Namibia aims to increase renewable energy

13 September 2019 | Energy

Namibia aims to increase its share of renewable energy to 70% in about 10 years.

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta says in 2010 this share stood at 33%.

Shifeta was speaking at the 14th Conference of Parties (CoP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Delhi, India.

He made the remarks during a ministerial breakfast hosted by the Group of Friends on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought.

Shifeta said Namibia has mainstreamed issues of land degradation, climate change and biological conservation in its national development plans, policies and strategies. According to him Namibia submitted an ambitious National Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015.

“Namibia aims at a reduction of about 89% of its greenhouse gas emissions at the 2030 time horizon, compared to the Business As Usual (BAU) scenario.”

The NDC also commits to increase the share of renewable energy from hydro, solar, wind and biomass electricity production from 33% in 2010 to about 70% by 2030.

“This would go a long way to ensure that humans live in harmony with nature, thereby promoting sustainable land management practices that will enhance healthy soils and ecosystems,” said Shifeta.

He said Namibia is one of the driest countries in sub-Saharan Africa and most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

“The recent, frequent and severe flood and drought events continue to devastate our economy. This situation threatens the livelihoods of the majority of our people who rely mostly on rain-fed agriculture and it is capable of reducing our gross domestic product by a significant margin.”

He said in view of the 2030 sustainable development agenda, the sustainable development goals could provide an enhanced platform to jointly implement actions on climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable land management.

“We strongly believe that the inter-linkages between and among the three Rio conventions could accelerate efforts towards carbon storage in the soil, increase soil productivity or enhance land cover.”

Shifeta stressed that for Namibia the protection of the environment is a constitutional imperative. He said Article 95 of the Namibian constitution obligates the state to protect the environment for the future generations, in particular the welfare of society in general.

He said the government had also established cross-sectorial committees to guide the implementation of the three Rio conventions.

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