Statement From Ashvin Dayal, Senior Vice President of Power & Climate at The Rockefeller Foundation, on Urgent Need To Accelerate Energy Transitions in Emerging and Developing Economies

As a new report made clear last week, the world must take urgent, coordinated action to achieve universal access to electricity—or 660 million people, the majority of them in emerging and developing countries, will still live without electricity at the end of this decade. That outcome would be profoundly unjust, as energy access is the single most powerful driver of a person’s livelihood and of a broader community’s social and economic well-being. It might also be catastrophic for the planet; if their only option for electricity is fossil fuels, the 72 countries considered energy poor today could account for over two thirds of emissions by 2050.

Fortunately, that future is not inevitable. In under two years, The Rockefeller Foundation and our partners in the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) have committed $464 million to 130 projects in 40 countries that will bring new or improved energy access to over 50 million people and businesses and reduce or avert 43 million tons of emissions. We know more needs to be done—and we’re grateful partners are coalescing behind energy transitions in low- and middle-income countries. The Co-Chairs of the 2024 G7 Leaders’ Summit recently recognized GEAPP as one of the key partners in implementing distributed renewable energy generation, battery storage, and e-mobility projects and celebrated GEAPP’s commitment of up to $100 million in philanthropic capital to unlock an additional $1 billion in private finance for green infrastructure projects in Africa. This announcement builds on the World Bank and African Development Bank’s recent $30 billion commitment to empower 300 million Africans by the end of this decade, which GEAPP is proud to support.

The Rockefeller Foundation is heartened by the increasing momentum to connect people across Africa and around the world to clean energy and the economic opportunity it brings. And we look forward to working with our partners and other key stakeholders to turn these commitments into action.

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