On 20 November, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) concluded in Sharm-El-Sheik, Egypt. After complex negotiations, a breakthrough agreement was reached to establish and operationalize a loss and damage fund intended, particularly, for nations most vulnerable to climate change.
Many countries also announced new initiatives to address the climate crisis and accelerate global climate action, such as the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA), a partnership announced by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry intended to catalyze private capital to accelerate the clean energy transition in developing countries. Team Europe (the EU, its Member States and financial institutions) announced stepping up support for climate change adaptation and resilience in Africa under a Global Gateway program, which brings together existing and new climate change adaptation programs of over €1 billion. This includes €60 million for loss and damage from the overall EU contribution.
Overall, more than 45,000 participants from governments, private sector, civil societies, youth groups, and other organizations came ready to COP27 to share ideas, solutions, and build partnerships and coalitions to jointly tackle the global challenge of climate change.
Electricity is critical to our collective efforts and key to decarbonizing large sectors of the economy. Over the course of the two weeks of the event, AES leadership participated in numerous panels and engaged with many stakeholders to discuss ways to co-create innovative energy solutions based on current and future needs, resources, and existing regulatory frameworks to help customers, countries, and whole economies achieve their sustainability goals.
AES had the opportunity to reaffirm the company’s commitment to a net zero future and share concrete examples of how we are accelerating the future of energy together with our customers, governments, suppliers, and communities in markets where we operate. These markets include Brazil, with our growth of more than 2.5 GW in renewable generation and the achievement of carbon neutrality since 2020, and Chile, with the announcement at COP27 of the reactivation of energy exchanges between Chile and Argentina through the AES InterAndes interconnection line. With this interconnection line, it will be possible to export surplus solar energy from Chile to Argentina during the day, and up to 200 MW from Argentina to Chile during the night when solar energy decreases.
We also discussed the importance of creating opportunities for women to be a part of the transformation of the energy sector. AES programs in El Salvador, Colombia, and Brazil, for instance, have so far provided training to more than 800 women to work in the energy sector.
AES also partnered during COP27 with Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and is a signatory of the SEforALL 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact. SEforALL is an international organization that works in partnership with the United Nations and leaders in government, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and philanthropists. Its mission is to promote sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy, thereby to drive faster action towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), and to ensure a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind.
Today, AES is one of the top renewable energy providers in the world, which supplies electricity to 25 million people. Together with our many stakeholders, we are improving lives by delivering innovative solutions to allow companies and industries to rapidly decarbonize. These include battery-based energy storage delivered through Fluence, solar technologies that require less land through 5B, and digital solutions to increase energy efficiency, just to name a few.
Reliability, sustainability and affordability are essential to achieve our common objectives, and we will continue to work all together to accelerate just and responsible energy transitions.