Energy Commissioner for Africa

Energiebeauftragte für Afrika

Together with Josef Göppel, I work as Energy Commissioner for Africa of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since November 1, 2017.

Why are we doing this?

The Paris Climate Conference COP-21 found a universal consensus: Global CO2-emissions shall not rise above 2 degrees Celcius and even trying to get well below 1.5 degrees. In order to get on this track, all member parties have to implement national determined contributions (NDCs). From what is on the table right now, our planet is heading for 3 degrees global warming above pre-industrial levels. This means, all parties have to become more ambitious. We need change in all sectors of our society: Power, Mobility as well as heating/cooling. Because if we continue as we do today, our remaining carbon budget for 1.5 degrees is depleted in a few years (2 degrees: in less than 20 years).

Since burning coal is the single biggest contributor to CO2-emissions from the power sector, the developed countries have to phase-out coal while countries of the Global South should leapfrogg the age of coal and meet their increasing energy demand with renewable energies.

What are our tasks?

Josef Göppel and me will use our experience and our contacts for this honorary appointment to support African countries in the above mentioned taks. Naturally, our work is connected to GIZ and KfW.

Our mandate is to promote decentralized renewable energies in Africa. Germany alone hat over 1.000 energy cooperatives making 1.5 Million people energy prosumers (consumer and producer of power). This movement should give us lots of impuls. We want to stimulate new partnerships between Africa and Germany.

Since Paris and thanks to the global 2030-Agenda and the 17 SDGs, the work of climate and energy specialists and development policy has gotten even closer. Projects will only succeed, if social and economic circumstances are taken into account. This includes for example to combine renewable investments with relevant training for the local communities, to promote women’s involvement and rise the standard of living for all involved people.

The climate crisis has to be answered swift and ambitiously. It’s time to act. We have only one planet and we need to save it!