Africa’s transition from a provider to a key actor of the global energy transition

Africa’s transition from a provider to a key actor of the global energy transition

Innovation for the energy transition is given a prominent role in the green recovery action plan for Africa and the European Union’s Green Deal, with both continents seeking the transformation of their economies to tackle both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic impacts while improving wellbeing of the population. There are many points of overlap between the two continents’ official agendas. But there are also many open questions and potential tensions especially around: access to energy for sustainable and inclusive industrial development; maintaining competitive value chain; addressing trade barriers; promoting knowledge transfer while protecting intellectual property rights; using gas, and promoting hydrogen. If well-managed, innovation for the energy transition can act as catalyst for a shared prosperity for the two continents. This blogpost was written by the members of the Ukama Platform’s steering committee ahead of the European Union-Africa Union Summit.

Laying the foundation for a solid AU–EU partnership 

European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined forces to analyse divergences and seek consensus between the AU and the EU on key issues in the partnership. Drawing on roundtable discussions with experts from Africa and Europe, the group produced a series of policy briefs with proposals to strengthen the partnership between Africa and the EU on green transformation and climate change; economic development and trade; and participatory governance, peace and security. The briefs draw on contributions from more than 70 leading African and European independent experts, knowledge centres and think tanks that contributed reflections and suggested concrete policy recommendations. 

The sixth EU-AU Summit: Partners in therapy?

The sixth EU-AU Summit: Partners in therapy?

Summits are an inevitable part of the international relations game. But each and every time they end up in disappointments because expectations were too high or longstanding frustrations and irritants on both sides were not openly addressed. To break with this pattern, the partnership should move from an asymmetrical top-down relationship to a more horizontal partnership where both parties negotiate deals on the basis of trust and mutual respect.

Energy renovation of buildings in the French recovery plan: an opportunity to be seized and pitfalls to be avoided

Energy renovation of buildings in the French recovery plan: an opportunity to be seized and pitfalls to be avoided

Energy renovations are a priority for post-crisis recovery plans, both in France, in the European Union and in the world.1 This urgency can be explained both by its rapidly mobilizable economic potential, its key role for climate policies, and by the importance of the fight against energy poverty in a context of increasing vulnerabilities. While proposals for France’s recovery plans abound,2 the challenge now is to identify the most effective levers for combining economic recovery with scaling-up of highly performant deep retrofits, which is a prerequisite for moving onto a convergent path with France’s national low-carbon strategy.

Germany's post-crisis recovery plan: some stimulus for the climate

Germany’s post-crisis recovery plan: some stimulus for the climate

The German post-crisis recovery plan was unveiled by the coalition government on the night of June 3-4. With a total volume of €130 billion, and therefore much higher than initially expected, it provides for nearly €35 billion for climate-friendly investments, particularly in the transport sector and in the development of a hydrogen industry, partly based on the proposals made by Agora Energiewende.1 Although the initial assessment is rather positive, efforts are still required, particularly in the buildings sector, for the acceptability of renewable energies or the reduction of electricity taxation. The recovery plan as presented sends a strong signal regarding the direction the German economic and climate policy will take, as the country will take over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union as of July.