Africa in search of a just energy transition

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While Africa produces no more than 3.8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, experts believe the continent can make a significant contribution to achieving global emissions reduction targets.

At a recent roundtable at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, climate experts discussed how Africa could help reduce emissions and benefit from the momentum of the energy transition. global. The panel included experts from the African Development Bank, the African Energy Commission and the International Energy Agency.

According to Gareth Phillips, director of the Climate and Environment Finance Division at the African Development Bank, Africa has great potential for green energy. “The time has come for African countries to find ways to secure a cleaner future and to become a net exporter of clean energy to Europe,” he said.

Rashid Ali Abdallah, executive director of the African Energy Commission, said African countries should contribute proportionally to global efforts to reduce carbon emissions. “By counting 900 million people in Africa who do not have access to clean energy for cooking and 600 million people who do not have access to electricity, we realize that the continent is already in a situation of neutrality carbon, ”he said.

He said the concept of energy transition must be adapted to the African context to ensure equity for all countries. The transition to clean energy will mean less dependence on fossil fuels. Africa’s share in world oil consumption is estimated at around 9%.

Speakers said natural gas – the most widely used energy source in North Africa – could help lead the continent to shift to low-carbon development. “Natural gas represents an ecologically plausible solution for industrialization and clean cooking in Africa,” said Dr Arron Tchouka Singhe, head of the petroleum sector at the African Natural Resources Center of the African Development Bank.

Dr Singhe also noted that a just transition “must help Africa end poverty and meet the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of Agenda 2063 of the United Nations. African Union ”. We should be talking about “low carbon development pathways” rather than “net zero pathways” in Africa, he said.

Maximilian Jarrett, Africa program manager at the International Energy Agency, said Africa must address the issue of energy access and take into account the local context to channel investments to priority sectors. “We need to make sure that the African Union’s vision 2063 is possible and achievable,” he said.

Panelists said that it is possible for African countries to produce hydrogen from natural gas and choose innovative technologies for carbon capture, storage and use in an environmentally friendly way. environment. Battery minerals like lithium and cobalt should be tapped to support the transition.

Callixte Kambanda, Energy Policy Officer, African Development Bank, said low carbon development in Africa should translate into access for all to clean, affordable and reliable energy to power homes and productive use.


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