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Date: 2022-07-04 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00021585




Original article:
Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess
Dear Colleagues,

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) has recently published a working paper entitled “Roadmap to Zero-Carbon Electrification of Africa,” prepared by the CCSI team under the guidance of Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, and with support from the African Natural Resources Centre of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The CCSI study sets out a comprehensive and actionable roadmap for Africa’s zero-carbon energy transformation by 2050, with most advances achieved by 2030.

Starting from a simple and transparent model of the annual investment volumes needed to provide continent-wide access to electricity based on renewable sources, it addresses various imperatives and challenges regarding Africa’s energy planning and financing and outlines recommendations for immediate implementation of the strategy from 2022.

There are four overarching ideas in its vision for Africa’s energy future:
  1. The world economy is going to decarbonize. Oil companies do not necessarily believe it today, but they will soon understand and act accordingly. Many pending oil and gas projects in Africa will become un-bankable in the coming years as decarbonization proceeds.
  2. Africa needs to frontload its investments in green electrification and digitalization. The continent should borrow heavily, at very concessional rates, to build infrastructure and achieve other Sustainable Development Goals (such as quality education for all children). Debt relief may also be helpful in increasing the fiscal space for green and digital investments.
  3. The international community, guided by the African Union, should dramatically increase the capacity of the AfDB and other African banks to frontload investments in infrastructure.
  4. Africa should use its vast continental resources (renewable energy, strategic minerals, biodiversity, and human skills) to develop African productive capacity at all points in the renewable energy supply chain, including a massive scaling up of strategic minerals mining and African supply chains for photovoltaics, electric batteries, hydrogen and other green fuels, electric vehicles (e.g., electric motorcycles), and digital services (e-education, e-health, e-payments, and others).
The draft report for consultation—'Roadmap to Zero-Carbon Electrification of Africa by 2050: The Green Energy Transition and the Role of the Natural Resource Sector (Minerals, Fossil Fuels, and Land)'—is now available as a CCSI Working Paper.

Open PDF: CCSI-roadmap-zero-carbon-electrification-africa-21585.pdf

The CCSI team is grateful for the AfDB's support. The views in this CCSI Working Paper do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization, including the AfDB.

For questions on policies and practices to address the climate emergency and increase access to zero-carbon energy, please contact CCSI's Perrine Toledano (Head: Mining & Energy) or Martin Dietrich Brauch (Senior Legal and Economics Researcher).

Copyright © 2022 Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), All rights reserved.

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