We’ve combined our voice with others that are demanding change.

Ashden at COP27 – speaking up for action


Posted By:

Robin Clegg


A man in a blue collared shirt smiles while standing in front of a home constructed with metal panels.

As the global spotlight falls on Egypt and the COP27 climate talks taking place over the next two weeks in the coastal resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, Ashden and our partners are speaking up for the millions of marginalised African voices at risk of being left behind in the transition towards a low carbon future.   

This issue of climate finance to deliver energy access and a sustainable future for these people is a critical area that we need to see progress on in Egypt. Countries in the Global South that did little to cause the climate emergency are amongst those already suffering most from its impacts leaving them facing an uncertain future.  

Over a decade ago, developed countries pledged USD $100bn every year to help them cut emissions and adapt to our changing climate but little has actually materialised so far.  

It’s vital that Africa’s COP focuses on this priority issue for communities across the continent where more than 600 million people are still without access to electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, bringing access to modern energy for all Africans calls for investment of US$ 25 billion per year, which is around 1% of global energy investment today. 

A call for commitment

We’ve combined our voice with others also demanding change. Working with over 40 organisations as part of the Power Up campaign, we are collectively pressing for commitment from wealthy countries for greater climate adaptation funding to finance affordable, green, energy access. These include frontline organisations powering up communities most affected by energy poverty to build resilience and upscale adaptation efforts. You can stay updated on progress by following the campaign on Twitter and Linkedin.  

Aerial view of refugee camp with solar panels on roofs. Text reads "Time to back affordable green power for everyone. time to power up."

Our 2022 Ashden Award winners, announced at recent ceremonies in Nairobi and London, are already leading the adaptation and energy access charge towards a zero-carbon future. They provide scalable examples of how affordable, green technology is transforming African lives. These include those creating new, green jobs within communities, bringing WiFi to refugee camps, solar-powered cold rooms to remote farms and support to woman entrepreneurs selling green energy products.

Woman holds her baby boy on her hip, smiles at him and holds his hand.
Maureine Mtebwamagi,30, and her youngest son Mwangaza. Maureine has learnt how to knit via YouTube tutorials since having access to internet from Kakuma Ventures. She has managed to get some clients from her neighboring community inside Kakuma. Kakuma 2, Kakuma Refugee Camp, Turkana.


A man in an orange collared shirt stands in front of a stacked crates and a large unit that reads "Soko Fresh"
Dennis Karema, 38, Founder and CEO, SokoFresh Kenya. Dennis started SokoFresh to build a business that can solve post-harvest losses in horticultural value chains. With a business model that enables access to cold storage and market linkage for rural farmers, farmers are able to receive good value for their produce. Imenti South, Meru.

And some are going that extra mile by travelling to Egypt to show world leaders that the climate solutions Africa so desperately needs are already out there – but that these innovative projects need the funding to upscale and replicate.  

Ashden’s CEO Harriet Lamb, Director of Programmes, Giles Bristow and Programme Officer Nashwa Naushad are all taking the message for global climate policies and funding to conference delegates and highlighting these pioneering solutions at a series of events over the next two weeks. Please follow them on Twitter to find out about what Ashden is doing and for the latest developments from the conference.  

Immediate action to provide adaptation funding to improve energy access will help the many vulnerable communities affected address climate impacts and secure jobs and sustainable growth. Concerted political effort – now – can unlock the door to a low carbon world for millions of people, improving lives and livelihoods before it’s too late. 


Navy blue background with white and yellow text that reads: COP27: Ashden: Climate solutions in action. 12 Nov 3-4pm EET: Panel Discussion. Power Up Coalition: a global coalition fighting for climate justice and adaptation. SDG pavilion. 14 Nov, 12:30-1pm EET. Fireside Chat. Innovation in displacement settings: inspiring stories from refugees. Climate innovation zone. 14 Nov. 7:15 - 8:30 pm EET. Panel Discussion. From humanitarian relief to climate resilience: realising a critical shift in humanitarian energy access. SDG Paviolion - Co-organised with GPA and GRN. 15 Nov 9:15-10:15am EET. Roundtable. Integrated energy systems - the catalyst to halving emissions by 2030. Climate innovation zone. 16 Nov. 1:45-2:30pm EET. Panel Discussion. Power Up Coaltion: post COP27 - what's next for energy access climate solutions. Climate Innovation Zone.

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