Namibia has been identified as one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa, the sixth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states.
Rising temperatures, increased evaporation and rainfall variability pose significant challenges for the drought-prone country, making climate change a formidable obstacle to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Addressing the issue in his national statement at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP28 underway in Dubai, the UAE, President Hage Geingob said Namibia has established the world’s first blended finance infrastructure fund which is ready to receive climate financing today to facilitate the necessary action it needs.
“Our National Adaptation Plan is enhanced by the announcement Namibia made three years ago during the 75th General Assembly, boldly signalling our intention to leverage innovative financial tools to mobilise sustainable climate financing to combat climate change,” he added.
“One year later in Glasgow, Scotland, on the margins of COP26, we announced the development of large scale green hydrogen projects that would provide the world with the clean molecules needed to decarbonize hard to abate sectors.”
The President said the estimated cost for implementing Namibia’s Nationally- Determined Contributions stands at US$15 billion by 2030, with 90% of it contingent on financial support from the Multilateral Funding Windows under the UNFCCC.
Emphasising the pivotal role renewable energy will play in realising the ambitions of Agenda 2063, Geingob said “Namibia aligns itself with the aspirations of Agenda 2063 ‘The Africa We Want’, recognising the urgent need for collective action to address climate change and ensure sustainable development across the continent. Our commitment to this vision is unwavering”.
He noted that Namibia, with its vast landscapes and untapped renewable potential, is poised to champion the course of a united and resilient Africa.
“By harnessing the power of renewable energy, Namibia aims to propel a new era of economic growth that is both environmentally-conscious and socially-inclusive. Our ambition is clear: to position Namibia as a hub for renewable energy innovation, driving green industrialisation that creates jobs, fosters economic development and ensures energy access for all”, Geingob emphasised.
Currently developing nine green hydrogen projects, Namibia pledges to deploy more than 10 gigawatts of renewables in the next two decades. This ambitious plan, over 30 times the existing generation capacity, is part of the country’s commitment to diversify exports, bolster gross fixed capital formation, and engender the energy transition.
“Namibia has generous deposits of lithium and light and heavy rare earths elements, critical raw minerals that are needed to engender the energy transition. Today, we are exploring ways to use these minerals to manufacture battery precursors within our borders, adding value to our natural endowments before exporting them, and we are aiming to do so by deploying additional renewable energy.
However, significant new infrastructure such as new ports, roads, railways, transmission lines and pipelines for water and hydrogen will have to be built. Together, we will need to move billions of dollars to achieve this feat”, the President continued.
Geingob said Namibia recognises that green industrialisation is not just an economic imperative, but a pathway to environmental sustainability and social equity.
“As we address the challenges posed by climate change, Namibia invites you to join hands in this most important collective effort.
Namibia stands ready to collaborate, share knowledge and forge partnerships that will accelerate the adoption of renewable energy technologies across the African continent”, he observed.
The nation’s ambitious plans underscore its commitment to building an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent that harnesses resources sustainably for the benefit of all.
Furthermore, Namibia signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japanese Bank for International Corporation around economic, environmental and social sustainability issues, with a focus on financing carbon-capturing projects.
Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi said the understanding between the two states is a demonstration of the existing relationship, and will enable Namibia to achieve aspirations for green industrialisation, while contributing to the greater good of decarbonising the planet.
“We would like to explore our options to work together in technologies that will help to decarbonise the world, but also in particular our two countries. This is an area that we are focused on as a country because Namibia has ambitions to decarbonise its energy sector, but also more importantly, to help the world reach net zero targets. This is an area we focused on as a country,” said the minister.
Green Hydrogen commissioner James Mnyupe noted that they have deepened the partnership with Japan, which will lead to the scaling-up of Namibia’s renewables pledge on the global stage.
“Today, we are embarking on an exciting journey to map out Green Maritime corridors with our friends from Denmark. 2024 promises to be an exciting year for the Namibian Green Hydrogen Programme,” he enthused.