Communities in Africa have generally contributed the least to climate change, been undermined the most by international trade and finance policies, and have a right to better international support for distributed renewable energy. In order to reach universal energy access before the 2030 target set by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, international public finance institutions have an urgent responsibility to provide more funding and better financial transparency and tracking for distributed renewable energy. Additionally, they have a responsibility to foster local participation in and ownership of distributed renewable energy initiatives. This briefing provides recommendations for how international public finance institutions can fulfill this responsibility, while revealing that from 2016 to 2018, fossil fuels received more than 3.5 times the support than all kinds of renewable energy did during this period.
A new briefing released by Oil Change International details how the growth of distributed renewable energy in Africa has so far failed to include locally-owned companies and initiatives. The sector has been growing rapidly since 2013 — especially for companies focused on “pay-as-you-go” solar home systems — but finance has overwhelmingly only been accessible for multinational companies that are based in Europe or North America or led by entrepreneurs from these regions, meaning profits are largely not remaining in Africa.