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Climate Action

The EU and Africa’s geographical proximity, renewed friendship and extensive economic ties provide solid foundations for ongoing cooperation in addressing the climate crisis – an endeavour from which we all stand to gain. Our cooperation on climate action takes multiple forms, both Africa-wide and country-specific. The EU often combines financial assistance and measures to attract investments with a political and technical dialogue to promote the green transition in partner countries.  

African countries are among those hit the hardest by the climate crisis, despite having contributed to it the least. At the same time, Africa is an essential part of the solution. With its potential for renewable energy and green hydrogen, critical raw materials, its rich biodiversity and young workforce, Africa plays a fundamental role in the global transition towards a net-zero and decarbonised economy. This transition is also creating new jobs and economic opportunities, while improving the access to energy in the continent. 

Other priorities in our cooperation with Africa include climate adaptation (preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change) and preservation of forests to protect biodiversity and capture and store CO2.

Avenues of cooperation

Trade is an important vehicle to support the green transition both in Africa and in the EU. For example, the EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement includes the most ambitious sustainability provisions on climate protection in a trade deal ever signed by the EU with a developing country. Moreover, African trade in critical raw materials and green hydrogen represents a clear opportunity for the EU.

In 2021, the European Commission set out the Global Gateway, a new European strategy to boost sustainable cooperation across the world on a number of pressing challenges. In Africa, the Global Gateway will leverage €150 billion between 2021 and 2027 for investments in transport, digital, climate and energy, health, as well as in education and research. It is our offer to partner countries for sustainable and green infrastructure. 

All these tools serve to close the tremendous investment gap in Africa, which prevents the continent from exploiting its economic potential and pursuing its transition to net-zero.

In 2022, in the margins of COP27 in Egypt, we announced a Team Europe Initiative on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience in Africa pooling together resources from the EU, Czech Republic, France Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. This initiative will enhance cooperation with African partners to further respond to their climate adaptation needs and reduce climate-related risks.

Country-specific partnerships

The EU-Morocco Green Partnership,  is a bilateral framework to enhance dialogue and cooperation on climate action and to make progress towards the common goals of becoming low-carbon, climate-resilient economies and transition to a green economy. The Just Energy Transition Partnerships with South Africa and with Senegal are flagship initiatives  that ensure climate action leaves no one behind. The EU and Tunisia have a comprehensive cooperation package, which comprises a sustainable and competitive energy partnership aimed at bringing down costs, creating the framework for trade in renewables, and integration with the EU market.