Global Perspectives | Bericht | 1. September 2021

Frans Timmermans: “The success of the European Green Deal depends on the success of Africa’s energy transition.”

GP Interview on the African-European partnership regarding a green transition

Frans Timmermans has been Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal and European Commissioner for Climate Action since 2019. He has been a member of the European Commission since 2014. 

In light of the COVID-19 recovery, a green transition promises economic growth. In a panel discussion at The Africa Roundtable by GPI on 9 June 2021, Mr Timmermans shared his insights on the African-European partnership regarding a green transition. For this GP Newsletter, his statements were compiled out of the whole panel discussion. The entire event can be watched here

A green transition of different economic sectors, including the energy sector, is crucial for economic growth. Moreover, the energy transition holds the opportunity to “bring energy to every single person in Africa through renewables” and to “create a strong relationship between Europe and Africa”. At The Africa Roundtable, Mr Timmermans underlined that “The success of the European Green Deal depends on the success of Africa’s energy transition”. As Europe will need more green hydrogen than it can produce on the continent, green transition also holds an opportunity “for green hydrogen produced especially through solar energy in Africa”.

This could boost the economic development on the continent as well as bring energy to “even the most remote places in Africa and empower people to be connected to the rest of the world”. Especially in the fields of empowerment of women, education and health care, energy transition is “an opportunity to leapfrog over a number of developments”.

Of course, this development depends on Europe’s “willingness to put the money on the table that was promised for climate adaption”. In Mr Timmermans’ perspective, we need to understand the connection and interdependence of our destinies regarding economic growth and green transition and “find common solutions to common problems”. A major part of this is the African youth. In a connected world and with access to the world’s knowledge, “Africa will leave everybody stunned by what it can achieve in the next generation.”

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