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10 months ago

War, Peace and the Green Economy

  • Text
  • Green economy
  • Peace
  • War
  • Ukraine
  • China
  • Africa
  • Europe
This magazine is about the world’s collective and potentially transformational journey towards a green economy. It is also about taking you, the reader, on what we hope is an equally fascinating ”green voyage” across some key parts of Europe as well as to Africa and China.

HOW OTHERS SEE THE EU

HOW OTHERS SEE THE EU WAR, PEACE AND THE GREEN ECONOMY ‘Global Gateway’: In Africa, scepticism about the EU’s green connectivity plan The EU’s much-publicised Global Gateway connectivity initiative is not universally welcomed in Africa. Here’s why. By WESTER VAN GAAL Dakar’s Youssou N’Dour was in the EU capital, Brussels, in February, for the launch of the Global Gateway With great fanfare, a Youssou N’Dour concert in Brussels, and talk of a “partnership of equals” Europe tried to rekindle relations with African leaders at the sixth European Union- African Union summit in February. The EU’s big offer at the two-day summit was Global Gateway Africa — a €150bn connectivity initiative that, among other goals, aims to connect Africa’s mineral wealth to the global market, and invest in the continent’s electrification, preferably using clean energy. Africa needs roughly €150bn a year for infrastructure investment, so if the EU can deliver on its financial promises, the European scheme could end up becoming a real rival to China’s Belt-and-Road Africa investment plan — launched in 2013, with major financial promises, but recently revised down to €40bn. Many African nations are sceptical, however, of Europe’s push to promote green energy. Nigeria, Mozambique and Senegal (which hold huge natural gas reserves) have lobbied hard for a continuation of European financial support for new gas projects in Africa. Nigerian vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo, has gone on record to lambast wealthy nations from the Global North for banning or restricting public investment in fossil fuels, after “decades of profiting from oil and gas” themselves. Europeans are not ready to say yes to such support, and no commitments were made at the summit. However, it will be difficult to deny African countries access to funding, and potential oil and gas revenues. European leaders cannot hope to achieve their clean energy goals without African goodwill and African resources. After all, Africa has the richest solar resources of any continent, and countries such as Kenya and Morocco are already significant generators of cleaner energy. Africa also has 85-95 percent of global chromium and platinum metal reserves; more than 50 percent of cobalt reserves and a third of world bauxite reserves. These metals are essential for the production of solar panels and the batteries needed to store wind energy. African nations stand to gain from new investments in green energy but some also fear that this will lead to more exploitation of Africans. “If you look at the history of infrastructure investment in Africa, it has not led to improvements in the situation on the continent,” says architect, environmentalist and poet Nnimmo Bassey. Bassey, as head of the Health Of Mother Earth Foundation, has fought against injustice and ecological destruction as a result of mining and fossil-fuel extraction for decades. And he has three words 21

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