ETTG paper DIE/ECDPM/ACET - Green Transitions in Africa–Europe relations: What role for the European Green Deal?

Green Transitions in Africa–Europe relations: What role for the European Green Deal?

Europe–Africa relations are facing a double challenge – the COVID-19 pandemic puts social and economic systems under strain at a point when the consequences of the climate crisis are being increasingly felt on both continents. Within Africa and Europe, debates have started about recovery measures to address the pandemic’s short and medium-term socio-economic consequences. A key question in these debates is how to “build back better” and use the crisis to promote green transitions and move towards more sustainable development pathways.

A new multilateralism for the post-COVID world: What role for the EU-Africa partnership?

Multilateralism has been in trouble for a while, particularly​ ​at the global level. Yet, the European Union (EU) and its​ ​member states have remained among its staunchest​ ​supporters.​I​n their June 2019 Council Conclusions, EU​ ​leaders drew the outlines of a common European vision to​ ​uphold, extend and reform the multilateral system. Against​ ​an increasingly complex and contested geopolitical​ ​backdrop, these goals were further developed in the​ ​recent EU Communication on Multilateralism, published in​ ​February 2021.

Curb your enthusiasm: Corona may slow down multilateral process, but must not derail global climate policy

This is not to downplay the urgency of addressing the immediate impacts of the Corona crisis, but to turn towards a sustainable way forward that avoids the dead ends of apparent quick-fix solutions. Short-term economic impacts, as a result of Corona containment policies, are unavoidable. Yet, the very reason why climate action was not pushed forward hitherto was due to concerns on short-term economic impacts, notwithstanding the prospect of substantial gains in the long-run. Hence, the current disruptions should help rather than hinder policy adjustments and investments that pursue emissions reductions and a responsible use of natural resources while at the same time creating decent jobs and stimulating economic growth.