04 Feb 2022, 12:29
Julian Wettengel

More cooperation on renewables and green hydrogen benefits Europe and Africa – EIB president

Tagesspiegel Background

Europe and Africa should intensify their cooperation on renewables like wind and solar as well as green hydrogen production, which would have benefits for both sides, writes European Investment Bank (EIB) president Werner Hoyer in a guest piece in Tagesspiegel Background. “Europe would gain access to enormous wind and solar energy resources, Africa in return would gain access to state-of-the-art energy generation technologies that could largely spare the continent the CO2 emissions and air pollution of the fossil age.” Cooperation at eye level with Africa would no longer remain an empty phrase. The EU and with it the EIB “stand ready to provide massive support” for the necessary investments in research and development and industrial production facilities for green hydrogen, writes Hoyer. He adds that the climate transition is a herculean task, which Europe can only accomplish if it works closely with Africa from the beginning. “Any climate target that Europe sets for itself will literally go up in smoke if the countries of Africa and other developing countries continue to meet their growing energy needs primarily with coal and gas.” He writes that wind and solar power must become integral elements of all development programmes in Africa.

The EU has set the course for climate neutrality by 2050, but its Green Deal sustainable growth strategy could have a sizeable impact far beyond the continent itself. Implemented correctly, policy experts say it could help deepen the relations between Europe and Africa and strengthen the economies on both continents. The long-delayed 6th European Union-African Union summit, set to take place in Brussels on 17-18 February, could be a perfect opportunity to renew relations and kickstart closer energy transition cooperation.

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