and interrupting the investment cycle now would stifle the ongoing innovation momentum, resulting in a grave missed opportunity.

The decisions that we make now will shape the world for years to come. We, within renewAfrica, maintain our commitment and our drive to scaling up investments able to bring clean, sustainable energy to all African countries.

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