in: South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Policy Briefing (209), Online
The EU Commission has made carbon neutrality its new flagship project. Cooperation on climate change is also becoming increasingly central in the EU’s partnership with African countries. In this policy brief, we argue that an AU-EU partnership on green energy transitions offers manifold opportunities for both regions: for Africa, new job opportunities, increased energy access and revenues through energy trade are possible, while for the EU, green energy demand could be partly covered through cooperation with Africa. Yet, challenges have to be addressed: phasing-out fossil fuels is critical for fossil-fuel dependent countries and the EU is not in the position to demand that resource-rich developing countries keep their fossil fuel reserves unexploited. Instead, it should provide tailor-made incentives through infrastructure finance, technology transfer and education and training. Importantly, diplomatic sensitivity is required and stakeholders should engage timeously to formulate an African-European vision for a joint transition to sustainability.