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China can help Global South achieve energy goals, UN official

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2023-10-25 18:53
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As a world leader in renewable energy development, China can help nations in the Global South realize the United Nations' sustainable development goal of achieving universal energy access, said a UN official.

Damilola Ogunbiyi, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Sustainable Energy for All, made the remarks in an interview with China Daily following the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which was held in Beijing from Oct 17 to 18.

She said there was a "disparity" between Asia and Africa in their progresses toward Sustainable Development Goal 7, which calls for "affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all" by 2030.

The latest SDG 7 reports show that Asia is doing much better than Africa on progress toward the goal. It's estimated that Asia has about 69 million people don't have access to electricity, according to the latest tracking report. But Africa still has over 500 million, Ogunbiyi said.

"We also see in Asia and in China, there's been a big push to renewable energy," she said.

"Over 50 percent of all solar panels, wind equipment, most of the inverted lithium batteries is produced here in China and then it spreads all around the world."

Ogunbiyi said some of China's practices can set an example for other developing countries.

"First, you have to look at your policy and regulatory framework. You have to make sure your framework is inclusive and allows for manufacturing and development," she said.

Currently, there's more demand than supply for solar energy products, she said, indicating China can play an even bigger role in pushing global solar energy development.

On the signing of cooperation agreements on renewable energy development at the BRI forum, Ogunbiyi said, "I'm really excited about the turnout of so many developing and emerging economies that really see China as a strong partner moving forward as they develop their green economic future."

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