1 year 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 WAR, PEACE AND THE GREEN ECONOMY fuels was initially reserved for addressing Europe’s own coal-dependent regions and its direct neighbourhood. The Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa at the Glasgow COP26 conference extended this to Africa’s biggest coal-dependent economy. The AU-EU summit in February took this concept even further, announcing plans for green partnerships modelled on the South African one across the continent, including in countries with very different energy mixes like Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. While these are important steps (at least on paper), there are still significant divergences. The challenge of any just transition in Africa is less a matter of phasing out dirty coal, and much more a matter of ensuring that African economies can benefit from an accelerated transition in order to industrialise. The The ReFuelEU proposal puts puts the the overall overall The ReFuelEU EU EU transport proposal decarbonisation effort effort and and European puts the sation European demand for critical raw materials like lithium and cobalt is set to multiply by 2050. Waste Waste biodiesel for for Waste our our trucks biodiesel trucks This is also the tone of the AU’s draft climate change and resilient development strategy, which calls for seizing opportunities in low-emissions development and green industrialisation and to position the continent to benefit from a global green economy, as a key actor, not just a target of exogenously-determined policies. For the EU, this also means backing its optimistic green narrative with more than just a scattering of green energy projects across the continent. It means adopting a much more forward-looking and long-term approach to just transition, one that is firmly rooted in the development and industrialisation ambitions of African countries and societies. Brussels vs Addis Ababa On natural gas especially, African leaders and Europeans do not see eye-to-eye. overall EU transport decarbonisation Waste-based for our and trucks and advanced advanced biodiesel biodiesel SMEs SMEs at risk reduces gas (GHG) emissions at risk reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions effort and European by up by Waste-based to up 90% to 90% compared and compared advanced with with fossil-based biodiesel Waste-based SMEs at and risk and advanced advanced biodiesel biodiesel for for diesel. diesel. reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions road road and and maritime maritime use (FAME use (FAME ) is a * ) more is a more by up to 90% compared with fossil-based efficient efficient Waste-based process process (sGU and (sGU advanced study) study) than biodiesel than lipid- lipid- for Full-scale Full-scale diesel. electrification for the for road the road sector sector based based road Sustainable and maritime Aviation Aviation use Fuel (FAME Fuel - SAF * ) is - SAF a more (especially (especially heavy-duty) will take will take decades decades (HEFA (HEFA efficient ) for ** ) aviation. for process aviation. Given (sGU Given study) that that there than there is lipid- a is a to take to Full-scale take place place and electrification and waste-derived for the biodiesel road biodiesel sector limited based limited source Sustainable source of waste of waste Aviation lipids lipids - diversion Fuel - diversion - SAF is the is (especially best the best solution solution heavy-duty) to decarbonize to will take the decades the from (HEFA from road/ road/ maritime ) for maritime aviation. to aviation Given to aviation that leads there leads to is to a existing existing to take fleet. place fleet. and waste-derived biodiesel higher higher limited GHG GHG source emissions. emissions. of waste lipids - diversion is the best solution to decarbonize the from road/ maritime to aviation leads to existing fleet. higher GHG emissions. A 2% A SAF 2% SAF mandate mandate in 2025 in 2025 will will consume consume more more than than 80% 80% of of all UCO all UCO used used by EWABA by EWABA members and and cause cause min. min. 1 million 1 million tons tons Waste Waste biodiesel of A 2% additional of SAF mandate emissions in 2025 in the will in the atmosphere consume more per per than year. year. 80% of into into Waste shipping all UCO used by EWABA members and cause min. 1 million tons biodiesel Waste-biodiesel into shipping can easily can easily be be of additional emissions in the atmosphere per year. blended blended in existing in existing fuel fuel oil ships oil ships Process Process option option Process Process option option without without Waste-biodiesel any modifications any can easily to the to be the HEFA HEFA ** FAME FAME * Process option Process option engine engine blended or existing or in existing infrastructure. fuel oil ships Yield HEFA Yield Yield Yield without any modifications to the 1.000 1.000 kg kg FAME * 610 610 kg UCO-HEFA kg (SAF) (SAF) 1.004 1.004 kg UCO-Biodiesel kg Waste-based engine or biodiesel existing biodiesel infrastructure. can be can be Yield used used Yield deployed and is 610 kg Usage UCO-HEFA options 1.000 (SAF) cooking kg deployed immediately and is Usage options cooking oil oil 1.004 Usage kg Usage options UCO-Biodiesel options favored Waste-based by ship biodiesel operators can due be to Aircraft (UCO) used favored by ship operators due to Aircraft (UCO) Car, Car, Truck, Truck, Vessel Vessel The Wastebased map Aircraft emissions favored by ship operators due to Usage options Usage options its deployed very high immediately energy density, and is The European Wastebased cooking oil its very high energy density, a a Greenhouse Greenhouse gas gas emissions Greenhouse gas emissions sufficient parameter for long (UCO) Greenhouse Car, Truck, gas emissions Vessel sufficient parameter for long The biodiesel European map Wastebased from from its biodiesel decarbonisation its map opportunity sufficient to parameter refuel to refuel along for along the long the 24 g 24 COg CO 2 eq/MJ 10 g CO 2 eq/MJ its very high energy voyages density, with a no Greenhouse 2 eq/MJ 10 g CO gas emissions Greenhouse 2 eq/MJ intercontinental voyages with no gas emissions Apart Apart efficiency, efficiency, the waste-based the and and 24 g CO 2 eq/MJ 10 g CO 2 eq/MJ way. way. intercontinental voyages with no advanced advanced Apart biodiesel from biodiesel its decarbonisation industry industry opportunity to refuel along the supports efficiency, over the waste-based 25,000 jobs across and Environmental