In a resounding call for sustainable change, Uganda’s Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja emerged as a fervent advocate for clean cooking solutions at the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28).
With an unwavering commitment to combatting climate change and fostering healthier communities, Prime Minister Nabbanja while delivering her speech at the COP28 in Dubai, she passionately championed the imperative need to transition to clean cooking technologies (Global e-Cooking Coalition.)
Her advocacy not only underscored the environmental benefits but also highlighted the profound impact on public health, emphasizing the importance of accessible and eco-friendly cooking solutions for households across Uganda and beyond. Amidst the global stage of COP28, Prime Minister Nabbanja’s impassioned stance illuminated the crucial role clean cooking plays in forging a sustainable and equitable future for all.
According to Nabbanja, the Global e-Cooking Coalition comprised of governments, international agencies, and private philanthropists, convened at COP28 to address critical issues related to clean energy and environmental sustainability.
During the coalition’s session, pledges totaling at least US$30 million were realised, with the UK government pledging $15 million and Germany pledging 10 million Euros toward advancing initiatives to electrify cooking and combat the adverse environmental and health impacts associated with traditional cooking methods.
“I am delighted to discuss a topic of great importance and urgency—electrifying cooking as a just journey towards net zero,” said Prime Minister Nabbanja, setting the stage for a comprehensive overview of Uganda’s initiatives and challenges.
With a backdrop of lively discussions at COP28, Nabbanja highlighted Uganda’s significant challenge, where over 89 per cent of the population still relies on solid biomass for cooking, leading to high deforestation rates. Citing World Health Organization statistics, she revealed the devastating impact on public health, with over 22,000 annual deaths, mainly affecting women and children.
Emphasising the urgency of addressing these challenges, she outlined Uganda’s Vision 2040, specifying the need for clean, affordable, and reliable energy. “My Government shall require 52,481MW by 2040,” she said, underscoring the commitment to increasing access to the national grid to 80 per cent by 2040.
Furthermore, she detailed Uganda’s efforts to reduce reliance on biomass energy, highlighting the Third National Development Plan’s target to cut its share from 89 per cent to almost 50 per cent by 2025 and 100 per cent by 2040. She unveiled the updated Energy Policy for Uganda (2023), designed to create a comprehensive framework for the clean cooking sector, complete with fiscal incentives to encourage private sector involvement.
Addressing the transformative National e-cooking strategy, Nabbanja outlined ambitious targets. “We aim to accelerate the adoption of e-cooking solutions from 1 per cent to 38 per cent by 2030,” she announced. This strategy, she stressed, aligns with Uganda’s commitment to triple achievements in per capita electricity consumption, expand clean cooking access, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Acknowledging challenges such as high costs and supply chain issues for efficient electric cooking appliances, Prime Minister Nabbanja assured that the government had developed a strategy to address these hurdles.
Nabbanja commended the Global e-Cooking Coalition for its ambitious program. “Uganda remains committed to ensuring universal clean cooking access for the betterment of the livelihoods of her citizens,” she concluded, encapsulating the nation’s dedication to a greener and sustainable future.
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