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.
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.
Amir Roughani is founder and CEO of the VISPIRON GmbH, a company aiming at supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals within the core areas Future Mobility, Future Energy and Digital Transformation. He is a German-Iranian industrial engineer and a serial entrepreneur. He is member of the advisory board of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for the issues of medium-sized companies, is involved in climate protection and supports various social projects.
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.
The World Future Council Foundation provides the Secretariat of the Global Renewables Congress.
Anna coordinates the GRC’s Secretariat within the World Future Council. Anna has initiated the Global 100% RE Platform and is a founding member of three energy cooperative in the North of Germany. She develops and carries out advocacy campaigns for a global transition towards 100% renewable energies.
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.
Anna coordinates the GRC's policy work and advises policy makers how to facilitate the renwable energy transformation. She has previously coordinated a global campaign for 100%RE at the Climate Action Network. She studied Asian Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
Naemie supports the GRC on a day to day basis with membership management, event organisation and policy research. Naemie holds a Master’s degree in Political, Economic and Legal Philosophy from the University of Graz, Austria. Her Master’s thesis focused on the distribution of responsibility in the context of climate change migration.