Insights

‘Decarbonisation and stability: implications for Africa’. A special lecture held at Med Or Foundation

On Friday 24 May, Alex de Waal, Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and Professor at Tufts University, held a special lecture on the implications of decarbonization for Africa and stability.

Held at Med Or Foundation’s headquarters in Rome, the event provided an important opportunity to explore decarbonisation and its possible socio-economic impact on contemporary societies, particularly in developing countries and in the African continent.

Decarbonisation – the process of replacing fossil fuels with alternative, non-hydrocarbon-based energy sources – is a fundamental step in the fight against climate change. However, in countries that are economically more dependent on hydrocarbon export and production – as is the case with many African countries – there is a risk this could have negative political, economic and social repercussions in the coming years.

Thanks to his experience and expertise in the political and institutional dynamics that affect Africa, Professor De Waal – whose thinking has been laid out in the article ‘How Traumatic Decarbonisation Can Impact Political Stability – provided examples related to some African countries that are exposed to the highest risk of instability, also due to future scenarios linked to world energy policies.

These scenarios, combined with the growing importance of Africa for Italy, mean that research and the organization of cultural events on these issues are now more important than ever. Italy, through initiatives such as the Mattei Plan and the Italian Climate Fund, can also play a key role in the African continent’s energy transition process. The Plan, with an initial endowment of €5.5 billion euro (of which €3 billion, or 70%, from the Fund and €2.5 billion from Development Cooperation resources), aims to turn Italy into a hub for strengthening ties between Africa and the European Union. Based on the principles of mutual respect and equal partnership, the Plan aims to create a sustainable and prosperous future for both regions by addressing common challenges through shared solutions.

According to Professor De Waal’s remarks, linking the decarbonisation process to the need for stability must entail a commitment by Europe and Italy to support peace and governance processes, particularly in those African countries most dependent on hydrocarbon exports.

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