February 3

Analysis: How the U.S. Can Better Support Africa’s Energy Transition

Since U.S. President Joe Biden took office in 2021, his administration has made U.S. support for climate action overseas a central component of its foreign policy agenda, with much of the focus on helping accelerate the global energy transition.1 In high-income regions where people generally take energy for granted, carbon emissions are high and renewable energy markets are thriving. There, the energy transition is primarily about rapid decarbonization and the replacement of fossil fuels with clean technologies. But most African countries face a very different energy landscape: they currently emit very few carbon emissions, have vast energy deficits that endanger lives and hinder economic development, and have trouble accessing finance for new energy infrastructure. As a result, the outlook and objectives for their energy transitions inevitably differ.

Given these differences, achieving a worldwide transition will be no easy feat. In recent years, the global energy landscape—complex at the best of times—has been roiled by factors including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, economic turmoil, and a continuing (and increasingly contentious) debate between rich and lower-income countries over responsibility, justice, and the meaning of the energy transition itself.


Source: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (link opens in a new window)

decarbonization, energy access, solar