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

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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.


Read the full brief here.

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Authors: Ines Bouacida, Elisabeth Hege, Gabriela Iacobuta, Niels Keijzer and Svea Koch.

The authors gratefully acknowledge feedback on and inputs by Daniele Malerba (IDOS) and feedback by Daniele Malerba & Geert Laporte (ETTG). 

The views are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ETTG.

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