The French President Francois Hollande plans to double France's investment in renewables in Africa

France pledges billions for renewables boost in Africa

France has announced it will spend billions of euros on renewable energy and other environmental projects in Africa.

As part of climate change talks that are currently taking place in Paris French president Francois Hollande has said that his government would double investments in renewable energy generation.

The money will primarily be used for constructing wind farms and solar power, with some hydroelectric projects planned, too. €2bn (£1.4bn) will be spent across the continent between 2016 and 2020.

In addition, Hollande said Paris would triple its contribution to Africa's battle with desertification and other climate change challenges to €1bn a year by 2020.

Most of the investment will be directed at France’s former West African colonies, where Paris has significant security interests and has deployed thousands of troops to fight Islamist militants.

Longer-term plans backed by others at the COP21 conference include proposals to roll out as much as 300 gigawatts of renewable energy across Africa by 2030.

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid's senior climate advisor, said: "To put it in context, Africa's current total energy output is 150GW.

"This would deliver double that amount and all of it clean and renewable. It's a major contribution towards meeting Africa's energy needs. It will both ensure energy access for the poor and cut climate pollution. These are meaningful and practical benefits for everyone."

Developing nations have called on rich countries to pledge monetary increases beyond the current goal of $100bn a year by 2020 to help them obtain clean energy sources and adapt to the effects of climate change, such as more floods, droughts and intense storms.

African leaders want the biggest polluting nations to commit to financing as part of contributions to an internationally administered Green Climate Fund.

Government negotiators in Paris are now left with the task of turning the rhetoric into reality and agreeing a draft text of a global deal to slow climate change. However, the current draft text is more than 50 pages long and is riddled with disagreements.

The main sticking point is how to come up with the billions of dollars needed to finance the cleaner energy sources that are badly needed if emerging countries are to develop without relying heavily on fossil fuels.

The talks are planned to continue until 11 December 2015.

China's delegate Su Wei "noted with concern" what he called a lack of commitment by the rich to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and help developing nations with new finance to tackle global warming.

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