Last week, Monday 29 June, together with our European partner FEPS, we organised an expert meeting on our new joint study Climate justice: African perspectives. With a group of some 20 experts from home and abroad, we discussed the priorities when it comes to fair climate policies regarding African countries. It was a very useful and instructive afternoon with very useful input for the rest of the research. Once again, we would like to thank all participants for their contributions!
What do you discuss during such an expert meeting?
During this meeting, we mainly discussed the broad issues surrounding the subject of Climate Justice: together with the experts present, we mainly discussed what is happening in the European area around climate and what impact this is having on African countries. We also discussed the central question of our research: what do Africans themselves need in the fight against and coping with climate change? And, does European policy adequately respond to this?
Dealing with drought in Zimbabwe
For example, a striking example from Zimbabwe came up: this country has been experiencing extreme drought since 2018. This also has a major impact on energy supply. Zimbabwe is in fact largely dependent on hydropower for energy, but drought makes this system unstable. The country therefore has to look for other forms of energy supply. Western countries do not sufficiently support this transition, while China does provide financial support. Only, these investments go into coal energy. This not only causes more CO2 emissions, and thus more drought in the long term due to climate change, but also does not meet local needs. In the sun-drenched country, the call is for more solar energy.
This is an example of how European commitment, even just around climate plans, does not sufficiently match what is really needed.
In the coming months, we will continue this research: by seeking stories from African stakeholders to ultimately see how our policies can be improved here in Europe. Do you want to follow all this? Then regularly check our special Climate Justice magazine online!