In a resounding declaration of commitment to combating climate change, Uganda took center stage at COP28 in Dubai, revealing an ambitious Energy Transition Plan (ETP) crafted in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA). This groundbreaking initiative, unveiled on December 5, 2023, seeks to propel Uganda into a new era of sustainability and economic development.
At the heart of the ETP lies a transformative vision: by 2030, Uganda aims to shift a staggering 94% of its population from reliance on biomass to embracing renewable energy sources. The plan, born from the strategic alliance between Uganda and the IEA, carries the weighty goal of boosting the country's renewable energy capacity to an impressive 52 GW by 2040.
Dr. Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the IEA, hailed the plan as a proof of the power of international collaboration. "This plan is a testament to what can be achieved through international cooperation and a shared vision for a sustainable future," remarked Dr. Birol. "The IEA is proud to partner with Uganda in this pivotal endeavor."
Notably, the ETP goes beyond mere environmental aspirations, embodying a commitment to leveraging Uganda's natural resources responsibly. Through an innovative funding model, revenues from the nation's burgeoning oil and gas sector will be harnessed to propel the transition towards cleaner energy. Uganda's Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa, emphasized the significance of this approach, saying the unique opportunity sets an example of responsible and sustainable development.
Crucially, the ETP holds the promise of not only reducing carbon emissions but also safeguarding Uganda's lush forests. By moving away from biomass, the plan seeks to protect lives, addressing the stark reality of 50,000 annual deaths attributed to indoor air pollution from traditional biomass use.
The plan, described by Nankabirwa as "more than just an energy strategy," aims to improving living conditions in Uganda. Irene Bateebe, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy highlighted the plan's role in mitigating the health hazards associated with indoor air pollution.
Uganda's existing renewable energy mix, with an impressive 95% reliance on hydro and solar, positions the nation as a regional energy hub. Nankabirwa articulated Uganda's broader vision, stating that the country's goal is to become a hub of renewable energy in East Africa.
Yet, the success of Uganda's ETP hinges on global collaboration and private-sector investment. The plea for worldwide support resonates as the plan aligns with Uganda's commitment to the Paris Agreement, aspiring to achieve net-zero emissions in the energy sector by 2065.
Uganda's ETP represents a bold stride toward a greener future, showcasing the transformative power of renewable energy on economies and lives. As the world watches, Uganda is not merely planning for an energy revolution; it is actively leading it.
"Together, we will energize our nation and empower our people," concluded Nankabirwa, marking a new chapter in Uganda's journey towards sustainable energy independence. The world now eagerly anticipates the ripple effects of Uganda's pioneering steps in the global pursuit of a more sustainable future.