Green Grid Initiative
We are assembling a group of up to 30 governments, mostly from developing countries with ambitious renewable energy goals into a global leadership group to speed up the worldwide transition to renewable energy. The focus of this Green Grid Initiative will be to build the new smart grid infrastructure that we need for the renewable revolution. This includes everything from continental-scale grids, connecting major industrial areas with areas of abundant renewable resources, to village level micro-grids, enabling local communities to harness their local energy resources. So far, 19 countries have confirmed their interest in participating. They are: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Peru, Samoa, Senegal, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. In most cases these commitments have been made by Energy or Environment Ministers meeting with the Climate Parliament. As a Parliamentary network, combining access to all levels with the ability to act independently, the Climate Parliament is uniquely positioned to serve as a catalyst for bringing together such a group. The initiative was launched at a preparatory meeting in Mexico City in May 2018.
International Solar Alliance
We are one of only three organisations (together with the World Bank and UNDP) who have signed a Joint Declaration for collaboration with the new International Solar Alliance, led by India. If funding can be found, we will organise a Parliamentary Solar Summit in conjunction with ISA Meetings. The ISA is also keen to collaborate closely with us on the Green Grid Alliance. Early drafting on the founding document of the ISA was done at a Climate Parliament meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland.
China’s global interconnection initiative
The Climate Parliament is one of 20 organisations (mostly large corporations) on the board of the Beijing-based Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organisation (GEIDCO.) This is the new organisation set up by the State Grid Corporation of China to promote long-distance electricity connections for renewable energy. The Climate Parliament will provide political support for practical proposals made by GEIDCO for new interconnections.
An additional $1 billion a year in India
The recently-retired head of India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has told us that the increase in the Ministry’s budget over the last three years from US$200 million to $1.2 billion annually would not have been possible without the support of the Climate Parliament India group. The strong support for increased funding which we generated in Parliament gave MNRE the political backing it needed in discussions with the Finance Ministry, he says.
Solar water pumps
Two Tanzanian villages where women had to walk for hours each day to fetch water are now receiving clean water supplied by solar pumps, freeing the women for more productive tasks. We are now working to spread solar pumps across the country. And we are engaging Indian solar pump manufacturers to help spread them across Africa. This initiative by Tanzanian MPs resulted from a briefing on solar water pumps at the same Climate Parliament meeting in Lucerne. Meanwhile, an initiative by Climate Parliament members in the state legislature of Odisha, India, has led to a move by the state government to deploy mobile solar water pumps to help deal with the drought situation there.
Chilean renewable energy targets
15 members of the Chilean Congress have written to the Ministers of Energy and Environment urging them to increase Chile’s renewable energy targets to 30% by 2025 and 100% by 2050. After two and a half years, we are now well on the way to building a formidable Parliamentary network in Latin America, with strong representation from the Chairs of key committees. One early result: most of the population of Latin America is now represented in the Green Grid Alliance.
Strengthening China’s renewable energy law
In 2016, we teamed up with the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association to launch an effort to amend China’s renewable energy law, which urgently needs to be strengthened and updated. In March 2017, as a result, 96 Members of the National People’s Congress signed a Bill, drafted by us, urging that the law should be amended. This number of signatures ensures that the Bill will be considered later in 2017 by the NPC Committee on Environment Protection and Resources Conservation. NPC Committee staff and officials from the Renewable Energy Department of the National Energy Administration are keen to see this initiative lead to an amendment process. If so, this may prove to be one of our most high-impact initiatives.
Collaboration between China and India on green grids
We have agreed to team up with the Centre for Renewable Energy Development in the National Development and Reform Commission (the main policy-making arm of China’s government) to try to bring together key figures from China and India to share experience on building green grids. This would be an unprecedented collaboration between the two Asian giants on renewable energy.
Village renewables in India
Two Indian villages, one in Odisha and one in Karnataka, are plugging into the sun with support from Local Area Development funds available to their local MPs, who are members of the Climate Parliament. We are working in Delhi to spread such initiatives across the country. The Local Area Development funds for all MPs and state legislators total billions of dollars, and are thus a potentially important funding source.
New government agency in Bangladesh
A Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Agency is now operational in Bangladesh, and the Climate Parliament continues to feed into the Agency’s planning. The Minister of Power has publicly confirmed that this new national agency would not have been established as quickly as it was without the support of the Climate Parliament Bangladesh group.
New renewable energy law in Tunisia
A strong new law on renewable energy is now being implemented in Tunisia. The Government is aiming to mobilise $7 billion in private investment on the basis of the law. The new law was significantly strengthened in the National Assembly by Tunisian members of the Climate Parliament. They received detailed advice from former Swiss MP Rudy Rechsteiner, the author of Switzerland’s renewable energy law, who was kindly provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) as a consultant. The MPs successfully overcame fierce opposition from the national electricity monopoly.
Solar tax exemptions
The Climate Parliament has played a key role in removing value-added tax from solar equipment in Tanzania and Morocco. The MPs who led on this in both countries presented their stories on April 12-13, 2017 to a Climate Parliament roundtable for sub-Saharan Africa which was held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. MPs from Benin, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda are encouraged to do the same in their own countries.