In her State of the Union address, Ursula von der Leyen recently reaffirmed the importance of the European Green Deal as the flagship project of the new EU Commission. In Brussels, the Green Deal is seen primarily as a European project. However, the EU can only achieve its goals if it builds strong international partnerships that help promote sustainable trade relations and green transitions globally. The partnership with Africa is particularly important in this regard.
In the run-up to the AU-EU summit, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), together with the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), the European Center for Development Policy and Management (ECDPM) and the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), invited European and African decision-makers and academics to three Online Expert Roundtables to discuss about EU-AU cooperation on the European Green Deal.
The first event looked at the big picture and asked how a common narrative and vision for AU-EU cooperation on the Green Deal could look like. The second and third seminars focused on green energy transitions and opportunities for AU-EU cooperation on international climate policy. It became clear that both continents have fundamentally different starting points with regard to green transformations. While the social mobilization for climate protection in the EU is high, climate change adaptation and socio-economic issues such as job creation are central for African countries. The great potential for renewable energies on the African continent was repeatedly emphasized and the question of how public and private funds can be used for their development was discussed. Last but not least, it became clear that adaptation to counteract the negative effects of climate change, especially in agriculture, is a key issue for African countries and that greater support is required here. The postponement of the EU-AU summit until next year now offers the opportunity to further explore the potential of a joint European-African partnership on the way to sustainable economic models through a longer preparation period.
Further information on DIE’s analyses on the foreign and development policies of the EU is available at our theme special: The German EU Council Presidency: what global role for the EU?