Damilola Ogunbiyi: ‘We cannot afford to let climate inaction define our generation’

Sustainable Energy for All’s chief executive Damilola Ogunbiyi has told businesses of the need to combine development, energy and climate initiatives to create a just transition to net-zero that benefits all communities and nations.

Delivering a virtual keynote talk delivered as part of edie 23, Ogunbiyi outlined the devastation that has been caused in recent years as a result of the climate crisis and how nations have collectively failed to step up and deliver on pledges made at COP21 in Paris.

Ogunbiyi, who is the chief executive and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and co-chair of UN-Energy, outlined how the floods in Pakistan had affected an estimated 33 million people, while Nigeria had experienced its worse flooding in a decade and Spain and Portugal had suffered from severe wildfires.

The climate crisis, Ogunbiyi argued, has “exacerbated hunger, conflict and drought worldwide” highlighting the need to “urgently get on track to limit global warming”.

Ogunbiyi, who presented virtually to business delegates as part of edie 23, warned that “we cannot afford to let climate inaction define our generation”.

Instead, Ogunbiyi argued the need for “transformational changes in policy and investment” to reduce the  770 million people are still living without access to electricity, and more than 2.5 billion without access to clean cooking fuels, mainly in African and Asian regions. Ogunbiyi cited that $4trn annually is needed in renewable energy annually until 2030.

“Domestic policy frameworks must be reformed to fast track renewables and catalyse private sector investment,” Ogunbiyi said. “I encourage all of us to find innovative ways to accelerate the energy transition. It must be an enabler of development and prosperity. Energy, climate and development, they can and must co-exist and enable each other.”

Ogunbiyi previously spoke to edie of the need for nations and businesses to ensure that global negotiations, such as the ones that culminated in Egypt at COP27 last year, don’t end up as a “talk shop” and deliver real tangible action. You can read that feature here.

Keep up to date with edie 23

Taking place in London on 1-2 March 2023, edie’s biggest annual event has undergone a major revamp to become edie 23, with a new name, new venue, multiple new content streams and myriad innovative event features and networking opportunities.

edie 23 will take place at the state-of-the-art 133 Houndsditch conference venue in central London. Held over two floors, the event will offer up two full days of keynotes, panels, best-practice case studies and audience-led discussions across three themed stages – Strategy, Net-Zero and Action.

Click here for full information.

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