Good morning and good afternoon, wherever you are connecting from.

It is an honour to join you today.

 

Two years ago, The European Union was the first to commit to climate neutrality by 2050.

We are now moving fast ahead with the changes necessary to meet this target. Two months ago, we proposed the world’s first blueprint for the transition to climate neutrality in transport, industry, energy and buildings.

The EU will also continue to drive climate action globally and invest in technology and innovation which can serve the planet.

And we expect others to join in with more ambition ahead of COP26 in Glasgow.

 

Two years ago we committed to make this a fair transition for all:

  • for the coal miners
  • for the families who struggle to pay their energy bills and cannot afford to renovate their houses
  • for those living in rural areas who depend on petrol powered cars to go to work

The EU’s Just Transition Fund and Social Climate Fund will help those in need.

 

But our commitment to sustainable development, social fairness and a just transition doesn’t end at our borders.

Because we cannot have a prosperous world without fairness.

We cannot have a fair society without universal energy access.

And we cannot have healthy economies without clean energy.

 

That is why today the EU commits to step up our global engagement to make energy poverty history by the end of this decade.

Over the next seven years we will spend an additional € 4 billion on climate finance.

We will give top priority to support countries where energy access is the biggest challenge, with a special focus on our sister continent Africa.

Next year we will launch an EU-Africa Green Energy Partnership. This new partnership will channel public and private investments and support reforms to help create viable and sustainable energy markets and bring green jobs.

To prepare the ground we are launching a new programme with IRENA to develop roadmaps with the countries in the region for industrial scale clean energy access.

But let’s be honest - as we push for more clean energy, we need to push just as hard to get the dirtiest energy out of the system.

Coal phase-out in the EU is accelerating and we urge other industrialised countries to accelerate their domestic coal phase out and stop overseas financing of coal plants.

To prepare this front we are partnering with the IEA to develop roadmaps with the countries most dependent on fossil fuels for clean energy transition.

 

Universal energy access by 2030 is within our reach, but we need to roll up our sleeves because the COVID pandemic has delayed many important investments.

Let us remember that we have a unique window of opportunity as we build back after the economic crisis.

We have more funding at a time when renewable energy technologies can provide the cheapest energy humanity has ever seen.

Let’s act responsibly, let’s grasp this opportunity, and let’s make universal energy access a reality for all.

Thank you!