The Global Renewables Congress (GRC) is a cross-country, cross-party platform facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges between and with legislators on issues related to the rapid and large-scale deployment of renewable energy solutions. Current and former legislators from national and regional parliaments can become members of the GRC.
According to the International Energy Agency, global greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector grew by 1.4% in 2017 to a historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes, due to higher energy demand and the slowing of energy efficiency improvements . Average concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is now above 410 parts per million (ppm), compared to 350ppm in 1990.
As a result, as research by NASA confirms, Earth’s long-term warming trend is still underway, with the five warmest years on record having occurred since 2010 .
In the 2015 Paris Agreement, the global community committed to limiting warming to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” . The IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C confirms that exceeding these temperature limits would have disastrous consequences for life on Earth, from more and increasingly severe extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts, to irreversible changes to ecosystems and thus the way we live, produce and consume.
 UNFCCC, 2015, Art. 2.1a
The Paris Agreement has left us with an unprecedented opportunity to avert the worst consequences of climate change, while the Agenda 2030 – which includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – has provided us with a plan for sustainable development that leaves no one behind.
These political commitments require a global transformation of the energy sector in the coming years. However, existing policy measures and legal frameworks that aim at operationalising these commitments often fall short of their own ambition. While the transition towards an energy system powered by clean and sustainable resources has gained considerable momentum in recent years, a range of obstacles remain.
Renewable energy, therefore, is at the top of the agenda of many policy-makers worldwide. Technologies for renewable power generation, heating and cooling, and transport are available and, even more important, most often are the cheapest option. They also advance national energy security, economic growth, job creation, emissions reduction and curbing local pollution.
Global Renewable Power Capacity, 2007-2017
Adapted from REN21 RENEWABLES 2018 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT
The Global Renewables Congress (GRC) is a cross-country, cross-party platform facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges between and with legislators. The GRC focuses on solutions for a rapid and large-scale deployment of renewable energy through enabling legislative frameworks. Current and former legislators from national and regional parliaments can become members of the GRC.
The platform recognises the varying technical, economic and social conditions in different parts of the world that influence which renewable energy policies and solutions are most appropriate and effective. The platform offers expertise, advice and facilitates peer-to-peer dialoguesin identifiying and deploying the most suitable renewable energy policies and solutions for effective acceleration of the energy transition. The GRC places at heart of RE action or policies an emphasis on the benefits to communities and local value creation.
The Global Renewables Congress is a project of the World Future Council Foundation. More information about the World Future Council can be found at www.worldfuturecouncil.org
The goal of the Global Renewables Congress is the institutionalization of an international, non-partisan dialogue for legislators to exchange knowledge and experiences on renewable energy solutions, including the technological and economic potentials, and socio-economic benefits of renewable energy.
The GRC offers:
Members of Parliament are crucial actors for the energy transition. As legislators, they can catalyse and facilitate the implementation of the transition, develop policies to overcome remaining barriers and ensure international commitments are implemented. In light of the complexity of the task, a subject-specific and technical exchange of experiences between parliamentarians is needed.
The Global Renewables Congress (GRC) is chaired by Bärbel Höhn, former MP of the German Bundestag and acting Commissioner for Energy Reform in Africa for the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Catherine Adelmann is CEO and founder of Fosera, a German company aiming at electrifying Africa, Asia and Latin America with the use of clean, sustainable and affordable solar energy system. Before, she worked on Solar Standalone Systems at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore. She holds a bachelor in Industrial Engineering and a master’s degree in Brand and Sales Management.
Sara Jane Ahmed currently serves as a Finance Advisor to the Vulnerable Group of Twenty (V20) Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). She provides advisory support to governments and relevant partners on the energy transition, climate finance and financial protection strategies. She steered efforts in the energy transition in the Philippines Bangladesh as an energy finance analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). She was previously an investment advisor for private equity groups specializing in originating and structuring energy opportunities. She holds an MS in Finance from the Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester.
Doto Mashaka Biteko is a Tanzanian politician. In 2015 he was elected Member of Parliament. He is an educator by trade and a formerly held the position of Academic Education Officer at the District Executive Director Office in the province of Nyang'hwale. Since January 2019, Doto Bieteko is the appointed Tanzanian Minister of Minerals,
Lars Grotewold is the Director of the Centre for Climate Change of Stiftung Mercator, a private and independent philanthropic foundation. He was responsible for the creation of numerous renowned institutions like the Agora Energiewende, and is a member of several advisory bodies to the Federal, State and regional governments.. He was trained as a molecular biologist and started his career as a researcher in developmental and stem cell genetics.
