Gaborone, Botswana – On November 4, 2021, the British High Commission and the U.S. Embassy in Botswana commemorated Energy Day at the COP26 climate conference taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. The event was an opportunity to highlight Botswana’s vast potential as a renewable energy producer and exporter.
British High Commissioner Sian Price and U.S. Ambassador Craig Cloud, joined by the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE), the Honorable Lefoko Moagi, convened leaders of Botswana-based businesses, institutions, and civil society to celebrate the important work being done in Botswana to make concrete, meaningful progress toward global climate goals. Together, High Commissioner Price and U.S. Ambassador Cloud highlighted the pivotal moment of the COP26 climate conference to kick off a decisive and critical decade of action to confront the climate crisis. They emphasized the scale of the opportunity for Botswana – economically and environmentally – to harness clean energy resources.
High Commissioner Price emphasized the critical role of COP26 in advancing climate action around the world. She noted the importance for all countries to step up in this moment of need, stating: “Today, the World’s Leaders are gathered together at COP26 in Glasgow for Energy Day, the theme of which is ‘Accelerating the global transition to clean energy.’ To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, the global transition to clean power needs to progress four to six times faster than at present. What better time for us to come together as friends of Botswana than to celebrate the clean energy transition already underway here and encourage even greater levels of ambition.”
Reflecting upon the U.S.-Botswana bilateral energy partnership, Ambassador Cloud echoed world leaders by describing how the “climate crisis demands swift, ambitious and decisive action by all nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Botswana.” He reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to support economic growth through climate progress for Botswana. The Ambassador championed Botswana’s potential for solar power, particularly through USAID’s Power Africa program. Lauding Power Africa programs like the game changing Mega Solar initiative and the innovative Rooftop Solar program that is already delivering energy security in Botswana, he highlighted the transformative economic opportunities for Botswana: “Botswana could create thousands of jobs by harnessing solar energy to shift its economy from a net importer [of electricity] to a significant producer and exporter of renewable solar power.”
Through partnerships to harness the opportunities of Botswana’s energy potential while meeting the challenges of the climate crisis, U.S.-UK-Botswana energy and climate cooperation has the potential to generate thousands of jobs in Botswana while averting millions of tons of CO2-equivalent emissions annually.
Botswana has a unique opportunity as a major solar power producer:
- Botswana is among the top 10 countries with the highest potential to produce clean electricity from solar energy.
- Solar power is affordable, widely available, and reliable, while cost-competitive with fossil power sources, such as coal.
- By deploying solar power, Botswana can be a model contributor to the goals of the Paris Agreement and a world leader in CO2 emission reductions.
For additional information, please contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office at 373-2419 or PASGaborone@state.gov.