How Africa can show the world the way to a low-carbon future: 10 facts, 10 actions


Date published on source: 
19 August 2015
Author: 
Caroline Kende-Robb
Source organisation: 
Brookings Institution
Keyword tags: 

Africa’s energy challenges are immense. Power shortages diminish the region’s growth by 2-4 percent a year, holding back efforts to create jobs and reduce poverty. In addition, despite a decade of growth, the power generation gap between Africa and other regions is widening.

Can we stave off catastrophic climate change while building the energy systems needed to power growth, create jobs, and lift millions of people out of poverty? That’s a crucial question for Africa. No region has done less to contribute to the climate crisis, but no region will pay a higher price for failure to tackle it. At the same time, over half of Africa’s population lacks access to modern energy.

Africa’s leaders have no choice but to bridge the energy gap—urgently. They do have a choice, though, about how to bridge the gap. Africa can leapfrog over the damaging energy practices that have brought the world to the brink of catastrophe—and show the world the way to a low-carbon future. Africa stands to gain from developing low-carbon energy, and the world stands to gain from Africa avoiding the high-carbon pathway followed by today’s rich world and emerging markets.

The December 2015 talks in Paris on a new global climate treaty are approaching fast. A coherent set of common African demands is essential if the world is to raise the level of ambition needed for the Paris talks to end with a viable global climate agreement.

The Africa Progress Panel, chaired by Kofi Annan, spells out in its latest report the bold action required from African leaders, their international partners, and the private sector. The report, Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities, outlines facts and actions to change Africa’s energy future.

Ten key facts: Africa’s energy and climate challenges

Ten key actions for achieving Africa’s low-carbon future

  • The author, Caroline Kende Robb, is the executive director of the Africa Progress Panel, a foundation chaired by Kofi Annan.  Read the complete article here.

 

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