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Energy Partnership

AEEP Energy Talks Review the Energy Outcomes of COP27 and What They Mean for the Africa – Europe Partnership

Thriving Political Dialogue

On 6 December 2022, the Africa – EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) hosted the eighth AEEP Energy Talks. The webinar reviewed the outcomes of COP27 and explored the opportunity they bring to recalibrate the partnership between Africa and Europe.  

The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27), held on 7 – 18 November, offered a stage for climate and energy actors to address and showcase global climate action and reaffirm their commitment to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This COP was especially impactful for Africa as it was held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and it highlighted the continents climate and energy ambitions, and the challenges Africa faces in reaching them.

Notable announcements included new funding arrangements to assist developing countries in dealing with loss and damage. COP27 also featured investments being allocated to the Africa – Europe Investment Package as part of the Global Gateway Strategy. The package will boost large-scale sustainable investments to enable a fair, just, and equitable energy transition. Additionally, the COP27 presidency launched the  Africa Just and Affordable Energy Transition Initiative (AJAETI). Its primary objectives are to facilitate energy access for at least 300 million people in Africa, and increase the share of renewable electricity generation by 25% on the continent.

The AEEP Energy Talks started with opening remarks from Mr Joseph Mwangi, Acting Head of Energy Division, speakingon behalf of Dr Kamugisha Kazaura,Director Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission. Mr Mwangi highlighted the importance of platforms such as the AEEP Energy Talks as powerful tools to deepen the energy and climate partnership between Africa and Europe. He added that COP28 adds another such platform, but also said that before next year’s negotiations, Africa should refocus its international collaborations and partnerships.

Mr Stefano Signore, Head of Unit, DG INTPA, European Commission, in his opening remarks, spoke about the importance of the recent investments, made during COP27, towards the Africa – Europe Green Energy Initiative. He said this this will expand energy access, increase renewable energy in partner countries, and work towards energy efficiency. Mr Signore mentioned the launch of the Initiative on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience in Africa as an additional part of the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package. He furthermore underlined the importance of the ongoing progress of the Continental Power System Master Plan (CMP) as the blueprint for the African Single Electricity Market (AfSEM) to address energy challenges.

Accounting for the key energy outcomes at COP27, Ms Rabia Ferroukhi, Director, Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre, IRENA, held positive views on the increased attention that was given to adaptation and loss-and-damage in the international climate agenda. From the finance and energy perspective Ferroukhi, however, expressed her disappointment at the lack of ambition during the conference.

Panellists then went on to assess and discuss the implications of the COP27 outcomes for the Africa-Europe Partnership. Panellists included:

– Ms Faten Aggad, Senior Advisor Climate Diplomacy and Geopolitics, African Climate Foundation

-Mr Norbert Gorißen, Deputy Special Envoy for international Climate Action, Germany

– Ms Rana Adib, Executive Director, REN21

– Mr Raphael Danglade, Senior Programme Manager, Africa-Europe Foundation

– Mr Ousmann Sarr, Energy Expert, Senegal

The panellists agreed that by working on joint solutions, both continents will prosper. It is still important, however, to consider the needs and challenges of individual African countries, and tailor the solutions accordingly.

The speakers also underlined that renewable energy could serve as a backbone for multiple other industries, and that the current carbon markets offer the opportunity to scale up financing for renewables across Africa. They nevertheless agreed that there is still more room for additional funding in the international system but underlined that this should not become an excuse to delay the energy transition.

Read more about the energy outcomes of COP27 here:

The AEEP is supported by its Steering Group: