The EU–Africa energy partnership: towards a mutually beneficial renewable transport energy alliance?
The European Union's EU–Africa Energy Partnership, with respect to its emphasis on transport fuels, aims to ensure that Member States can fulfil agreed upon commitments to sustainable energy via the importation of biomass grown in sub-Saharan Africa. This policy aims to reduce the dependence of developing sub-Saharan nations on fossil-fuels, while ensuring the global proliferation of alternative transport energy generation as a means to combat climate change. Though the policy seems equitable in theory, and indeed mutually beneficial, several important issues arise. The paper examines the EU–Africa Energy Policy in the context of biofuels in particular, with a view to identifying potential flaws and imbalances and making policy recommendations. Aside from establishing critical uncertainties, the study adduces environmental science, historical comparanda and economic theory in order to assess the various threats associated with aspects of the policy, especially in light of previous policies that have stifled the development of sub-Saharan economies. In addition, the paper has substantial relevance to developing and newly industrialized nations in Asia and South America also seeking to invest in biomass cultivation and production.
Pre-print of: Charles, MB, Ryan, R, Oloruntoba, R, von der Heidt, T & Ryan, N 2009, 'The EU–Africa energy partnership: towards a mutually beneficial renewable transport energy alliance?', Energy Policy, vol. 37, no. 12, pp. 5546-5556.
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Publisher's version of article available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2009.08.016