By Lovemore Khomo
Clean Energy is one of the world’s biggest challenges, particularly in developed countries where interests are focused on addressing and protecting jobs and economies. Environmental scientists, together with UNESCO, agree that clean energy is the future. It is sourced from natural and non-natural sources which are not harmful to people’s health or to the environment.
Green Energy activists in Malawi have vowed to lobby for the significant introduction of clean energy in Malawi in order to ensure environmental sustainability. At the same time, the organisation Renew‘N’Able Malawi has arranged advocacy training for Energy activists which will pave the way for the whole country.
During the meeting, Green Energy activists described that Malawi is experiencing energy poverty, hence the need to take action and lobby for renewable energy sources. The lack of access to sustainable energy for basic needs is one of the problems faced by developing countries.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. 70 percent of its citizens live below the international poverty line and in rural areas without sustainable energy for electricity.
The Senior Advocacy Consultant for the “Mphamvu Now” campaign or “Energy Now” in English, Kenneth Mtago from Renew‘N’Able Malawi, confirmed that the need for sustainable energy is real. He commented that “the aim of providing training for energy activists is to promote sustainable energy. This should hopefully result in an increase in the interest to supply people with access to clean energy”.
He insisted that the world should adopt the concept of Clean energy because it is the basis for building a brighter future. “In Malawi, deforestation is hugely increased by the pressure of 95 percent of households that depend on biomass fuels for cooking since there are no alternatives”.
This is clearly in line with the fact that Malawi’s deforestation rate is one of the highest in the world at 2.8% p.a. Access to sustainable energy is one of the worlds’ priorities with over 100 countries signing a UN SE4ALL initiative the objective of which is to achieve sustainable energy for all by 2030.
On Malawi’s Developmental Agenda known as “Malawi Growth and Development Strategy”-MGDS, access to sustainable energy has now been prioritised as the second most important goal to be achieved by 2023. The strategy was first ratified in 2007 and the energy goal was item number eleven.
The advocacy of sustainable energy needs to be more effective by focusing on one specific issue at a time. Advocacy should reach political decision-makers because everything lies in their hands and those decisions should be made correctly.
Knowledge and evidence of what you are lobbying for is crucial for all sustainable energy advocates. Essentially, sustainable energy could reach all parts of the world, for it is very inexpensive, affordable and can be made easily accessible.
Furthermore, when advocating for green energy we are also protecting and reversing pollution in our environment. Keeping our surroundings green is one of the world’s basic goals and should be achievable within a matter of years. Renewable energy should be around for generations to come.