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EU, AU launch € 150 billion package for green energy transition, climate resilience in Africa

By Chinedum Uwaegbulam
28 February 2022   |   2:45 am
The European Union has launched its first regional plan under the global gateway investment scheme, with African states set to receive €150 billion ($170 billion) in funding.

Climate activists caution on green energy transition funding for Africa

The European Union has launched its first regional plan under the global gateway investment scheme, with African states set to receive €150 billion ($170 billion) in funding.

The funds come at a time when African nations are experiencing more severe and frequent climate impacts, despite contributing the least to the climate change crisis.

The scheme aims to support Africa for a strong, inclusive, green and digital recovery and transformation. The funding will accelerate the green transition, digital transition and sustainable growth as well as decent job creation.

The package will be delivered through Team Europe initiatives: the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions will work together to support concrete and transformational projects jointly identified in priority areas.

About €150 billion investments are anticipated in the targeted areas, such as tackling the global challenge of climate change. EU plans to work with Africa to maximise the benefits of the green transition and minimise threats to the environment in full compliance with the Paris Agreement.

It will cover clean hydrogen production in Africa. Massive deployment of renewable energy and clean hydrogen production would contribute to having at least 40 Gigawatts of electrolyser capacity by 2030. It would also help develop the renewable hydrogen sector by unlocking business opportunities in both the supply and demand side for energy-intensive industries.

The package will also increase renewable energy and hydrogen and share in the energy mix, access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy as well as support market integration and sector reforms.

The initiative is targeted at ensuring an increase renewable energy generation capacity by at least an additional 300 GW by 2030; promote sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity protection as well as nature-based solutions as the basis of a green recovery, including support to the protection of landscapes and ecosystems.

The ambition includes improving the livelihood of 65 million people, capturing carbon, stabilising three million km² of land and ensuring water security.

Africa is particularly vulnerable to extreme impacts of climate change, which threatens decades of economic progress and development.

The package will contribute to building resilience by supporting disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and recovery.

EU President, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the funding for investment in Africa during a two-country Africa trip to promote the scheme.

The Commission chief made the announcement in a joint press conference with Senegal President Macky Sall, who recently took over the reins of the African Union.

The chairperson of the African Union, Sall, who welcomed the development, said: “Europe and Africa should work together, firstly because of our geographical proximity, the peace and stability of our two continents are closely linked.

MEANWHILE, climate activists have expressed a need for clarity on the details of how the fund will be disbursed, the terms and timelines for the implementation of these plans.

Developed nations are yet to honour climate finance pledges of $100 billion a year to developing nations, aimed at supporting adaptation and mitigation against climate change.