COP27: Africa’s agenda for an energy transition

Table mountain view with power lines in the foreground, Plattekloof, Capetown, South Africa.
© Asanda Kwakweni

When discussing African development and climate change at COP27, Africa needs to be supported by an agenda for its energy transition

The Atlantic Council panel on the African Economic Outlook of 2022 aims for an African agenda at COP27, discussing African development and climate change – and its energy transition which will change its economy and innovation standard.

Turning the Glasgow outcome into action, COP27, hosted in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh city, aims to commence its implementation of climate change adaption, mitigation and financial strategy.

Looking at the theme ‘Supporting Climate Resilience and a Just Energy Transition in Africa’, this year’s report looks at the effects of climate change on people who are most impacted in Africa, which can hopefully be changed with a better energy transition.

Urging leaders to work together to prepare for COP27 in Egypt

The panel members, who were involved in the African Development Bank’s African Economic Outlook 2022 – in an event hosted by the Atlantic Council – noted that Africa deserves the highest priority attention at COP27, as climate change has severely affected the continent already.

The African Economic Outlook report 2022 is a policy option for sustainable and inclusive growth towards generating climate resilience and a clean energy transition across Africa.

The event was an opportunity to appraise policy stakeholders in Washington DC on the key findings of the report as well as discuss priorities and actionable recommendations in the preparation and run-up to COP27.

“We need to make it Africa’s COP”

Andrew Steer, who is a former World Bank Special Envoy for Climate Change, urged African and world leaders to think bolder: “We need to make it Africa’s COP. So, what the African Development Bank and the Atlantic Council are trying to do to raise awareness is exceedingly important.

“It lays out beautifully this sobering time for Africa in particular, but actually for the whole world – a slowing world economy, the perfect storm of rising food prices and energy prices,  interest rates, and shocking increases in the impact of climate change and green vulnerability at a time that international resources are not what they need to be.”

Steer continued to note that the United States would make sure that its African partners have the resources to transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy that provides enough energy for growth economically.

Solar panels or Solar cells on rooftop or terrace of building in Cape Town, South Africa. Can saving energy. Green or Sun or renewable or Clean energy.
© Mrnovel

He added: “While the challenges are enormous, we see plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Sustained investments in adaptation and mitigation, through renewable energy and climate-smart land use practices, will help provide a pathway for African countries to develop innovative ways, building a more just and equitable future for people across the continent.”

Taking a more holistic approach to tackling climate change

Acting Chief Economist Urama added to the discourse, calling for policy coordination and a more holistic approach to tackling climate change. He said: “We have been losing 5% to 15% of GDP per capita growth in Africa because of climate change, and that is in addition to other issues that climate change is driving on the continent.

“Amid these difficulties lie opportunities for innovation. Let’s think big, act big, and save the planet.

“As we prepare for COP27, honouring the 2009 $100 billion yearly climate finance commitment that high-income countries promised to develop countries will help to restore confidence that we are serious about climate change, even though it is not enough.”


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