Stéphane Pouffary, Managing Director of ENERGIES 2050

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ENERGIES 2050, a French non-profit association, is an international network specialised in climate and development issues and committed to the implementation of the Great Transition. The association intervenes, among others, in the energy and urban transition or “the shift towards a more humane, plural and united society, bringing peace and respecting the common goods of humanity”. This explains the partnership with the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA) organization with which it shares the same vision. A vision which, according to its Managing Director, Stéphane Pouffary “has made it possible to highlight the realities of African cities and territories in the international climate-development agenda”. Explanations.

“Establishing fruitful methodological and operational bridges”


AFRIMAG : By the end of the 2020s, the majority of Africans will live in cities, and the majority of them will live in medium-sized cities. If this urbanization is a source of opportunities, it is also and above all a source of real challenges, particularly in terms of sustainable development. These intermediate cities, which have between 100,000 and
1 million inhabitants, should they not rethink their development strategy ?

Stéphane Pouffary : The answer is undoubtedly yes, but it also refers to several other realities: (i) the African continent will experiment the fastest rate of urban growth in the world; (ii) African cities which should accommodate more than one billion additional inhabitants in 2050 are already facing major social, economic and environmental challenges, particularly in terms of infrastructure and of availability of natural resources; (iii) the consequences of climate change exacerbate and amplify these challenges, profoundly modifying the living and even survival capacities of populations, and reinforce forced mobility and migration in already vulnerable territories. Intermediate cities will suffer the biggest transformational shock ever encountered in urban history. Their development strategies should and must be able to answer to these challenges to strengthen their capacity for adaptation and resilience while supporting their inclusive and low-carbon development trajectories.The challenge is therefore rather to give local governments the means to act through a formal framework allowing them to assess their strengths and weaknesses, to develop appropriate responses and strategies and to be able to be mobilized while having access to the means of implementation. This process should be based on a renewed and structured dialogue between States and local governments to be reinvented and strengthened around climate-development issues.

AFRIMAG : Many African cities are faced with problems of load shedding and temporary cuts in the electricity supply. Does the solution necessarily involve renewable energies? What analysis do you make of the rate of deployment of these energies in African cities ?

Stéphane Pouffary : The question of energy is central, and it is an essential preamble to any possible transformation of territories. SDG 7 is a priority for Africa, but territorial competences on this issue are unfortunately often still very limited. Beyond local prerogatives, such as lighting or the management of buildings and municipal services, the supply of a sustainable and affordable energy service is also a factor of development and inclusiveness. Renewable energies remain, by nature, technologies adapted to a decentralized approach. In planning and development documents, they are often at the heart of the axes selected. The paradox is that the cost of these technologies continues to fall and that they are still insufficiently deployed at the territorial level. The regulatory framework, whether national or local, must make it possible to transform this situation, which is not a fatality knowing that all experience shows that once deployed these technologies are relevant, economically, socially and, of course, at the environmental and climatic level. The national level remains an important lock because it determines the basis for the sharing of responsibilities: legal framework, taxation, capacity and access to the electricity network, subsidies and/or pricing, public-private or public-private-citizens partnerships, etc. in addition to local skills delegated and technical and financial capacities needed. International mechanisms must also contribute to this African territorial energy revolution, in particular by facilitating access to climate finance and carbon mechanisms.

Bénin, Centre Régional Songhaï

AFRIMAG : ENERGIES 2050 Association has been working for several years on issues related to climate change, energy transition and sustainable development. What are the actions that your NGO has carried out in favour of local authorities in Africa ?

Stéphane Pouffary : For more than 15 years, ENERGIES 2050, as a network and as a non-profit non-governmental organization, has been committed at the international level to the fight against climate change and the implementation of a shared and sustainable development. The association brings together members and partners of more than
70 nationalities who together implement projects in as many countries.

The association and its network support international institutions, national governments, and local governments as well as multi-stakeholder coalitions in the development and implementation of strategies, programs of actions and low-carbon development projects in areas of mitigation, adaptation and resiliency. ENERGIES 2050 is strongly involved in major international agendas: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC)… and in several international initiatives (ethiCarbon®, UCLG Africa Climate Task Force, ART’s PLANET, Francophonie Initiative for Sustainable Cities, Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction -Global ABC-…).

La ville de Mopti au Mali

La ville de Mopti au Mali

To stay in the dynamic of these discussion in the Africities context on climate-development issues, ENERGIES 2050 has, for example, supported several African countries in the development and then in the revision of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), their adaptation strategies or even the development of their national monitoring and evaluation systems or projects which have been submitted to the Green Climate Fund. Since its creation, ENERGIES 2050 has deployed same types of strategic actions with local governments in Africa, whether supporting the development and implementation of their local climate-development plans and strategies, the development of methodological guides, of pilot projects, of capacity building programs or to support the mobilization of international and climate finance. This complementarity between the different international-national and local levels has made it possible to establish fruitful methodological and operational bridges.

ENERGIES 2050 is a partner of UCLG Africa with which we share the same vision, and which has made it possible to highlight the realities of African cities and territories in the international climate-development agenda and particularly the agenda of adaptation and resiliency. We are particularly proud to be involved in UCLG Africa Climate Task Force in which we manage the Territorialization of the NDCs pillar and in which we also intervene in the mobilization of climate finance for African cities and territories. We have also participated together in many projects and events, particularly during COPs, African Climate Week or during previous editions of Africities. In Kisumu we are involved in the Climate Day and in the Culture Day as well as in the retrospective exhibition of ART’s PLANET.

Sommaire<< Intermediary Cities : The Challenge of Sustainable Energy CatchphraseJean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa >>


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