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Can Africa leverage Europe’s Green New Deal?

By Nicholas Norbrook

Posted on October 29, 2021 07:16

The European Union has an ambitious trillion dollar plan to slash emissions by over 50% from 1990 levels by 2030. This can present opportunities to African countries, but also threats.

From shutting African agricultural products out of European markets, locking the door to finance for projects the EU believes are not green enough, to managing the uptick in demand for critical raw materials for the ‘electric’ revolution like cobalt and graphite; it is time for African policy makers to pay attention.

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Given how interlocked Africa’s economies are with Europe, it is essential African countries watch how quickly energy and agricultural markets are going to shift, argue Zainab Usman at the Carnegie Endowment and Olumide Abimbola of the Africa Policy Research Institute.

The European Green New Deal, “should be seen as a foreign policy tool for the EU, because it is going to affect every country in the world that the EU trades with”, says Abimbola.

In a sense, the phenomenon is already upon us. TotalEnergies, the French oil supermajor, is struggling to raise finance for the East African Oil pipeline, which risks locking Uganda out of the dividends of the oil discoveries in the Albert Basin.

For a continent who contributes so little to the global ecological disaster, how can the progressive steps to ending an ever-warming climate be made in a fair fashion?

A new paper by the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace – What Does the European Green Deal Mean for Africa? – seeks to break down the impact.

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