African Union-European Union cooperation on climate and energy: discussing perspectives on hydrogen and just transitions

African Union-European Union cooperation on climate and energy: discussing perspectives on hydrogen and just transitions

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Bouacida, Ines / Elisabeth Hege / Gabriela Iacobuta / Niels Keijzer / Svea Koch
External Publications (2022)

Brussels: European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) (November 2022)

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Africa and the European Union (EU) have a shared interest in providing reliable and clean energy to their citizens, despite this being a rather heated moment of Africa-Europe relations in the area of climate and energy cooperation. Tensions concern the perceived protectionist slant of the European Green Deal, the EU’s “dash for gas” in Africa as part of its strategy to become more independent of Russian imports, and multilateral climate issues, such as at COP27 the balance between climate finance, loss and damage, and climate ambition. Hydrogen technologies have been prominent in discussions between the EU and African countries since the 2020 political push for hydrogen in Europe. In theory, cooperation on hydrogen may benefit both continents. Yet, techno-economic issues remain unsettled, and a framework for cooperation needs to be set up that includes both environmental and social criteria, economic benefits, as well as investments in industrialisation for producer regions. Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) have so far been targeted mainly at countries with rapidly growing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as South Africa and Indonesia. While this is a legitimate focus, it risks leaving out most African countries, in particular the least developed ones. JETPs in Africa could focus on access to clean energy and bring important innovations in terms of country ownership and donor coordination.

About the authors

Keijzer, Niels

Social Science

Keijzer

Koch, Svea

Social Science

Koch

Iacobuta, Gabriela

Climate and sustainable development policy

Iacobuta

Further experts

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Bergmann, Julian

Political Science 

Brandi, Clara

Economy and Political Science 

Dang, Vy

Political Science 

Dippel, Beatrice

Comparatist 

Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Erforth, Benedikt

Political Science 

Friesen, Ina

Political Science 

Furness, Mark

Political Science 

Goedeking, Nicholas

Comparative Political Economy 

Grimm, Sven

Political Science 

Hackenesch, Christine

Political Science 

Hägele, Ramona

Political Scientist 

Lehmann, Ina

Political Science 

Löpelt, Sarah

International relations and Sustainability policy 

Malerba, Daniele

Economy 

Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna

Economist 

Scholtes, Fabian

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Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist