Historic Alliance Launches at COP26 to Accelerate a Transition to Renewable Energy, Access to Energy for All, and Jobs
Nov. 2, 2021
• Reach 1 billion underserved people with reliable, renewable power;
• Avoid and avert 4 billion tons of carbon emissions;
• Drive economic growth, with 150+ million created, enabled, or improved.
This alliance of philanthropies, multilateral and development finance institutions, and governments also issued a “Global Call for Transformational Country Partnerships” to fast-track solutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet launches at COP26
Glasgow, Scotland: November 2, 2021 – The new Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) will be launched today at COP26 to accelerate investment in green energy transitions and renewable power solutions in developing and emerging economies worldwide. Over the next decade, the Alliance aims to unlock USD100 billion in public and private capital and tackle three profound human problems simultaneously: (1) POWER – reaching one billion people with reliable, renewable energy; (2) CLIMATE – avoiding and averting four billion tons of carbon emissions; and (3) JOBS – building an on-ramp to opportunity by creating, enabling, or improving 150 million jobs. It also opened a Global Call for Transformational Country Partnerships, inviting developing and emerging economies to apply for technical support and funding to advance ecosystems of clean energy projects.
President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia commented: “Indonesia is proud to endorse the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, which is holding the G20 Presidency in 2022. The initiative brings together the critical stakeholders that must align and co-create a sustainable path for our nations and for our grandchildren. It is our task to restore the triple happiness envisaged by the Balinese Tri Hita Karana three balances – people with people, people with nature, and people with spiritual harmony.”
While energy-poor countries are currently responsible for 25% of global CO2 emissions, their share of global emissions could grow to 75% by 2050, according to analysis published today by the Alliance. Yet these countries currently only receive 13% of clean energy financing, despite representing nearly half of the world’s population. There are also 243 GW of coal plants being planned, permitted, or under construction in developing countries. If constructed, they would emit 38 billion tons of CO2 over the coming decades, which is nearly the same as total global emissions last year. To change this trajectory and maximize its impact on jobs and livelihoods, the Alliance announced they are providing more than USD10 billion to focus on fossil fuel transitioning, grid-based renewables, and distributed renewables. Alliance partners include:
- Anchor philanthropic organizations: The Rockefeller Foundation, IKEA Foundation, and Bezos Earth Fund;
- Investment partners: African Development Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, UK’s CDC Group, US International Development Finance Corporation, and World Bank;
- Country partners: Co-Hosts of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) Italy and the UK, and Denmark.
“The world is undergoing an economic upheaval, in which the poorest are falling farther behind and being battered by climate change’s effects. Green energy transitions with renewable electrification are the only way to restart economic progress for all while at the same time stopping the climate crisis,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Providing people with an on-ramp to the modern economy while making real, measurable progress against the existential threat of climate change, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet is one of the boldest, most transformative initiatives in our history.”
Changing Energy for Good
Over the last decade, significant breakthroughs in technology have made renewables the cheapest option for new power in more than two-thirds of the world. For the first time in history, the technology exists to reliably and affordably empower those who lack access to electricity. This in turn boosts human development by creating jobs at a massive scale and advances gender equity through increased accessibility, all the while cutting emissions to avert the climate crisis.
“By replacing diesel generators and coal-fired power plants with renewable alternatives we can reduce carbon emissions quickly. The alliance will work closely with emerging and developing countries who are keen to embrace an inclusive and just energy transition, to bring carbon emissions down and incomes up,” said Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation. “We’re proud to continue to bring together governments, philanthropies, development finance institutions, and the private sector to join us in our collective ambition.”
Through the Global Call for Transformational Country Partnerships, the Alliance is focused on meeting growing demand for power with renewables in place of coal and extending productive-use power to people and communities that either lack access to electricity or have unreliable access. Before the Alliance’s launch, partner members have established relationships in several countries, providing an opportunity to fast-track efforts to pilot breakthrough business models. By working with governments to design and implement their de-carbonization plans and enhance their domestic policy, planning, and regulatory frameworks, the Alliance will help create more favorable investment environments and enable the end-to-end delivery of national transformational programs.
This includes the identification, development, execution, monitoring, and scaling of programs, which will unlock greater levels of investment in clean power sector assets, accelerate equitable energy transitions, and achieve near-term carbon reductions. The Alliance will also de-risk expensive early stages of project development by helping countries test strategies and innovative technologies that may have a higher initial risk profile, and then scale solutions that work.
Partnering for Impact
Earlier this year, IKEA Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation joined forces to commit a combined USD1 billion to fight climate change and energy poverty. With the addition of Bezos Earth Fund, the catalytic grant capital provided by these anchor partners will unlock billions of dollars in investment capital from multilateral and development finance institutions. The Alliance will use its collective efforts for collaborative action and provide grant funding, technical assistance, and a range of financing options.
