Dear friends of the Alliance,

The adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21 (agreement; highlights) shows that the global society can unite and stand together to combat climate change and marks a turning point in the switch to a renewables-powered global economy. Indeed, if humanity wants to have a chance to reach the objectives of the Agreement, it must go over and beyond the ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (INDC) and massively boost renewable energy and energy efficiency both in the developed and developing world.

In particular, in developing countries, where there is huge potential for catch-up growth and a strong projected population increase, it is crucial that renewable energy and clean rural electrification are in pole position to power their sustainable development and provide universal access to sustainable energy. This has been acknowledged in the Agreement, and builds on substantial existing efforts in the light of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7.

Therefore, governments and public institutions around the world should now redouble efforts to create the conditions at all levels which allow the private sector to thrive and unleash its creativity and competitiveness. ARE is convinced that such action, combined with today’s strong business case for renewables and global goodwill, can catalyse change and create the dynamics necessary to achieve the global goals on climate change and sustainable development.

Concretely, as emphasised in the ARE Call for Action: Increase clean energy access in developing countries and the industry statement on ElectriFI, ARE invites governments to:
     In order to green the electricity supply and help realise the transition to a prosperous and sustainable society, ARE calls on all decision-makers to invest in distributed renewable energy technologies, which are readily available to meet small to medium scale electricity demands, thus constituting a genuine clean solution which also contributes to climate resilience.
     In addition, ARE expects a continued strong political and financial commitment to research and development (R&D), so that private actors are incentivised to continually improve renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and services, as well as training and capacity building measures – which is the focus of this newsletter - to bring people in the developing world into the position to take initiative and responsibility by themselves.
     Finally, as the fight against climate change and the transition to sustainable societies necessitates a grand alliance between political, business and civil society actors, ARE expects that broad consultation and coordination processes with all relevant actors - such as during COP21 - become the norm, to ensure stakeholder ‘ownership’ and that all voices can be heard, as well as to facilitate a swift and efficient response to the world’s most pressing challenge.
In order to help them realise clean access to energy and services, developing nations and their partners can count on the support of ARE and its membership, which since its foundation in 2006, has worked tirelessly to advance clean energy access in developing countries, speaking with all institutional and other actors to help improve the market conditions, and assisting businesses to realise clean energy projects. It is for this reason that ARE is recognised as the only business association partner of SE4All and is an ardent supporter of the SDGs, in particular objective 7 to ‘ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’.

The Alliance is a membership-fee based organisation and welcomes more organisations to support us and join us in our efforts to achieve SE4All objectives (ARE Presentation; Membership Form). Since the last edition of the ARE newsletter in September, we are happy to welcome again two new members.

Finally, please allow me to draw particular attention to the guest editorial by the European Commission who with the Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI) have launched a welcome and flexible tool aiming to support investments by providing access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity and energy services in developing countries.

ARE would also like to make use of this opportunity to thank you – our esteemed partners, members and friends – for your continued interest in our work and more importantly for your support in our activities, as well as invite you to further engage and cooperate with ARE so that together we can make energy poverty history! We look forward to a buzzing and exciting 2016, and wish you joyful and re-energising holidays.