US climate envoy visits Namibia

01 October 2021 | Environment

A US delegation focused on climate change and clean energy met today with Namibian government officials and civil society to encourage partnerships on clean energy development and combating the climate crisis.
The delegation is led by Deputy Special Envoy for Climate (Deputy SEC) Jonathan Pershing, who reports to John Kerry, the first-ever Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the first-ever Principal dedicated to climate change to sit on the US National Security Council.
Pershing and a delegation of five other officials, including Power Africa Coordinator Mark Carrato, arrived in Namibia on Thursday during a visit to the region.
In meetings with Namibian officials, the delegation had wide-ranging conversations on climate change and clean energy that explored how both countries can work together in anticipating and addressing climate impacts, building resilience, scaling up development of clean energy, and raising global climate ambition ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow this November.
“Bold action to tackle the climate crisis is more urgent than ever,” Pershing said. “Transitioning to a net-zero economy is also the greatest economic opportunity of our lifetimes – it will speed our recovery, produce good jobs, and create entire new industries. The United States understands that we need to mobilize more finance and support for adaptation. We have pledged to double US climate support for developing countries by 2024, and triple adaptation finance.”

Mega solar plant
The delegation also spoke with Namibian officials about the recently launched Mega Solar initiative and ways to expand a strong partnership with the Namibian government on clean energy and low-emissions development in Africa.
The Mega Solar partnership between the governments of Namibia and Botswana, Power Africa, the African Development Bank, the World Bank International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, and African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) is expected to generate up to five gigawatts of solar power.
Mega Solar could transform Namibia and Botswana into two of the globe’s most significant producers of solar power, enough to begin exporting renewable energy to the southern Africa region and making a significant contribution to global efforts on climate change.
Mark Carrato, Power Africa’s Coordinator, said, “the Mega Solar partnership demonstrates unprecedented leadership and collaboration and has the extraordinary development potential for life and globe changing clean energy emanating from southern Africa. We wanted to hear directly from our Namibian partners about moving this opportunity from concept phase to action phase.”
While in Namibia, the delegation also engaged directly with civil society representatives on raising ambition to tackle the climate crisis, including advancing clean energy development.