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Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Dr Ruth Nankabirwa has pledged that the Government of Uganda will respect the national and international commitments which Uganda is a party including commitments made under the Paris Climate Change Agreement to address climate change, The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, the Convention on Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites, Convention on Biological Diversity and others even as her Ministry works to scale up access to renewable energy for all Country men and Women.
The Minister added that the country was also exploring alternative energy resources which Uganda is richly endowed with such as solar and wind.
“ However, these resources remain largely unexploited mainly because Uganda is concentrating on oil and gas developments. In line with aspirations under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Sustainable Energy for All (SEA4ALL) initiative, Uganda is now investing more in other energy sources especially off-grid solar”, she said.
The AG-Country Director of Uganda, Simon Peter Weredwong who also moderated the session commended the Minister for ensuring a conducive policy environment and prayed that the policies should be actioned for Uganda to realize development that will not hurt nature and people.
Laurent Some, the WWF Africa Director of Policy and partnerships also commended the Minister for being thorough on her route to 100% renewable energy and tasked her and her team to continue bench-marking to ensure that they remain on the right truck.
Uganda approved its NDC in 2016 with a target of 22% GHG emission reduction by 2030, as a commitment to climate change mitigation and alignment to 1.5ºC pathway. One of its mitigation measures is to increase access to RE – targeting 3,200MW electricity generation capacity and 98% RE electricity access by 2030, as highlighted in Uganda’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and SE4ALL Initiative Action Agenda, respectively. Setting the country on a 100% RE trajectory can accelerate these efforts and also support implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. However, a series of policies and measures are required in order for it to be implemented effectively.
RE deployment in Uganda faces a number of challenges: limited public awareness about RE; an inadequate legal and regulatory framework; outdated energy policies; a shortage of trained, local RE professionals; and insufficient data and information for research and monitoring.
Given the fact that Uganda is currently updating its NDCs for the next 5 years and will soon be launching its updated RE policy, 100% RE MAP project that is currently implemented by WWF in Uganda will feed into these existing processes with the aim of realizing an 100% accessible, 100% RE future. Particularly when considering the need for increasing Uganda’s resilience to global crises, RE can provide stable energy access for health facilities, provide green jobs and reduce air pollution.