Protection supports over 25,000 jobs across way. 55+ production 55+ advanced biodiesel facilities facilities industry scattered scattered The collection The Environmental collection of used of used cooking Protection cooking oils oils across across supports 19 EU 19 member over EU member 25,000 states. jobs states. across prevents prevents their their improper improper disposal disposal in sinks, sinks, 55+ production facilities scattered which which The leads collection leads to the to of blockage the used blockage cooking of sewer of oils sewer Diverting Diverting across waste 19 waste EU oils member to oils aviation to states. aviation will will systems systems prevents and and to their the to improper formation the formation disposal of so-called of so-called in sinks, significantly hurt hurt climate climate mitigation mitigation ‘fatbergs’. which leads to the blockage of sewer efforts efforts Diverting but also but waste also damage damage oils to an aviation EU an EU will ‘fatbergs’. systems and to the formation of so-called industry industry significantly largely largely based hurt based climate on SMEs, on mitigation SMEs, These These ‘fatbergs’. mountains of waste of waste are very are very difficult difficult often often efforts located located but in also remote in damage remote and and rural EU rural to clean to clean and and extremely extremely costly costly for cities for cities and and regions. regions. industry largely based on SMEs, water water These companies. mountains Also, of Also, animal waste animal fats are very fats and and difficult often located in remote and rural other other to residues clean residues and (advanced extremely (advanced feedstocks) costly for cities are are and * * FAME regions. FAME - Fatty - Fatty Acid Methyl Acid Methyl Ester Ester often often water left to left companies. landfill to landfill where Also, where they animal they produce fats produce and ** ** HEFA HEFA - Hydroprocessed - esters esters and * fatty FAME and fatty acids - Fatty acids Acid Methyl Ester additional additional other residues emissions. emissions. (advanced And And most feedstocks) most importantly, often very a very useful left useful to ‘wasted’ landfill ‘wasted’ where resource resource they is produce lost! is lost! are ly, a ** HEFA - Hydroprocessed esters additional emissions. And most importantly, and fatty acids a very useful ‘wasted’ resource is lost! Simply put, the words “transition fuel” have a different meaning in Brussels and Addis Ababa. The EU sees it as a last resort, a way to avoid dirtier coal or ageing nuclear infrastructure. African countries, especially those sitting on significant recently-discovered resources like Mozambique and Senegal, want to leverage the continent’s natural gas reserves and see natural gas as a way to accelerate their economic development and industrialisation. “On energy we have diverging views [...] We cannot ask the continent to renounce fossil fuels” Senegal’s president Macky Sall said bluntly in February. Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine has sparked a stronger EU effort to wean itself off Russian gas and diversify European supply. EU member states are looking towards existing African suppliers like Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria. Newer entrants like Tanzania are also expressing interest in supplying LNG to Europe. Yet infrastructure constraints mean that African gas may not be a quick and easy fix for Europe’s problems. The EU is also unlikely to move back into financing long-term fossil-fuel development abroad. The real challenge is supporting viable alternatives in the short term. The focus should be on showcasing opportunities in green industrialisation which leverages Africa’s clean energy potential for a higher value addition in manufacturing, agricultural processing and service industries while generating employment, revenues and new exports at scale. This includes exploring the many opportunities for the production of green energy solutions for local markets or exports, or EV manufacturing. It also includes greening existing industries like building materials, construction, agro-food processing, as well as a host of circular economy applications. When it comes to green energy, the focus should be less on competing with China for opportunities to install imported technology, but on establishing new sustainable industries and productive capacities and developing a renewables-based industrial ecosystem that can catalyse energy systems reform and multiply installed capacity. Avoiding green ‘extractivism’ An African just transition also requires a different outlook on Africa’s role in the global green transition. The prospects for African green hydrogen to power Europe’s industrial and transport transition, for example, are creating much excitement on both sides, with new potential exporters like DRCongo and Namibia, joining north African countries like Morocco. The EU should resist the urge to substitute one extractive relationship with another, and ensure that hydrogen investments are also used to power local low-carbon (heavy) industries, and include African countries and companies in the development of new applications from the start. Similarly, European demand for critical raw materials like lithium and cobalt is set to multiply by 2050. While African countries like the DRC and South Africa may be able to further boost income from royalties, processing currently largely takes place in China. This also risks confining African countries to the extraction stage of green technology value chains. Investments therefore need to address not just Europe’s own supply, but also Africa’s processing deficit and industrial development. 29 All this is of course easier said than done. The EU is under pressure to back its projected €150bn African investment package with credible plans, yet the challenges go beyond unlocking unseen levels of public and private finance. Sustainable industrialisation requires innovation, both technical and in terms of the business models, production and consumption patterns. African and European actors will therefore need to develop a clear a common vision for an interconnected green economy, and rethink supply chains to maximise mutual benefits. ◄ This is no time for business-asusual. About Alfonso Medinilla Alfonso Medinilla Is Head of climate and green transition - geopolitics and energy, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)

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