How can the EU and Africa cooperate on climate change mitigation?

COP23 (6-18 November 2017, Bonn, Germany) reassured that, despite the US retreat, the rest of the world maintains their pledges to the Paris Agreement and continues efforts to develop a rulebook to operationalise the Agreement. In parallel, a group of young fellows from Europe and Africa have joined forces on an iterative process to support the forthcoming Africa Union-EU Summit (29-30 November 2017, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire) [1] . As part of the latter process, a Youth Fellows meeting was held in Brussels, on 15 November [2]. I had the pleasure to be invited to this meeting as an expert. The key messages of my presentation, which are, among others, based on my work on the CARISMA project, are summarised below.

There are three possible areas of climate policy in which Europe and Africa can cooperate: 

First, when fighting climate change, it is important to understand institutional, economic or social contexts and design policies that are context-sensitive. A set of five case studies, in EU Member States carried out under CARISMA (D6.3) and one in Thailand, revealed how comparable policies and measures to support renewable energy and smart grids have performed differently across the countries.

Second, deployment of both renewable energy and smart grids means a possible shift to decentralised governance with an increasing role for new players. More specifically, some of the case studies highlighted potential roles of cities or local authorities, and new market participants such as SMEs, entrepreneurs and technology providers. For sustainable and resilient cities, the EU has promoted the Covenant of Mayors initiative in the EU and its neighbouring countries.  For such an initiative to be effective, its designs need to be adapted to the local needs of African cities, especially those which tend to be inhabited by larger and much younger populations. How new market players in a decentralised energy governance system have benefited from support measures for renewable energy and smart grids in Europe could inspire and encourage young African people to work on start-ups or new projects.

Third and last, policy evaluations and technology assessments are important steps for policymakers to assess progress achieved and set milestones for climate actions. CARISMA analysed in total 236 ex-post climate change mitigation policy evaluations in the EU and six Member States, published in 2010-2016 (D5.2). It showed a significantly low level of coverage of policy evaluations in agriculture, forestry and waste. In an assessment of key mitigation technologies CARISMA also concluded that available information about promising climate change mitigation technologies is limited in precisely these sectors. Given their importance for many of Africa’s economies, closer collaboration between European and African young professionals on knowledge building about climate change with a strong focus on agriculture, land-use and waste could bring important socio-economic and climate-related benefits to Africa.

 

  [1] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_AGENDA-17-4738_en.htm
  [2] http://www.aueuypii.org/en/about-ypii 


Noriko Fujiwara
Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
email: noriko.fujiwara@ceps.eu

 

Uploaded on 28/11/2017

* The viewpoints expressed are those of the authors.

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