“The climate and energy access crises underscore the need for a better way. We must urgently transform our energy system. By bringing the leading technical providers and financing agents together, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet is well placed to become the most significant initiative to extend clean, reliable energy to those who don’t have it, while eliminating carbon pollution. In turn, it will create millions of jobs, benefit health, and provide essential development and climate gains,” said Andrew Steer, CEO of Bezos Earth Fund.
In order to increase investment and impact in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the Alliance is actively recruiting a diverse set of new partners. RF Catalytic Capital, Inc. (RFCC), the public charity that The Rockefeller Foundation launched in 2020 to enable like-minded funders to pool resources and bring about transformational change, will facilitate the Alliance’s multi-partner investment.
The Alliance will also fund and coordinate with “delivery partners” that will provide significant policy, technical, and project development capacity. In addition to identifying local partners in each market, delivery partners include AtlasAI, COP26 Energy Transition Council (ETC), Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Solar Alliance, Odyssey, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), and the U.S. government’s Power Africa program.
Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All commented: “For 759 million people without electricity, and 2.6 billion people without access to clean cooking solutions, energy poverty is a daily reality that impacts every aspect of their lives. With less than nine years to achieve SDG7, the launch of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet could not come at a better time. As a partner, we at Sustainable Energy for All recognize the catalytic role that galvanizing partners and resources can play towards unlocking a just, equitable, and prosperous future for all.”
The Alliance also launched a global mobilization campaign with non-governmental organizations and youth activists to advocate for the long-term changes needed to “Change Energy for Good,” asking people to use #LetsChangeEnergy and add the reason why they want energy changed.
For more information and to access the Global Call for Partnerships, please visit www.globalenergyalliance.org.
Statements of Support from World Leaders:
- “Homo Sapiens are facing the greatest challenge ever: to change its development model in the attempt to deliver a livable future to the next generations. By no means this can be done if we continue to treat separately climate change and global inequalities. The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet is a world class initiative, joining public and private efforts to help one billion people to improve their life standard meanwhile all together reducing the global CO2 emission by 4 billion tons. This is a great promise to our children, and a strong commitment by states, investors, and philanthropic institutions to act synergistically. I believe the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet will become the engine of a profound change.”— Roberto Cingolani, Minister for Ecological Transition for the Republic of Italy
- “Every nation and institution around the world must do more to alter the course of climate change. Denmark looks forward to partner with this new green initiative the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. It will accelerate climate transitions in developing and emerging economies that will reduce global emissions and spread green energy to millions of citizens across the globe.” ― Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities Dan Jørgensen
- “I am delighted that the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet is launching at COP26, including a new partnership with the Energy Transition Council as part of the Breakthrough Agenda. By bringing philanthropy, government, investors, and civil society together, the Alliance embodies how international cooperation can drive ambitious climate action and share the benefits of clean growth for all. In this decisive decade, the partnership between the Alliance and the Energy Transition Council will support developing countries and emerging economies transition away from coal power and rapidly scale up clean, affordable and reliable energy that will power new jobs, resilient economic growth and close energy access gaps.”— Alok Sharma, UK’s President for COP 26 and Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy
“To confront the climate crisis head-on, countries need to transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. This will not only prepare them for the future, but also make them healthier places to live right now, and help grow their economies. This is especially true of developing countries that have been reliant on fossil fuels, and it’s why the Global Energy Alliance People and Planet initiative’s goal of reaching one billion people with clean energy is so critical. It will help to make progress where it’s needed most.”— Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Climate Ambition Solutions; Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P.
