Town Hall on Renewable Energy: Unleashing Renewable Power and sparking a Movement Towards a Sustainable Future

On 15 March, the Renewable Energy Coalition, which represents a diverse group of civil society organisations, community-based groups and grassroot movements hosted the first-ever Town Hall on the Energy Justice in Benin. With over 100 passionate attendees including activists, community leaders, energy experts, and media, we embarked on a journey to champion renewable energy and pave the way for a brighter, cleaner future, fueled by renewables.

The session commenced with a screening of the documentary "The Renewable Charge," highlighting the critical role of community engagement in renewable energy initiatives. A panel discussion ensued, focusing on the current state of energy access in Africa and the barriers hindering renewable energy adoption. It was emphasized that Africa possesses abundant wind and solar resources, which, when harnessed, can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide scalable energy solutions tailored to local communities.

Engage, Connect, and Empower

Afterwards, the participants split in the four breakaway groups to connect, engage and share knowledge/experiences:

🎨 Artivism: Harnessing the power of art to build connections, engage people, tell our stories, and demand change. We used renewable energy artivism to inspire young minds to become advocates for renewable energy and to share the vision of a just future powered by clean and fair renewable energy. 

📰 Media: Understanding how to effectively report on renewable energy, amplify our message, and drive the shift towards sustainable practices.

💼 Renewable Energy and Green Jobs: Exploring the endless opportunities in the renewable energy sector, sharing insights and experiences to cultivate a workforce build on sustainability.

🌍 COP: Discussions on climate action, dissecting the outcomes of COP28, and charting the path forward towards a renewable-powered world at COP29.

Considering the fact that affordable and clean renewable energy is the key to a better future, participants emphasized the urgent need for policymakers to prioritize investments in renewable energy as a cornerstone for developing sustainable solutions. Two upcoming initiatives were discussed: an art exhibition focusing on renewable energy and online/offline sessions utilizing themes from the Our Own Power Toolkit, a resource by with the goal of building community involvement in the creation of local renewable energy projects

Stay tuned for opportunities to engage with these groups and advocate for 100% renewable energy solutions for our communities. Together, we can drive positive change towards a cleaner and more equitable energy future.