Lessons Learnt – Two Reports Share Recommendations for Enhanced AU-EU Cooperation on Climate
Jun 22 2021
Africa and Europe can leverage their existing partnership to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic through a resilient low-carbon, high-growth pathway. At the same time, the two continents have the potential to work more closely on the shared priority of climate change. Two recently published papers highlight past experiences and suggest using the established partnership on energy as an avenue to enhance work to mitigate climate change without compromising other African development priorities.
Looking ahead to the 6 African Union (AU)-European Union (EU) summit, a recent discussion paper by the United Nations University-Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), “Bridges of Opportunity: Partnering for Africa–Europe Green Development”, has put forward a green transition pathway for Africa. The authors note that the next phase of the two continents’ partnership should utilise the European Green Deal to catalyse a new era in their collaboration and should support Africa’s efforts in digitalisation and technological innovation. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the fragility and vulnerability of economic and social systems, not only in Africa, but worldwide. The authors, therefore, conclude that Africa must, not only ‘build back better’, in-line with Agenda 2063, but ‘build forward better”, with a stronger focus on climate change mitigation.
Similarly, a briefing note published by The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) analyses AU-EU cooperation on climate and energy, and concludes that although the two continents have had climate and energy as a shared priority since the Joint Africa-EU strategy (JAES) was established in 2007, the building blocks of a joint AU-EU agenda on climate are slowly starting to appear.