- Deputy PS says guidelines for biofuels developed
- Calls on private sector to invest in research
- Says ‘ Vision 36 strives for energy-secure Botswana’
The government’s commitment to introduction of renewable energy technologies is absolute, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals and Energy, Mothebe Nchena, has said.
Speaking on a Culture Day organised by Botswana Oil (BOL) that focused on Health Safety Security Environment and Quality (HSSEQ) in Gaborone recently, Nchena said his ministry has developed and launched biofuel guidelines based on principles of sustainability as a tool to guide interested local and foreign investors, including project developers of biofuel production in Botswana.
He noted that the Vision 2036 Pillar on Energy Security urges for an energy-secure Botswana with diversified, safe and clean sources as a net energy exporter. “Another objective is for a Botswana with a low carbon footprint, with a society that is aware of and resilient to the consequences of climate change,” Nchena said. “We call upon industry to join government in investing in research and development towards cleaner and safer fuels, resulting in a cleaner environment.”
Beyond a strategic and sustainability objective, Nchena said HSSEQ has become a social licence to operate. “This refers to the ongoing acceptance of an organisation or industry’s standard business practices and operating procedures by its employees, stakeholders and the general public,” he asserted. Nchena noted that many considerations affect the decisions that companies make about what Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) information they report, as well as how and where they should report the information and for which audiences.
“The regulatory and societal context in which the company operates, its stakeholders, ethical choices and values and other factors influence the choices about what to report,” he asserted. He reminded his audience that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity.
“Rooted in the agreement known as the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) for 2017-2021, the collective aspirations of the Botswana Government is to move toward greater collaboration, focus, and coherence in programming,” he said. “I must note that the BOL HSSEQ pillars are a reflection of the SDGs, and as such urge all stakeholders to collaborate and participate in the implementation of the sustainable development goals.”