Africa’s green future: The geopolitics of the energy transition

When: 6 July 14:45-15:15

Format: Spotlight interview

Africa is one of the regions of the world most affected by climate change, yet historically has contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions. The continent finds itself in a balancing act of accelerating development and economic growth – especially in terms of energy provision, adapting to weather-induced disasters and responding to global commitments to keep greenhouse gas emissions low. At the same time, Africa is home to many of the raw materials critical to the global decarbonization race, boasts huge renewable energy potential as well as significant carbon sinks. The continent thus plays a pivotal role in the geopolitical scramble for clean energy. As such, any energy transition in Africa comes with opportunities and risks. Risks include exploitation of Africa’s green energy assets, compounding existing structural inequalities and Africa becoming the grounds of a new green industrial arms race between the US and China. Opportunities include processes which promote energy security alongside equitable human development and livelihoods. This session focused on the key issues at play, highlighted the key risks and outlined pragmatic approaches to reducing these risks and pursuing the opportunities.


Moderated by Professor Nixon Sifuna, Judge of the High Court in Kenya.

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