Eco Matser is program manager Climate and Energy at Hivos, a global organisation that advocates for social change and creative solutions to persistent global problems. He is responsible for the Strategic Partnership Green & Inclusive Energy and also started new programmes such as the Energy Change Lab. He has led global campaigns and international advocacy programmes for over 30 years and now focuses on development through decentralized renewable energy and a just transition in the era of climate change.
Cornelia Soetbeer is head of the department Environmental Communication and Protection of Cultural Heritage at the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). She has been working for foundations for more than 17 years. Previously, she has been a program manager at the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation in Essen and head of the team "Challenges - for Academia and Society" at the Volkswagen Foundation in Hanover. She received her doctorate in Romance languages and literature at the Christian Albrecht University at Kiel in 2002.
Dr Sven Teske is a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney. Among his areas of expertise are decentralized energy and renewable energy system analysis, modelling, electrification concepts for least developed countries, and 100% renewable energy pathways for CVF countries. Dr Teske published the Springer book Achieving Paris Climate Agreement – global and regional 1.5C pathways that demonstrates economic decarbonisation of the world energy sector is possible. He was a lead author for the IPCC Special Report Renewables (Chapter 10: Scenario analysis), published in 2011. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Flensburg in Germany.
Ibrahim Togola is Chairman and Co-Founder of ACCESS SA, a company aiming at rural electrification with hybrid solar and diesel systems in Mali, and the Chairman and Founder of Mali Folkecenter, which aims to increase awareness of renewable energy, climate change and sustainable development. He is an engineer and economist working on solar PV both with grid-connected and decentralized mini-grid as well as off-grid solar home systems. He has implemented many projects for the European Union, World Bank, UNDP, KFW and national governments to overcome the barriers facing access to sustainable and modern energy services in Africa.
Riccardo Toxiri is Programme Officer at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) where he supports the Agency's strategic engagement with parliamentarians and youth under the umbrella of the multi-stakeholder outreach. Before, he worked as Policy Advisor on international institutional relations and initiatives at GSE, the Italian State Agency that promotes renewables and energy efficiency, to pursue and achieve climate and sustainable development goals. He graduated in MSc Economics and Business at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan and holds a Post-graduate Master in Renewable Energy from the Polytechnic University of Milan.
Claude Turmes is Minister for Energy and Minister for Spatial Planning of Luxembourg. He served as Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructures and was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2018. During this period he was Vice President of the parliamentary group of the Green Party in the European Parliament and member of the Committee on environment, health and consumer protection as well as a member of the Committee on industry, energy, telecom and research. From 2004 to 2018, he was the chairman of EUFORES. Prior to his election to the European Parliament, he was an activist and volunteered to lead various environmental associations.
Paola Vega is a political scientist with studies in Environmental Management and Local Development and extensive experience in the design of environmental and climate public policies. She was deputy of the Republic of Costa Rica and for three years president of the Permanent Chamber of Environment from where she promoted important legislative reforms on access to clean water, renewable energy, banning single-use plastics and green financial bonds. She has led actions for a permanent ban on oil exploration and exploitation in her country, and is a founder of global initiatives such as the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative and the Global Alliance for a Green New Deal.
The World Future Council Foundation provides the Secretariat of the Global Renewables Congress.
Lena is responsible for the coordination of the GRC's policy work and advises policy makers how to facilitate the renwable energy transformation. Prior to that, she used to help philanthropists achieve more impact, as a sustainability and ESG-focused content creator and with various public and private sector leaders to move from dialogue to climate action. She has a Bachelor´s Degree in International Studies from DePauw University in Indiana and a Master´s Degree in International Security Policy from Georgetown University´s Graduate School of Foreign Service.
Stefan provides strategic advise for the GRC. Dipl. Ing. Stefan Schurig is an architect by training, but devoted most of his career to energy and climate change issues.He was the spokesperson for Greenpeace, Germany and headed its Climate and Energy department for nine years.
Sälma is responsible for membership and Advisory Board management, event organisation and supports with policy research. She has previously been part of the Youth and Parliamentary Engagement Team at IRENA. Sälma holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Vienna and a Master's degree in Public Management from the University of Applied Science in Vienna.