27 June 2023 10:0012:30

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Africa-EU climate and energy diplomacy in times of geopolitical crisis

On 27 June 2023, ECDPM will host an informal briefing (hybrid), titled  'Africa-EU climate and energy diplomacy in times of geopolitical crisis'. The meeting will be followed by a lunch reception from 12:30 until 13:30.  For those attending in person, the meeting will take place at the ECDPM office, Avenue des Arts 44, Brussels.

The EU’s green transition has remained broadly on track with key climate legislation passed to decarbonise its economy. External shocks such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine have changed the way the EU looks at energy security. In addition, the generally difficult geopolitical environment, given the less stable relations between China and the US, as well as competition with them, respectively, has led the EU to adopt a more assertive approach to protect its green transition interests.

The EU’s climate and energy agenda and its recent crisis measures risk exacerbating tensions with countries in the Global South that see the EU’s green transition as an exclusive project and a danger to their economic development. 

While both the EU and Africa see climate change as an existential threat, climate diplomacy between the two continents has had a two-step-forward, one-step-backwards dynamic. African countries accuse Europe of acting unilaterally and mobilising insufficient quality adaptation finance. 

This informal briefing provides an opportunity to discuss the state of play on the climate debate between the EU and Africa, focusing on green energy and industrialisation and climate adaptation. Concretely, how can the EU adapt its climate diplomacy with Africa and use its green partnerships to support green economic transformation and systemic resilience in Africa in the changed and more adverse geopolitical context? 



Welcome and introduction by ECDPM

Panel 1: 'In search of shared benefits: Europe and Africa in a global green transition'

Vincent Obisie-Orlu, Natural Resources Governance and ESG Researcher, Good Governance Africa
Mats Engström, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR
Chema Triki, Industrialisation expert 


Coffee break

Panel 2: 'EU climate adaptation diplomacy: Searching for common ground with Africa'

Diana Acconcia, Director International Affairs and Climate Finance, DG CLIMA, EC
H.E Bitange Ndema, Kenya Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union
Rachel Simon, Climate & Development Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe         



Lunch reception

Download the two papers here

The first paper 'In search of shared benefits: Europe and Africa in a global green transition', argues that in a context where both the EU and Africa are trying to reposition themselves, and catch up in their industrialisation, there is an opportunity for more mutually beneficial partnerships built on strategic investment around raw materials, green industrialisation and energy infrastructure.

The second paper 'EU climate adaptation diplomacy: Searching for common ground with Africa', argues that in order to overcome persistent tensions and enable climate-resilient economic development in Africa, a major shift is needed. This implies, among others, that EU climate diplomacy ensures that African concerns are better integrated into EU climate policies and steps up adaptation finance.

ECDPM staff involved