US President’s Deputy Special Climate Envoy visits Namibia to advance shared climate change and clean energy goals

Deputy Special Envoy for Climate (D-SEC) Jonathan Pershing, US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jess Long and Power Africa Coordinator Mark Carrato held talks on the climate crisis, strengthening resilience and the transition to a net zero economy with Namibia.

Windhoek – A delegation focused on climate change and clean energy met today with representatives of the Namibian government and civil society to encourage the United States-Namibia partnership on clean energy development and the fight against climate crisis.

The delegation is led by Deputy Special Envoy for Climate (Deputy SEC) Jonathan Pershing, who reports to John Kerry, the President’s first-ever Special Envoy for Climate and the very first Climate Change Principal to serve on the National Council. United States Security Policy. . 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 the two countries can work together to anticipate and address climate impacts, build resilience, scale up the development of clean energy and raising the future global climate ambition. of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.

“Bold action to tackle the climate crisis is more urgent than ever,” said Under-Secretary-General Jonathan Pershing. “The transition to a net zero economy is also the greatest economic opportunity of our lives – it will accelerate our recovery, produce good jobs and create whole new industries. The United States understands that we need to mobilize more funding and support for adaptation. We pledged to double U.S. climate support to developing countries by 2024 and to triple adaptation funding. “

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 emission development in Africa. The Mega Solar partnership between the governments of Namibia and Botswana, Power Africa, the African Development Bank, the World Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation and the 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 world’s largest solar power producers, enough to start exporting renewables to the southern African region and make a significant contribution to global efforts on climate change .

Mark Carrato, Coordinator of Power Africa, said: “The Mega Solar partnership demonstrates unprecedented leadership and collaboration and has extraordinary development potential for life and the clean energy that changes the world from southern Africa. We wanted to hear directly from our Namibian partners on moving this opportunity from the concept phase to the action phase. “

While in Namibia, the delegation also engaged directly with representatives of civil society on increasing ambition to tackle the climate crisis, including promoting clean energy development.

Jonathan Pershing is one of two Deputy Special Envoy for Climate positions. Previously, he was Special Envoy for Climate Change at the US Department of State and was the US principal negotiator of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change under the Obama administration. Previously, he served as Deputy Special Envoy and Senior International Climate Adviser to the White House and Secretary of State. Pershing was also a senior climate advisor to the US Secretary of Energy. Other past experiences also include the Hewlett Foundation, the World Resources Institute and the International Energy Agency.

The climate and clean energy delegation also included Mark Carrato – Coordinator of Power Africa, which is the world’s largest development partnership, with 170 public and private partners who have committed $ 56 billion to double access to electricity. in sub-Saharan Africa. The other members of the delegation were technical experts from the US government working on climate and clean energy policy and programs.

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