Malawi Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola is advocating for increased funding for clean cooking which he says is key to the realization of 2030 agenda for universal access to clean and modern energy.
Minister Matola made the remarks on Tuesday September 26, 2023 during a virtual address to delegates at the 6th Global Energy Interconnection Conference, which is currently taking place in Beijing, China.
The minister said such efforts will ensure sufficient, safe, and affordable power supply for the people of Malawi, and at the same time enabling the country to actively participate in regional electricity markets.
He, however, said there is a global shortage of or insufficient financing going towards clean cooking and appealed to all development partners to think of increasing funding in the section.
“However, I took the opportunity to inform the delegates that there is a global shortage of or insufficient financing going towards clean cooking, despite the fact that access to clean and modern cooking plays a significant part in ensuring universal access to clean and modern energy by 2030.
“While it is critical that we continue to expand connections, energy poverty will remain a challenge if the issue of clean and modern cooking is not addressed. Our focus on energy poverty has been on grid connections and to a lesser extent on mini or micro minigrids,” said Matola.
Minister Matola further said unlocking finances for clean cooking may as well help to reduce the 3 billion worldwide population of people who do not have access to clean cooking solutions and rely on burning traditional biomass or polluting fuels, which he said has severe environmental consequences.
“Therefore, it is high time that access to modern and clean cooking was made a priority globally and at country levels. We need to raise our ambitions on this. We need to unlock finance for this,” he added.
In his remarks, Jeffrey D. Sachs, a Columbia University professor and president of the University Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, concurred with Matola saying money is crucial in meeting climate change targets.
“Let me agree with Minister Matola on the importance of funding. To meet our goals, we will need to invest heavily in climate change mitigation. Furthermore, let us collaborate with our neighbours by connecting together. We can not operate in isolation. Our neighbours cannot be enemies because no single country can do it alone,” explained Sachs.
The 2023 Global Energy Interconnection Conference has been organised by Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organisation (GEIDCO).
This Conference is held on the eighth anniversary of the Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) initiative and it aims to build up consensus and pool synergy for accelerating world energy transition and sustainable development.