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The Green Grids Initiative has been launched, now the real work begins !

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

On November 2nd, 2021, a new high-level coalition for clean energy was announced at the Glasgow climate summit, involving governments, international organisations, legislators, business leaders, researchers, and citizen groups.

This coalition includes a group of governments called the Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid. It was announced by summit host PM Boris Johnson and Indian PM Narendra Modi. In the presence of other heads of government including US President Biden, the two Prime Ministers presented a One Sun Declaration, endorsed by more than 80 countries, setting out the group’s aims.

To coincide, the Climate Parliament organised a virtual event that brought together civil society, legislators, CEO’s, experts, researchers and activists, to accelerate the construction of the new infrastructure needed for a world powered by clean energy. That infrastructure includes massively expanded renewable energy generation capacity in energy-rich locations, connected by continental grids. It also includes smart grids connecting millions of solar panels and charging points for electric vehicles, and micro-grids for rural communities and to ensure resilience during extreme weather.

The Climate Parliament has been laying the groundwork for the GGI since the Paris Climate Summit in 2015. "Thanks to the UK COP26 Presidency taking up the project, and PM Modi's personal interest, we’ve begun to assemble a powerful coalition which could get those grids and power stations built faster than ever" said Nicholas Dunlop, Secretary-General of the Climate Parliament, at the online event, introducing the members of the broader Green Grids Initiative partnership. Nick Dunlop thanked all the participants for taking the time to discuss what is the most important question facing humanity: how can we accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy to prevent a climate catastrophe?

Nick Dunlop also emphasized the fact that the ideas behind the GGI are very simple. First, we must shift to renewable energy very rapidly. If we want an 80% chance of keeping the temperature below 1.5 degrees, we will have used up the remaining carbon budget at our current pace in just 4 years. The need for this transition is now beyond urgent. The second idea is that we can do this very easily if we have the right grids. All we would need is an area of desert the size of 400 km x 400 km covered in solar stations, to power all the world’s electricity. The third and most important idea is that to do this we need new political vehicles to accelerate this process. We are hoping the GGI will be such a political vehicle.

“Today, the world gets to YES on a breakthrough project with quite possibly the greatest potential to solve the climate crisis and increase the quality of life for every human being on earth. Now let’s make it happen!” William Ury, Senior Fellow, Harvard Negotiation Project; Co-founder, Climate Parliament; Author of ‘Getting to Yes’
“This is a win! A win for the stability and safety of communities, a win for the transition from fossil fuels, and a win for the future of my generation.” Alexandria Villaseñor, co-Founder of US Youth Climate Strike and Founder of Earth Uprising
“My remarks for all of those speaking today is, please get your priorities straight. So much of this is about financing energy as opposed to human beings. We can have wonderful amounts of green initiatives and energy, but what will we do when dead bodies start piling up in seven years? What are your plans for that?” Ayisha Siddiqa, co-Founder of Polluters Out
"We need to trigger universal access to electrification through green grids, and we need to consolidate the financing of the Green Climate Fund, for better adaptation and mitigation of the ecological transition. Especially if we think in terms of development." Juliette Paule Zingan MP, Senegal
“We know what needs to be done, the resources that need to be put together. What we need is action to make sure we save this planet. If a revolution is what it will take, let’s be revolutionary, and let’s act!Senator Abshiro Halake, Kenya
“Parliamentarians have a special and particular role. They are capable of coming together, to think together, to work together, and lift the obstacles that impede progress. I am convinced that parliamentarians can shape the landscape in which innovators, policymakers, companies, concerned citizens and community organisers meet to work and make change.” Silvia Hernández, former Senator and Minister, Mexico

List of speakers in the first section of the launch:

• Angélique Kidjo, Singer and Activist

• William Ury, Senior Fellow, Harvard Negotiation Project; Co-founder, Climate Parliament; Author of ‘Getting to Yes’

• Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, Hon. MP, India

• Senator Abshiro Halake, Kenya

• Barry Gardiner MP, UK

The World Leader’s Summit was then streamed live, and we heard speeches from:

• Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK

• Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

• Joe Biden, President of the USA

Following this stream, we continued to hear from our speakers:

• Alexandria Villaseñor, co-Founder of US Youth Climate Strike and Founder of Earth Uprising

• Paddy Padmanathan, CEO, ACWA Power

• Dr Kandeh Yumkella MP, Sierra Leone and Founder, SEforAll

• Mr Aditya Thackeray, Hon. Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister of Tourism, Govt of Maharashtra, India

• Silvia Hernández, former Senator, Mexico

• Tom Downey, former Congressman, US

• Ms Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

• Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group and Executive Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Limited

• Dr Zanetor Rawlings MP, Ghana • Manoj Upadhyay, Founder & Chairman, ACME Group

• Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Greens, Australia

• Yacouba Sangaré MP, Côte d'Ivoire

• Congressman Charlie Crist, Representative for Florida's 13th congressional district and Former Governor of Florida

• Vineet Mittal, Chairman, Avaada Power

• Juliette Paule Zingan MP, Senegal

• Mr Sumant Sinha, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, ReNew Power

• Mr Conrad Sangma, Hon. Chief Minister of Meghalaya, India

• Rebecca Kamara MP, Sierra Leone

• Mr Tanvir Shakil Joy, Hon. MP, Bangladesh

• Ashvin Dayal, Senior Vice President, Power & Climate Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation

• Will Blyth, Senior Research Fellow (Energy), FCDO

• Moeketsi Enos Thobela, Chief Renewable Energy Investment Specialist, AfDB

• Monica Gullberg, Senior Renewable Energy Specialist, GCF

• Yacob Mulugetta, Professor of Energy & Development Policy, UCL

• Ayisha Siddiqa, co-Founder, Polluters Out

• Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Finland, Chair of Climate Parliament

Following the speakers, the floor was opened to Climate Parliament members to provide them with an opportunity to express their support for Green Grids Initiative.

Next steps :

- The Climate Parliament will organise a follow up virtual parliamentary roundtable with all members to discuss further actions for the Green Grids Initiative

- We encourage participants to share the press release from the event which you can find on our website:

- MPs are encouraged to push their governments to join the initiative

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