Alliance Investment Partners:
- “The Global Energy Alliance is a game changing initiative which will help to accelerate access to electricity in our drive to end global energy poverty. The African Development Bank is excited to partner with The Rockefeller Foundation and its alliance partners, to help light up and power Africa.” ― Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group
- “The urgency and scale of the climate crisis calls for stronger collaboration and a higher level of ambition. As Asia and the Pacific’s climate bank, ADB is pleased to partner with The Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet on achieving transformative action to combat climate change, accelerating the transition to clean energy, and addressing energy poverty in the region. This aligns with our commitment to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.”— Masatsugu Asakawa, President of the Asian Development Bank
- “Protecting the climate, promoting clean energy access, and supporting energy transition are key pillars of our work and Vision 2025: Reinvest in the Americas, the blueprint for accelerating post pandemic recovery of the Latin America and the Caribbean region. We are proud to be a leading partner for the historic Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet on its work in the region, and to be an ally of The Rockefeller Foundation in its efforts to empower communities, avert carbon emissions, and create good jobs,” — Mauricio Claver-Carone, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
- “IFC is proud to be a founding member of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and team up with The Rockefeller Foundation to bring the private sector into the climate fight. The climate challenge at its core is an energy challenge, which is why achieving a green energy future will take the public and private sectors pulling together in common cause. The private sector must be part of the solution if the scale of our results is to meet our ambitions.” ―Makhtar Diop, Managing Director of the International Finance Corporation
- “To reach the Paris climate goals, we must triple energy investments by 2030 and deliver universal access to clean and affordable energy worldwide. The European Investment Bank, as the EU climate bank, is increasing its support for climate action in developing and emerging economies. We are delighted to join the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet. We will work closely with our partners to help develop and finance renewable energy systems with a special focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. We are grateful to The Rockefeller Foundation and the IKEA Foundation for the leadership in spearheading this important alliance.”— Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank
“We are proud to be part of the Alliance so we can mobilise our capital to close funding gaps, help countries manage the most devastating impacts of the climate emergency and create opportunities for mainstream investors to participate in climate finance. There is no doubt that the scale of this ground-breaking platform is necessary if we are to accelerate the end of fossil fuels and drive investment into sustainable, clean energy.” ― Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of the CDC Group
Additional Endorsements of the Alliance:
- “The Alliance’s strategic partnership with the Energy Transition Council, established by the COP26 Presidency, will connect the ETC’s political dialogue between governments and development partners with the international expertise and finance available via the Alliance, in order to ensure that these are fully responsive to the priorities of developing countries and emerging economies. The Alliance’s strategic partnership with the Energy Transition Council will support the achievement of the new Glasgow Power Breakthrough goal, launched at COP26, to make clean power the most affordable and reliable option for all countries to meet their power needs efficiently by 2030.” ― COP26 Energy Transition Council
- “The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet has been endorsed as a Catalytic Initiative by the CEO Principals of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), the global coalition of leading financial institutions committed to accelerating the decarbonisation of the economy, chaired by Mark Carney, the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, and anchored in the UN’s Race to Zero campaign.” ― Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ)
- “EDFI is proud to support the new Global Energy Alliance for People & Planet. European DFIs have a strong focus on climate finance and increasing access to clean energy in developing countries, including through the EDFI-ElectriFI joint financing facility. This aligns us closely with the aims of the Alliance, and we believe that there are significant opportunities to deepen our partnership in ways that will reduce global emissions and deliver inclusive economic development.” ― SørenPeter Andreasen, General Manager (CEO) of the Association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) and the Chairman of the EDFI Management Company
- “For Power Africa, as the U.S. government’s clean energy access platform for sub Saharan Africa and as its largest private-public partnership, joining this Alliance forms a decisive cross-sector force to end energy poverty and achieve the pledged climate ambitions of African leaders on the Continent.” ― Mark Carrato, Coordinator of the U.S. Government’s Power Africaprogram
- “A resilient and just energy transition starts at the community level. The Global Energy Alliance for People & Planet will drive real impact by making sure that all communities have the skills to shape their energy futures. RMI has long advocated for resilient, cost-effective clean energy solutions as the way to provide reliable electricity. We are committed to deploying energy resilience projects in developing and emerging economies to lift millions out of poverty through a more equitable and sustainable energy future for generations to come.” ― Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of RMI
“IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook confirms that an energy transition grounded in renewable sources and technologies is the only way to give us a fighting chance of limiting global warming by 2050 to 1.5°C. Accelerating investment in renewable energy pays off and brings energy security, sustainable economic growth, and new jobs to people in developing and emerging economies worldwide.” ― Francesco La Camera, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency
- “We’re excited to be partnering with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet as accelerate our mission to solarize the world by 2030. With the right investment and regulatory conditions, solar power has the potential to mobilize billions of dollars in green investments, empower billions of people while averting billions of tons of emissions. Working with the GEAPP, the ISA will create an enabling policy and regulatory environment by building capacity of government, convening and research, and provide best-in-class project development support to build a strong pipeline of investable solar projects. Together, we can bring clean, renewable energy to underserved communities around the world.” ― Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance
- “At IDB Invest, we are committed to achieving a green and inclusive recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean. We are proud to be a strategic partner of The Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet in the area of energy transition and distributed renewable energy. Together, we will join forces to close last-mile gaps in energy access and support the transition towards a net-zero emissions system. This is an important step in our goal to foster innovation in the Latin America and the Caribbean energy sector, by utilizing all instruments at our disposal and supporting successful cases of climate investments, from the upstream to the facilitating of the financing to the private sector.” — James Scriven, CEO of IDB Invest